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Prompting Software, or another solution

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Todd TerryPrompting Software, or another solution
by on Nov 18, 2013 at 8:37:02 pm

Hey kids...

I will freely admit this is probably not the most appropriate forum for something so hardware related, but I know many of you have dealings in this purview so I'll give it a shot.

I'm considering cobbling together a teleprompter upgrade and need some advice...

For several years now we've been using the same mostly-homemade prompter. I built my own because I couldn't find one that I liked. Every system that I looked at (seems like dozens of them) had some kind of complex or bulky cradle or plate that you put the camera on/in. I wanted something small and light that could simply attach to camera rods... since all of our cameras that we would ever put it on were invariably using a baseplate/rods. But I couldn't find a single one that simply slipped on the front rods, so I cobbled together this, which as you can see is very small and light...





That's cannibalized glass from another old prompter, a 15mm rods bracket I happened to have laying around, and a little 7" TTF monitor (that fortunately happens to have a reverse image option).

It actually works like a charm, but it's time for an upgrade. I don't like being tethered to a laptop, and the camera we are primarily using now doesn't use big A/B bricks, so now there's no goldmount powertap to juice it. Ergo, there's yet another cable, a 12v power adapter for the thing. I'm trying to go easier, and eliminate the spaghetti.

I'd like to upgrade this to use a tablet. No, not an iPad, but you can buy a little 7" Android tablet for absolutely next to nothing (the better half has one just for occasional web surfing, and it was well under a hundred bucks).

The building part would be easy breezy...an hour, tops. But I've yet to find any prompting software that works well on tablets. There's tons of free prompting apps, in fact... but I've yet to run across one that doesn't seem to have a list of problems that people are complaining about. I don't mind paying for it (even if it's not cheap) if it works well and does what it needs to do.

Ideally it'd also be nice if it could be controlled by another Android device (we all have Android phones), or even just another identical tablet. Control by a Bluetooth keyboard would be another option I suppose.

Has anyone had need to search for something like this.... and had success? Or ideas?

Much thanks as always...

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Bill DavisRe: Prompting Software, or another solution
by on Nov 19, 2013 at 5:42:10 am

Can't help you if you're sticking with Android, but I'm sure you'll find good solutions.

I do use an iPad. I use it with my Prompter People traditional 15" prompter rig. But I leave the original LCD screen in the case. Instead I just slip my iPad which is in a case from ZooGue - onto the front part of the prompter sled using the elastic strap that's on the case.

The REALLY cool thing is that the Teleprompt+ software i downloaded from the iTunes store for $25 - lets me control the prompter playback from my iPhone via Bluetooth or WiFi.

Much MUCH easier than the old days of needing an operator and a laptop and VGA cables.

FWIW,

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Al BergsteinRe: Prompting Software, or another solution
by on Nov 19, 2013 at 6:17:27 am
Last Edited By Al Bergstein on Nov 19, 2013 at 6:34:18 am

I use a similar setup to Bill's. I have used the iPad and Teleprompt+ also. Works great. I too agree I'd love to find a version that works with rails rather than the mount. Hey! We should ask them to build it!

I just went and checked, our wish was granted, albeit at a price.
http://www.prompterpeople.com/teleprompters/ipad-teleprompters/proline-tele...

It works with Zacuto or Red Rock rail systems.

Al


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Todd TerryRe: Prompting Software, or another solution
by on Nov 19, 2013 at 3:47:44 pm

Thanks guys...

Yeah Bill, it'd definitely be Android. That's just what we already have tons of, and zero Apple anything. I'm not at all concerned about building it, I can do that in my sleep with almost zero time/money investment... it's just decent software I'm looking for.

And yeah Al, gotta tell ya, rods are the way to go. I haven't used a prompter in six or sever years that didn't just ride on the rods. I'd wager you could adapt most any (lightweight) prompter to a rods system. You'd just need a 15mm (or 19mm, depending on your rods) bracket. The best place to buy those bits and pieces is eBay where they are plentiful and dirt cheap.

The one improvement I do want to make to my present setup (besides going wireless with a tablet) is to add a swing-away bracket so the unit will, well, swing away... like a matte box. I invariably shoot primes when I'm promptering so that'd make lens changes easier.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Martin CurtisRe: Prompting Software, or another solution
by on Nov 20, 2013 at 1:49:05 am

There's this:
http://www.prompt-it.com.au/en/10-prompt-it-maxi-teleprompter

and you can buy this:
http://www.prompt-it.com.au/en/rigging/18-full-rig-kit.html

They recommend this software:
http://www.bombingbrain.com/

Disclaimer: never used it. I made my own teleprompter from chipboard and perspex using instructions from teh interweb. It weighs a ton and looks horrible and wouldn't mount a tripod even with viagra to help, but I still love it. So do the people who use it.


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Todd TerryRe: Prompting Software, or another solution
by on Nov 20, 2013 at 2:22:34 am

Thanks... as I said though I don't need to buy one or even any parts to build my new one, got all that.

I did check out the software link though... it's dirt cheap and looks like it would do about what I want it to...
except it appears to be Apple only. So sadly, no joy.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Martin CurtisRe: Prompting Software, or another solution
by on Nov 20, 2013 at 10:42:43 pm

[Todd Terry] "Thanks... as I said though I don't need to buy one or even any parts to build my new one, got all that."
My mistake. I read your post, then everyone else was talking about rods and plates and hardware...


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Todd TerryRe: Prompting Software, or another solution
by on Nov 20, 2013 at 11:15:18 pm

No problem, just wish that software you found was Android compatible.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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