I don’t know about you, but I have the hardest time just remembering a whole phone number, nevermind an entire speech! That, my friends, is where the teleprompter comes in handy. The short explanation of a teleprompter is that it helps the talent (actors, community members, political figures, etc.) remember the script or speech during a performance or live video recording. Although the medium has changed over the years, the basic principle is to have a continuous scroll of the pertinent information so the talent can keep on talking without skipping a beat.
Modern teleprompters utilize a computer monitor and a one-way mirror to display the text directly in front of the camera lens. This way, the talent looks right into the lens of the camera when they’re talking instead of looking down at a paper or looking to the side for cue cards. Sometimes, you can see their eyes scanning back and forth if you look closely enough!
Other iterations of this modern marvel include a tablet (iPad or other) attached either instead of the computer monitor or as a separate screen just below the camera lens. Whichever way the screen displays, the text on it scrolls at a user-defined speed. The goal is to have the timing so that the reader only ever has to look at the middle line so their line of sight stays consistent throughout the shoot.
Another, non-camera, use for the teleprompter is political speeches. While the speeches may be video recorded, it would be unrealistic for the POTUS to look directly into the camera and, instead, has two glass teleprompters on either side of him with his speech scrolling along.
At NCTV, we utilize the screen and mirror variety of teleprompter and welcome the community to take advantage of its anxiety-stopping powers to get out your nonprofit message!