How To Build A Teleprompter + Tips

Griffin Hammond over at Indy Mogul has a great video about how to build a $35 DIY teleprompter. That is pretty awesome compared to the cheapest one I found on B&H which was $449.

How To Build A Teleprompter + Tips

For anyone who’s wondering what a teleprompter is, it is a device that allows you to read text while looking directly at the lens. It is made with beam splitter glass positioned at 45° with a camera behind it and running text below it. The beam splitter does not block the camera from seeing as you look at it, while reflecting text that you can read. It is all explained in the movie after the break.

If you were afraid of a hard build, the video shows just how easy it is to make a teleprompter.

Prompter vs. Below Camera Monitor Comparison

If you missed that part in the video or just wanted to see exactly how reading off a teleprompter looks so much better than reading from, say, below camera monitor, here is a head to head comparison taken from the video

How To Build A Teleprompter + Tips

Getting Nicer Glass

The first video uses picture frame glass that works. But there is an update about getting better grade scrap glass, which is more reflective and less blurry, that you may wanna check out.

How To Build A Teleprompter + Tips

Teleprompter Software

On the video Griffin uses Prompt! Light FREE but this requires a laptop to run off. If you are carrying an iPad (or some other tablet), here are some alternatives:

  • Android Prompter is a free prompter software for Android (duh)that has most of the features you’ll need (i.e. scroll speed, mirror mode & font size)
  • Teleprompt+ for iPad – While not cheap, this is a really well designed piece of software. Aside from all that you’d normally expect from a prompter you can also import/sync files into it.

Not Convinced yet?

If this was not enough convincing for you, Ben has a short video that explains why he uses a teleprompter

[How-to: $35 DIY Teleprompter for LCD or iPad | Indy Mogul]

  • Spell Checker

    Wow. Only 37 spelling mistakes.

    • http://www.diyphotography.net/ udi tirosh

      hmm… seems this one slipped proofing. thanks for the heads up

  • Leonidas Bratini

    Very Cool, I will have to try this

  • Jon

    This is fantastic. I’ve only had one time when I needed a teleprompter, but man, I really needed it. We tried putting giant posterboard cards behind the camera, but the person on camera looked really odd with their head tilted back and eyes looking down as they tried to read their lines. It was equal parts hilarious and dissapointing. I just finished the DIY jib from a month or two ago, I think this is my next project.
    On another note, I’m getting really sick of the first comments always being about the damn spelling and grammar errors. Udi, I know you said before that you don’t mind the correcting, which is a very Zen response, but I think you’re just indulging a troll here. They clearly aren’t here to talk photography, all they are here to do is make snide responses, so in my opinion it’s probably better to just ignore them.

  • AtlantaTerry

    Please note, the word Teleprompter should always be used with an upper case “T” since it is a trademarked name. Businesses do not like their trademarks turned into a generic word so be responsible and go back to edit the text and convert all instances of the word to one with an upper case “T”.

    • http://www.diyphotography.net/ udi tirosh

      I am totally not sure about this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleprompter
      While TelePrompTer used to be a trademark, teleprompter is 100% a generic device name

  • ziplock9000

    So $35 gets you a computer and a computer monitor?

  • DjJuvan
  • Jason

    Hi, what was the mic you used? Great Video!

  • Andy

    Did you make a mistake when installing the glass? What are you using to secure the glass to the frame?