The $35 teleprompter

Rich Johnstun

134 posts

Posted Monday, January 21, 2013 at 4:54 AM  

I've been wanting a teleprompter for my personal home studio for sometime. I recently started digging around online to see the best way to build one. I use them at work and they can be incredibly expensive, but I had seen some home brew setups that seemed to work pretty well. 

 

This weekend, inspired by the guys over at Indy Mogul, I built my own version of their $35 teleprompter. Here is a completely how to video outlining their build. 

 

The $35 teleprompter

 

Obviously to say it's a $35 teleprompter isn't exactly true since you still have to use some kind of display to run it. I'm using my iPad and the Telepompter + app ($15). The app works fantastic and it even allows you to control the prompter with another I device. In my case, I can use my iPhone to control the app on my iPad making it much easier for me to be on camera and running the prompter at the same time.

 

I made some tiny variations on their design, but over all it's the same. I'm incredibly pleased with the result, especially consider the investment.

 

I know there are a lot of people on here doing video work on a tight budget, so I thought I'd share.  


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Jeanette Brooks

3,630 posts

Posted Monday, January 21, 2013 at 6:42 AM  

Nice, Rich - thanks for posting this! I like Griffin's how-to video. Especially the comparison part toward the end.


Rich Johnstun

134 posts

Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 5:47 AM  

It still needs some fine tuning, but here is what it looks like using my iPad to prompt. You barely see the camera lens behind the glass, but this probably because of the flash from my camera. 

 


Greg Smith

9 posts

Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 6:10 AM  

If you need something a bit less budget, as we all know how clients get,  I recommend this http://www.lcd4video.com/ipad-2-teleprompter-kit/ 

 

They run sales and I got mine for about $150 + I agree on the Teleprompter+ app, it works great!!!!


Rich Johnstun

134 posts

Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 6:59 AM  

 

Greg Smith said:

If you need something a bit less budget, as we all know how clients get,  I recommend this http://www.lcd4video.com/ipad-2-teleprompter-kit/ 

 

They run sales and I got mine for about $150 + I agree on the Teleprompter+ app, it works great!!!!



Nice find Greg. Yeah, this would need some work before I would use it in front of a client as it was made by unskilled hands in my garage and it shows .  I still plan on doing some beautification on the felt surround and making it look more professional. I'm using this in my basement studio for my YouTube series, so it matches beautifully with my home made PVC light stands and $5 work lights

 


User Rank Steve Flowers

3,496 posts

Posted Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 3:13 PM  

Great finds. I love DIY videos. Chained from video to video and burn up an hour or so Time well spent.


Rich Johnstun

134 posts

Posted Friday, January 25, 2013 at 9:48 AM  

 

Steve Flowers said:

Great finds. I love DIY videos. Chained from video to video and burn up an hour or so Time well spent.



Steve, if you're a video guy, I'd also highly recommend The Frugal Filmmaker. I'm always far more impressed with what someone can do with a few hundred dollars and some creativity than I am with what someone can do with 10's of thousands of dollars worth of gear. 

 


User Rank Steve Flowers

3,496 posts

Posted Friday, January 25, 2013 at 11:10 AM  

Loving Film Riot as well. This one gave me a good chuckle. "I feel like I'm giving birth to a velociraptor."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD-g6uWSWTo


Rich Johnstun

134 posts

Posted Monday, January 28, 2013 at 4:55 AM  

That was a great video Steve. I wish I had the time to do more special effect in the videos I do. It's so much fun. 


eric mongrain

61 posts

Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 8:12 PM  

Rich I to created a teleprompter over Christmas. I looked at Indy moguls and tried to make a bigger one.  i think mine cost about $70.  Mine is based off a 17" dell flat screen monitor.  I built a box that would fit the monitor.  Then drilled two holes in the back wall for the power and monitor cable.  I then built a smaller box with a small piece of trim to hold a piece of mirror glass.  I will post pictures soon.


Rich Johnstun

134 posts

Posted Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 7:25 AM  

Nicely done Eric! I've got a spare 19" Dell monitor laying around and have considered building a larger one just for the heck of it. If I do, I want to make it so that it will collapse down flat for portability.

 

Again, nice job.


eric mongrain

61 posts

Posted Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:39 AM  

Rich, The top is on hinges so if you pull the pins on the side the bracket will come off and collapse the top.  I still need to figure out how to collapse the cardbord or to remove it and place heavy duty felcro on the wood and the cardboard so i can remove it.  I also found a better monitor for 100 dollars that is usb powered and connects to a computer and is as thin as a tablet.  here is the name of it on amazon. 

AOC E1649WU 16" USB-Powered Portable LED Monitor - Glossy Black  the company link is http://www.aocdisplay.com/


Rich Johnstun

134 posts

Posted Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 10:48 AM  

What would you estimate the weight of yours at?  The teleprompter I use at work probably weights 40lbs without the camera and I know my home tripod would never support that much weight. I don't want to save money on building a prompter only to have to spend big money on a large tripod. 

 

What software are you running?


eric mongrain

61 posts

Posted Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 5:16 AM  

This one has to be at least 50lbs with the monitor in it.  I am using a laptop stand to hold it because I dont want to spend the money on a new tripod.  I think if i would have used the monitor that i linked to earlier i could have made it a lot lighter.  Also i am using a small Kodak zi10 camera and another small hand held camera. 


eric mongrain

61 posts

Posted Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 5:56 AM  

Rich,

 

I think i have a new design just came to me.  one for a flat screen monitor.  and one for an ipad or the 16" USB monitor i gave a link to earlier.  I will post by 1 EST today. 


eric mongrain

61 posts

Posted Friday, February 01, 2013 at 5:06 AM  

I am attaching two drawings i made for a Teleprompter.  I removed the wood frame to make it lighter.  I am not giving dimensions because everyone will have a different size they are trying to build.  i will say the glass i used was called a one way mirror paine at 1/4" thick. the size i used for my teleprompter was 18 3/8" x 11 1/2". 


monitor-teleprompter.png
Rich Johnstun

134 posts

Posted Friday, February 01, 2013 at 7:34 AM  

Thanks for the drawings. That looks virtually identical to the one I use at work, that was incredibly expensive and over priced. Of course, it was purchased when we were shooting with much larger and heavier cameras than we are today so there was  need for some adjustable counter weight and so on.

 

I look forward to seeing your finished product.