Flip page by page through
your “cue cards” — a
on your laptop screen.
With a black background
you focus on the words,
not the glare around them.
In a brightly
drape the te
with a black
NO MORE CUE CARDS
Make a teleprompter with a laptop, a sheet of
glass, and some scrap wood. By Brian P. Lawler
It was Thursday evening, and I needed a My prompter is nothing more than a sheet of
teleprompter. window glass supported in a plywood frame in
I was making a video about panoramic front of the camera at the correct angle. I prob-
photography, and in the scenes where I spoke ably spent three hours cutting and building.
directly into the camera, I looked like a cross- Once it was done, I set my PowerBook on it
eyed newscaster. While trying to read cue cards and put a mouse with an extension cord on my
on a stand in front of the camera, my eyes were knee to click when I wanted to change pages.
cast downward, and that looked odd. White letters on a black background worked
To overcome this problem, I decided to build a best, and I had to output the pages as mirror
teleprompter. Having seen commercial tele- images using a page layout application.
prompters over the years in television studios With my home-built teleprompter, the record-
and at trade shows, I understood the concept. ing of the narration went smoothly.
A teleprompter is made of a sheet of glass
suspended in front of the camera lens at a Brian Lawler is a college teacher, photographer, graphic
45-degree angle. The glass reflects the image artist, woodworker, and writer who lives in San Luis Obispo.
of a TV screen without affecting the light entering the lens. Excerpted from creativepro.com. Copyright ©2005.