Teleprompter (Autocue – Telescript)
“An autocue (also known as an teleprompter or telescript) is a display device that prompts the person speaking with an electronic visual text of a speech or script.” – Wikipedia
The teleprompter was conceived by an actor, named Fred Barton Jr, as a way to help television actors, who had to memorize large volumes of script, in a short time. The first teleprompter was build by Hubert Schlafly, in 1950. It consisted of a screen made of reflective glass, mounted at an angle in front of a camera lens, allowing text to be projected onto the screen, for the actor to read, while looking directly into the camera lens. The text was a roll of paper, that was scrolled by an operator, to assist the reader. The TelePrompTer Corporation was founded in the 1950s by Fred Barton, Jr., Hubert Schlafly and Irving Berlin Kahn.
The first computerized teleprompter for the PC was made by the company Compu-Prompt, in 1982. Invented and marketed by Courtney M. Goodin and Laurence B. Abrams. The camera hardware, and the software for this system was custom built, and ran on the Atari 800 Personal Computer. The company has since changed it’s name to ProPrompt, Inc., and is still providing service today, after 28 years. In January 2010 they received a Technology and Engineering Emmy Award for “Pioneering Development in Electronic Prompting”.
QTV, a US based company, that is now part of the Autocue Group, introduced TFT-LCD monitors, instead of the traditional CRT monitors, thus reducing the weight on the cameras, and improving stability. They also introduced High Bright (Daylight Telepompters) monitors, that could be used in direct sunlight, and voice controlled prompters. The voice controlled technology was then improved on by Autoscript, and Sysmedia, with voice-activated technology, which allowed the teleprompter to scroll the text in unison with the voice of the reader.
Small inexpensive teleprompter software applications, are now also available. These allow a person with a laptop computer, or a desktop PC to display their speech, or text on the screen, to aid them just like a teleprompter does for Television, and similar productions. This technology has been used commonly, to deliver sermons, deliver speeches, and create quality audios. Thus making it easy for pretty much anyone to use this helpful technology, for institutions, such a schools, churches, and non profit organizations.
Teleprompter (Autocue Telescript) – Errol Morris Interrotron
Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, developed a technology that is also based on the same idea as the teleprompter, except, rather than projecting text onto the screen, the image of a person being interviewed is projected there. The image is transmitted by camera from the interviewer to a remote location with the person being interviewed, and vise-versa allowing a remote interview to occur, on a virtual face to face basis. Errol Morris, refers to this technology as “Interrotron”.
It is now possible to obtain teleprompter (Autocue – Telescript) rental, through many services, that are available on the web. A search on Google resulted in numerous hits, with businesses located all over the United States, L.A., and New York City was among the places listed. Pricing for the service seems to be pretty consistent for most of these company’s Ranging from $495 – $850 a day, with an operator included. So if you find yourself in need of autocue rentals, you should be just a few clicks, or a phone-call away from it.