By Joshua Handler
Recently I wrote an article detailing the importance of Teleprompters and how some people have an overreliance on them. The following article is, for the record, a strictly apolitical piece, not meant to comment on President Obama’s politics in any way. It also does not reflect the views of the American Movie Company or any of its associates.
When speaking at the State University of New York – Buffalo, President Obama told the crowd that “your outstanding mayor Brian Higgins is here”. Brian Higgins is the congressman who represents the 26th District of New York, not the mayor. This is not the first time that President Obama has had a Teleprompter malfunction. In 2011, he was giving a speech and suddenly was not as coherent as when the Teleprompter was working. This is the President of the United States, a man who is supposed to be a great orator, not a man who is supposed to be reliant on a Teleprompter.
Working Teleprompters are essential
Working Teleprompters are essential. As is memorizing speeches so that if the Teleprompter fails, you have something to fall back on. Overreliance on Teleprompters also allows for people to say something that they don’t mean. If any of you have seen the outrageous scene in in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgendy when Ron Burgendy (Will Ferrell) reads something profane on live TV, you’ll know what I mean. Recently, someone played a trick on a news anchor when she was reading what she thought were the names of the crew of the Asiana Airlines plane that crashed in July. The names that she read were “Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow,” obviously false names that are completely offensive, particularly in a situation such as this one. Had the news anchor memorized the script or had ANYONE checked the Teleprompter, this incident wouldn’t have happened and no one would have gotten fired.
Let’s face it, this is a simple fix. Anyone could have checked the Teleprompter and fixed the mistake and at the American Movie Company, we check our Teleprompters. We’re a group of trained professionals who take our work extremely seriously and would never allow something like the above to happen, especially on a live broadcast.
The American Movie Company is located on the southern part of Manhattan in Tribeca, right below SoHo and next to Chinatown and Little Italy. We have presidential and standard Teleprompters available along with Interrotrons. Our Interrotrons were recently used by Academy Award-winning documentarian Errol Morris, the man who popularized the device.
Additionally, we have TriCasters of all kinds available for rental and can provide trained operators to make your webcasts as easy as possible.
Memorize Your Lines
The moral of the story told above is this: memorize your lines. Teleprompters are aids, not crutches. They should not be used in place of memorization. Between your memory and the Teleprompter, you should be fine giving that next big speech. The President should take this to heart.