Sunday, May 13, 2012

Stealing Ideas

It's not like I go out of my way to steal other people's ideas. It's just that when I see a good idea I just have to make it, well, cheaper. My Facebook page fed me an ad for a "really cheap telepromper." It uses your iPad or Android tablet, laid in a box with a piece of glass propped up at a 45-degree angle. You put it on a light stand in front of your camera, drape a black cloth over everything to avoid reflections, and there you are.

How cheap is this "really cheap" teleprompter? Well, it's about $200. Not including the tablet, of course.

To me, this isn't cheap enough, although compared with other teleprompters it's not too bad. I was encouraged to find out that there is decent free and really cheap software for turning an Android device into a teleprompter. I just needed something cheaper to mount it in.

So I looked online for cheaper alternatives. Video makers are very generous with their ideas on YouTube, and I found one gentleman who made two teleprompters: one for about £15 and the other for about £5. Neither was exactly what I was looking for, but they were inspiring. I found another idea that was closer, made for about $20. That one lead me to the plan I'm going to try out sometime this month.

My plan is for a smaller teleprompter specifically aimed at video blogs and other head-shot work. It uses my existing Android smartphone, a couple of pieces of scrap lumber, and the glass from a picture frame from my old discards, or maybe from the local dollar store—we'll see.

I'll show the process, and the results, and some video of the teleprompter in action, as soon as I get it all assembled.