MISTAKE 8. LETTING YOUR IN-HOUSE “TALENT” JUST WING IT
Let’s face it, your co-workers are not professional actors, and they need some help to remember all the things they need to say and do on camera. I discussed this recently with another producer friend of mine, and he commented, “If I had a nickel for every time I shot an exec who said he could just talk off the top of his head… What disasters!”
I agree. Use a teleprompter. We’ve shown these in blog posts, and here it is again. This speaker standing in front of the green screen will be looking up at the camera and delivering his script.
In this shoot with Steve Young, he’ll be addressing the camera using the prompter that our crew member is adjusting.
As you can see, the prompter mounts in front of the camera. Your executive or employee can look right at the camera and read the words as if he were looking into the lens. After a couple of practice runs, amateurs are almost always comfortable enough to blast right through the script. It’s money well spent as it means faster shooting, less errors, and fewer frayed nerves.
And if your executive looks stiff or really doesn’t like the feel of “reading” the words, we can put up bullet points or PowerPoint slides on the prompter so that he or she can still appear to be looking at the audience. This avoids the problem of the presenter looking away to notes or cue cards and looking “shifty eyed” as a result.