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What’s new in the Interrotron Mark IV HD?

 

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Intrrotron Mark IV

 

Features of the new Interrotron Mark IV…

  1. Both Interrotron monitors are now 100%  HD 1080p.   Our competitors use standard definition prompter monitors in their “so called Interrotrons”.
  2. The new talent monitor is now a full 19″ and three times as bright and sharp as the old SD computer monitors. The talent can now see the director’s face more clearly and realistically.
  3. New remote HDMI switch to change from Interrotron mode to Prompter Mode and back in an instant.
  4. The Director’s unit contains a is 1080p professional 16X9 camera monitor as with the Mark III but now the system is ready for the sound expansion module Intrrotron Mark IV S.  The S is for sound.  There are speakers in the Mark IV monitor and the director can now speak into our microphone and out to the other monitor.  No longer does the talent see the director’s face in front of the lens only to hear a disembodied voice come form somewhere else.

The new Mark IV is only available in NYC & LA.

 

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The  Interrotron Mark III

 

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Given that the Interrotron and its inventor, Errol Morris have become such a hot topic on the Internet, many are asking, “What is a darn Interrotron and why would I want to rent one?”

 

The Interrotron was invented by Errol Morris, Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker.

He found a novel way to get non-professional interview “talent”  to relax, look directly into the lens, maintain correct eye-line and give a genuine, believable  response.

Morris is credited with naming the device but actually his wife thought of combining the words  interview and terror.  The device  prevented “terror” in his non-professional actors.

Top directors are demanding the device.

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No more white-knuckled “talent” staring fearfully into the cold, unblinking eye of the camera or the ever colder eyes of a mutant TV crew.   In a typical set up, the director/interviewer sits in video village or simply behind a sound blanket separating him/her from the direct sight of the subject.  The interviewer sees the face of the interviewee and vice versa. The two can then have a “one on one” personal “conversation”.  Each can observe the expressions and body language of the other while immersed in a comfortable Q & A session devoid of anxiety.

We all know  non-professional “actors” are usually  scared.  They are often completely uncomfortable in front of the lens.  They look off camera at every opportunity.  They never maintain proper eye line.   At the end of their speech or answer to a question from the director their eyes dart off camera leaving the poor editor without even a few frames with which to cut.

The above is doubly true if the talent is very young.  Kids are wonderful performers when you can get them to relate to the director.  And that’s exactly what the Errol Morris Interrotron does so well.

The Interrotron removes the “terror” from the actor’s performance.  The device is essentially a pair of specially modified  teleprompters.  The talent looks into the face of the director.  The director looks into his/her unit and sees the face of his/her talent.

As the director sees exactly the same image as the camera is recording, he/she can monitor the shot as to composition, focus, etc. while speaking directly and intimately with the “talent”.

It’s almost ironic that technology allows the simple process of question and answer to become so much simpler,  easier, less stressful, and so much more productive.

As an added bonus, the talent maintains that final “moment of intention” continuing to look right into the lens with the proper expression giving the editor the right final frames he needs.

So, Interrotron rentals are rising rapidly simply because these oddly named units are so dammed useful.  The systems are credited with not only saving time, getting useful footage, but substantially improving the quality of that footage as well.

While the Interrotron System is increasingly being used by top directors, the availability of professional units set up by skilled operators has lagged.  It is not just a question of renting two teleprompters.  The Interrotron monitors need to be professional, have the correct video inputs and be configured and set up properly.

Producers love the fact that, in most cases, the Interrotron, more than pays for itself by getting better footage in a fraction of the time.

Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris was on The Colbert Report sometime ago promoting his book  “A Wilderness of Error”.  Among filmmakers, Morris is also popular for creating his unique interview style and method.  Dubbed the Iinterrotron, it entails two cameras with modified teleprompters, displaying the feed of each other.  Interviewee on one end, Morris on another, the interview is conducted with direct eye contact recorded.

Colbert asked him about this and presented his own interview device, the “Ask-o-Matic”.  Colbert’s device gives this technique a fresh, 21st century update utilizing iPads for a real, human connection.  ”It makes you more approachable, more likeable,” says Morris.  Watch out future interviewees.  You may be talking to an Ask-o-Matic before you know it.

Read more: http://coffeeandcelluloid.com/morris-interrotron-meets-colberts-ask-o-matic/#ixzz280qX2HmY

Get in touch with us at:

Bill Milling – 917-414-5489 or 212-219-1075

Bill@AmericanMovieCo.com

 

Call Toll Free  1-800-811-7085

 

How to set up the Interrotron:

The director is usually hidden back in “video village”.  He/she sees their talent through the intermediacy of the Interrotron but the net result is that despite the technology the effect is a real intimacy.  Fear is overcome.  Eye lines are preserved.

Instead of the director dividing his/her attention between the actor and an image of the actor on a production monitor, the director and actor have a “conversation”.  Eye to eye.

And, as a bonus, the director can read the body language of the talent and the talent can be guided by the expressions of the director.

The Interrotron is a pair of specially modified prompters which allow the director and talent to see each other’s faces in glass mirrors set directly before the lens.

Basically the benefits of the Interrotron are:

  • The talent can focus on speaking directly to the director.  It becomes an intimate conversation between the two.
  • The talent can relax as they are having a human conversation not staring into the intimidating lens of the camera.
  • The director sees exactly what the camera lens sees so he/she can monitor the framing while looking at the talent.
  • It is especially useful for children and non-professional actors.
  • Among many advantages, they preserve eye-lines and relax the talent who carry on a natural “face to face” conversation with the director.
  • They are available both in New York and Hollywood, delivered with a technician.

 


This is what it looks like when Oscar looks at his dad (who is on the other side of the interrotron).

 

The original Interrotron was created by Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker, Errol Morris.  According to Morris, It was named by his wife who liked the combination of the words “interview” and “terror”

Morris  discovered a way to get his non-professional talent to relax, look into the camera and see a human face.  And,  in this way, have a “natural conversation” with the interviewer

This new gadget proved to be so much more effective than the traditional method  of the “talent” staring,  fearfully into the unblinking camera lens, his/her eyes darting all over , squinting into the lights trying to find the voice of the director.

Thus Errol Morris’ invention dramatically reduced “terror” and stress and gave a much more natural and relaxed performance with no nonprofessional actors and children.

So, Morris called his invention an Interr-O-tron from the word “terror”

He also found it had a lot of additional practical advantages over traditional interviews.

The early version of the device was a large, ungainly machine… time consuming to set up and adjust and difficult to transport.

But it did an amazing job.

Unprofessional talent, children… those who had little or no comfort facing a TV camera found they could relax and give natural, effective performances in front of the Interrotron.

Basically, it’s two modified, improved teleprompters connected by video cable.  Both have cameras which feed the signal to the other.  Thus, the “talent” and  “director can see each other “face to face”  on the screens of the Interrotron units.

So, an unprofessional interview subject does not have to stare into the cold lens of a video camera.   Instead he/she sees the face of the director/interviewer and the two have a simple, relaxed conversion.   Each is able to read the facial expressions of the other, get all of the non-verbal cues involved in normal conversation.

The director sees his subject directly via the lens of the main camera.  He sees the framing, focus, etc. at the same time he judges performance.  Because the talent is relaxed and comfortable, the process not only goes faster but elicits a more realistic, believable, authentic response.

It got Errol  Morris an Academy Award.

The American Movie Company refined the device and created the  Mark II.

And AMC has been renting this improved device with a trained technician in major cities all over the country for the last five years.  It’s been the favorite of professional commercial and documentary directors who feel they can get the performance they need, often on the first take.

Now, in response to the many directors who have found he device gets them substantially better interviews, we imported  the new Mark IIV HD modelAt this time, The American Movie Company and TeleprompterRental.com are the only sources to rent the Mark III  or Mark IV in North America.

So the Interrotron saves shooting time and thus money.

But, more importantly gives the director the ‘award winning” video he/she needs.

The director would now see the talent directly through the lens of the camera. See exactly what the camera sees.  So, now he or she could not only monitor the framing and other technical aspects of the shot but could, at the same time, directly assess the body language of the talent.

Really, helpful.

And in return, the talent could, not only hear the director’s voice, but could see and react to body language as well.  So, all types of useful, natural, non-verbal communication can go on while the camera is recording.

Top directors are loving the Interrotron…  especially with children and non-professional actors.

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Maria Diaz Interrotron tech NYC

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