Teleprompting for Mina Marie Mirkah
This week I had the pleasure of working with a phenomenal crew for a national LG commercial and instructional LG video for the new LG store online. I worked closely with producer Mark Stetson, a very talented director, and very important clients who oversaw every aspect of the shoot. Attention was paid to every detail for the LG Brand.
This shoot reminded me of when I was the production coordinator for a national Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles commercial a few months back. Bill Milling and the rest of the production team at American Movie Company worked closely with Bent Image Lab and its producer, Heather Eyrich, who oversaw every detail for their client, Post Food Cereals. It was a great learning experience.
This particular job was a bit nerve-wracking. The production crew for the LG commercial was kept on their toes. All were up to the task. They were consummate professionals. Top executives from Japan were literally watching over their every move. If I may toot my own horn, in spite of the constant pressure I was under, I teleprompted flawlessly during the 10 hour day.
I used the standard 12 inch teleprompter for the talent. Mina Marie Mirkah was the lady in question. When we talked for a bit at lunch, we realized that we have a lot of mutual friends in the business. It really is a small world! We both separately worked with one of the gaffers on set, Connor Lawson. Three years ago, I produced a horror film titled Evil Alive, and he was the special effects editor and on set gaffer.
Mina had worked with Connor on a film of her own, which was an award winning short. She showed it to me and I was impressed by her unabated interest in film and photography. We discovered we have a lot in common and we really felt comfortable with each other. It was seamless working together.
The lines she had to recite about the new LG Ultra 4K HD TV were many. The script for the LG online store portion of the videos was long and involved. Having created this friendly atmosphere was so important.
What we established during lunch changed the pace at which we were able to work and communicate between takes. When the director called “Cut”, Mina felt confident and comfortable enough to call me and ask if we could practice together for the next scene.
The shoot involving each additional portion of the videos was flawless. This was, no doubt, thanks to the rehearsal time Mina and I had. Personally, I always like to rehearse with the talent prior to the camera rolling, but unfortunately, it is not always possible or desired.
Even though I was working closely with the producer and the director, at times, I had to act more like an operator and less of a speech coach, unless Mina herself called out for me to practice with her. LG clients were very strict and formal. They were overlooking the production closely. Some of us modified our behavior somewhat. This is not a complaint, simply an observation.
Allow me to point out just how truly important and essential a good teleprompter operator is. He/she develops a “feel” if you will, and without ego adjusts to the situation. All in all you may do fewer takes and end up with a pristine final product as well as instill confidence in your talent who in turn do an exceptionally good job.
We shot a Windmill Studios, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was a bit of a drive and parking was difficult but I always arrive early and got to the location ahead of schedule. We began by having a delicious, catered breakfast. We all introduced ourselves and exchanged pleasantries – a good start to what would be a 10 hour day.
The AC (assistant cameraman) and I talked over the logistics of setting up the type of camera being used with my teleprompter head.
I was grateful to have had the opportunity to speak to him before our actual, official starting time. What we figured out made the set up smooth and effortless.
The DP (director of photography) was shooting on a professional Arri Alexa camera with very long zoom lenses. Figuring out the counterbalance with a 13 pound teleprompter head was a no brainer because of our preparation.
As expected, this was another successful day of teleprompting for the American Movie Company and TeleprompterRental.com.