How To Shoot Two Cameras Through The Same Teleprompter

Solving the eye-line problem when using two cameras to shoot the close-up and wide shots simultaneously. 

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Teleprompter

We solve this problem by using a custom cheese plate with mounts for two cameras and then using an extra wide hood & glass on the teleprompter.  With this system the eye-line for both close up and wide is maintained.

2 cams thru one prompter side view

Shooting Two Cameras Through The Same Teleprompter

A client orders our large 17-inch Master Series prompter for a 7D shoot, which makes very little sense. That is until we realize he is planning on shooting two cameras through one teleprompter.

The reason is obvious.

He wants to preserve the proper eye line on both cameras. He doesn’t want to have to cut between a close-up with the talent looking directly into the lens and a wide shot with the actor looking off into Kansas.

This is very, very reasonable, and I’m privately calling myself a “schmuck” for not having experimented with all this on my own time and not on the clients. So, I’m upfront. I tell him we haven’t done it. It should be possible, but I don’t want him to waste time on his shoot here in the studio.

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He insists. “Let’s give it a try, man.  Don’t be so damn conservative. I want to make this great. “

OK, and we proceed to test it with the two Canon 7D’s. One with a long Cannon zoom and one with a wide angle. I’m worried about the wide angle because it could very well make the shot look bad.

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More trial and error, and more wasted time. Did I say I was a schmuck for not trying this on my own time?

It was immediately obvious that we couldn’t have made it work on the standard 12′′ prompter.

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The 17-inch Master Series Teleprompter is not suitable for everyone. The Pro Gold Plate model is great for almost all occasions. It will handle all the big boy cameras like the Arri Alexa  All the Red Cameras, the Sony F900, Panasonic Varricam, etc. We don’t want to ever sell our client on a teleprompter that’s too large. What you get with too broad a mirror is the “tennis effect”. The talent’s eyes go back and forth on the screen reading the lines left to right, left to right, and ft to the right.

Shooting Two Cameras Through The Same Teleprompter

So, go with the right size. “Bigger” isn’t always better.

Exceptions are when you have an older actor or an actor with bad eyes, so you go with what works.

We actually bought the 17-inch Master Series Gold Plate to prompt Dan Rather, who is a great reporter, but his eyesight is not that good. The 17-inch is best for when the talent is standing more than, say, 12 feet from the lens. Daylight doesn’t matter as the monitors are both “super bright” and both models can be battery-powered for outside prompting. However, we do flag off the mirror to shield you from the hot sun.

2 Camera Through 1 prompter ds
646-340-6450
TeleprompterRental.com
Andrew Hebert
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