by Larry Lemm, Videomaker Columnist
on a Floppy
If youíre an
intermediate to advanced videographer and you make video programs that
require your talent to recite scripted lines to the camera, youíll appreciate
the benefits that a TelePrompTerô can offer. After all, professional newscasters
use TelePrompTersô, why not give your on-camera subjects the same kind
of help? Buying a professional TelePrompTerô is an expensive option. However,
for $165, TeleScreen-32 Software can turn just about any Windows 95/98/NT
computer into a TelePrompTerô.
It Comes on a Disk, not a Disc
The first thing
youíll notice about this software package is that it is small. The whole
program is only about 650kB, or about half of a floppy disc. Not large
enough to justify putting it on a CD. You can download the trial version
for free, and if you decide that you want the registered version, you can
just enter the proper code, and the software will unlock itself for full
use. However, just because this software is small in byte count, doesnít
mean that it skimps on features.
Getting it Going
could have been a breeze. However, to install it, DRS-DigiTrax recommends
that you change your screen settings to 256-color, so the program will
run fast enough. Changing your color mode isnít that difficult, but it
surely wasnít an idiot-proof installation.
is simple. Just use your word processor to convert your script to a text
(.TXT) file, and open it in TeleScreen. Once youíve opened your script
in TeleScreen, you can easily adjust the font size of all of your text
to the size of your choosing. This allows you to quickly prepare your text
so you can use it with the TelePrompTerô.
You may want
to install TeleScreen-32 in a homemade TelePrompTerô case that works like
those used on network TV. You know, the type that places the monitor on
its back and reflects the text on a two-way mirror placed in front of the
cameraís lens. TeleScreen is ready for this, and has an option to reverse
the text if youíre going to bounce it off of a mirror. This is a nice touch
from DRS-DigiTrax, and on their Web site (www.drs-digitrax.com)
you can order an optional foot pedal to replace the mouse, making it an
even more professional setup.
Using a TelePrompTer
to the basics, you donít have to build anything too fancy to fully utilize
TeleScreen-32. You can simply set up a monitor right next to, above or
below your camcorder. The trick, of course, is to have your talent look
like theyíre not reading, but thatís up to your talent.