When recording videos, I discovered that I'm not much of an actor ... namely, I can't remember my lines! I tried to get around this by printing out a large-type 'script' and hanging it up next to the camera, but when I looked at the resulting video, it was obvious that I was reading something, and not looking directly into the camera. There was only one solution ... build a teleprompter!
Here's how I did it, in just a few minutes, using a couple of scraps of wood, a scavenged piece of glass, and an old shirt ...
Step 1: The Wooden Frame
The second photo shows them quickly tacked together. The width of this thing is just a little bit less than the width of the piece of glass that I'm about to 'steal' from one of the pictures on the wall. (It's evening, and the hardware store is closed!)
(This picture shows the parts sitting on top of my home-made table saw ... that's another story one day!)
Step 2: Support for the Glass
Step 3: Preparing the Script File
I opened the pdf file in Preview (the built-in pdf reader on a Mac), and selected 'Flip Vertical' from the View menu (second photo).
Step 4: Prepare the Script for Scrolling
So after doing a 'Save' in Preview, I open the same file in Adobe Reader (I'm using 7.0 on a Mac). Adobe Reader doesn't seem to have any way to flip vertically, but it does allow the file to be 'printed' (to another .pdf) with the 'pages in reverse order' option selected. After doing this, I then open the resulting file again using Adobe Reader, select 'Single Page' viewing mode, and I'm ready to (literally) roll.
Step 5: Assembly - Monitor Position
First step is to move the keyboard out of the way, and lay the monitor down flat on its back (second photo)
Step 6: Assembly - Camera Position
Step 7: Assembly - Frame and Glass
Step 8: Assembly - Hood
Step 9: Ready for Use ...
The second photo - taken with my flash turned off - lets us see the teleprompter in action ... Clear and easy to read! When I'm ready to start recording, I'll use the camera's remote to start the recording, then select the 'Automatically Scroll' command from the Adobe Reader 'View' menu (or actually, just use the keyboard command).
The text will start scrolling perfectly smoothly, with the speed controllable by the up/down arrow keys on the keyboard. (If at first, the scroll is in the wrong direction, just slow it down with the appropriate arrow key to the point where it reverses direction ...)
Step 10: Finished!
Total cost: zero! All the software is free, and I'll put the piece of glass back into the picture frame when I'm done ...
Over on my Xmas Present for your Mother page, you can see the first video I made using this system ... it worked great!