Introduction: Easy Build TelePrompter for Your Video Camera

About: Special Effects designer, nerd, maker, a monocle and high collared cape away from being a mad scientist.

This is how I made a TelePrompter for my podcast to save me having to memorize lines. Which I am terrible at. I found a application on the itunes store for the ipod touch and iphone for TelePrompter but could not afford the hardware they offered to sell me. So I made my own out of Coroplast and a CD case.... The movie file shows it in action:

The podcast I built this for is shown on the last step and showcases the build of the prompter.

Step 1: First Get All the Stuff You Will Need

You will need for this:
  • Coroplast (In the picture I only had red left so I thought that better than nothing in the picture. Red will work but black is best)
  • Utility knife
  • Needle nose pliers
  • DuckTape or my favorite Gorilla tape
  • Slim CD case
  • 1/2 inch long 1/4"x20 bolt
  • Pattern (There are two CAD files attached for Sketchup for the Canon HV30 and the Sony PD 150/170)
  • Tripod for your camera (Not necessary but nice to have)
  • iPod Touch or iPhone
  • Software for your iPhone or iPod Touch (I have no affiliation with this company) ProPrompter
  • Free CAD software to view the files Sketchup
  • CAD files for HV30
  • CAD files for the Sony PD170
  • You can likely fit most consumer cameras with these two patterns

Step 2: Print Out Pattern and Cut Coroplast

Print out a pattern and cut out the coroplast  and cut half way through the coroplast at the fold lines as well as the slot for the cd case lid. Finally a extra piece to cradle for the iPhone or iPod touch

Step 3:

Fold up the coroplast and add the panels and tape that bad boy up!

Step 4: Mount Camera and Make Final Cuts

You will need to mount the camera so that the lens is at the back of the unit and trace out the circle to cut out and also mark where the mounting hole is for the camera on the bottom. I drilled a hole for this but you can simply cut a 'x' and push the bolt through

Step 5:

Remove short screw from the tripod hot shoe (Generally this is held in with a snap ring so you use the pliers to pull it and the screw will fall out and you can now place the 1/4inch bolt up into its place.

Step 6: Home Stretch

Finally mount the camera to the frame, add the cd case lens, place the iPod cradle and bring up the proprompter software. This works by allowing the phone to reflect to people in front of the camera but the camera can see through the CD case lens without showing what is displayed to the people in front. So it goes without saying that you need to keep the CD case plastic clean and also this will render most autofocus systems useless and you may have to manually focus your camera.

Suprisingly you can read this prompter from quite a long distance. I have used it up to 25-30 feet away from the camera. With the software you can enlarge the text and control the scroll speed.

A few things to take into account, this is set up for a static camera (i.e. on a tripod) if you want to move around I suggest you tape the iPod in place so it does not fall out.

This is my first instructable so let me know what I am doing right and wrong... Hopefully you find this useful and as handy as I do...

Here it is in action again

Lastly here is the podcast I did on this, the prompter is the first segment and long time user Dave Spencer here at instructables is on this in the second segment check out his other builds!: