Breeze through video recording with this $15 DIY TelePrompter

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What is it?

A teleprompter displays text from a computer right in front of a camera lens without the camera seeing it. This allows your subject to keep there eyes on the lens without forgetting what to say.

What You'll Need

All Supplies can be found at a craft store such as Hobby Lobby or Micheals.

2x 16″ x 20″ Mounting Boards – $2.99/ea

3x 36″ Square Wooden Dowels – ¢76/ea

11″ x 14″ Glass Panel – $6.99

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Glue Gun

Gaff Tape

You’ll also need a spare monitor and computer to run the teleprompting software. I’ve been using Teleprompter available on the app store for $34.99 here’s the link.

The words will need to be flipped vertically which this software allows.

Step 1: Cut the sides

Start off by cutting the mounting board into two 8″ x 11″ pieces.

Step 2: Score the backs

Flip each board over and score a line 3″ down from the top on the back. Make sure you don’t cut all the way through! This will be folded later.

Step 3: Cut Wood Strips

Cut four 10 inch pieces from the square wooden dowels.

Step 4: Glue the strips to the sides

With the black sides facing up, hot glue 2 wooden dowels at a 45° angle on each of the boards. Make sure they are mirrored as shown above. You can fold a square piece of paper in half diagonally to get the 45° angle. Make sure the black sides are facing in.

Step 5: cut and glue two 6" strips

Cut two 6″ pieces of wood. Glue them an 1/8 inch away from the side edge and 1 inch from the bottom.

Step 6: Cut out the top piece

Cut a 14 inch x 8 inch piece of board for the top.

Step 7: Turn the sides

These next couple of steps happen at the same time. Tilt the two side pieces up so that the wood pieces are facing each other and are still mirrored.

Step 8: Glue the top to the sides

Glue the 14 inch x 18 inch board onto the wooden dowels as shown above.

Step 9: Fold the back flaps

Flip the box around to the back side. Fold the pieces you scored at the beginning in to become the back of the box. Tape the flaps to the top of the box with black gaff tape.

Step 10: Cut and glue a 10" strip

Cut a 10 inch piece of wooden dowel. Glue it to the bottom of the back flaps to solidify the box.

Step 11: Tape. It. Up.

Tape all the corners to add stability to the structure. Using gaff tape leaves a nice finish.

Step 12: Slide the glass in

Finally, slide the 14 inch x 11 inch piece of glass into the channel created by the 4 45° angels dowels. You can glue stoppers at the ends of the slots so that the glass does not slide all the way through the channels. Do not glue the glass in, you want to be able to slide it out and clean it!

Enjoy!

Now just put the DIY teleprompter on top of a monitor and place the camera lens through the back right up to the glass.

If you are not shooting in a dark room you may also want to throw a black cloth over the camera and teleprompter so that no light shines through the back obscuring the text in front of the lens.

Austin Thomas

Austin Thomas

Austin has been doing audiovisual work in churches for well over 10 years. He is experienced in all aspects of production, from live events to producing engaging content. You can see some of his work at austinparrishthomas.com

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