Many releases coming out these days for independent and small-budget productions favour the technical teams, but what about the talent? The people behind “The Parrot” look to share the love with those in front of the camera with their new innovative teleprompter design. Teleprompters are widely used broadcast world as a means of aiding talent with scripting and subject matter when directing their prose through the fourth wall and onto the audience at home. Prompters are commonly seen positioned on the front of massive Studio Cams, filling the large frame available in front of their gargantuan servo lenses. While greatly helpful in that application, they’ve been found reasonably impractical for most shoots outside of the studio.
A number of DIY solutions have popped-up over the years to solve this problem, but none quite as compact and practical as The Parrot. Made for DSLR and mirrorless camera applications, it’s lightweight frame mounts onto a 77mm lens end with a threaded system not unlike a filter.
You then use your smartphone as your prompter screen, holding it up with an inlet at the bottom of the rig. In all, it keeps it’s overall weight down enough that you can use it without a rod system or heavy-duty baseplate.
Larger teleprompters that incorporate dedicated LCD screens start around $1400, and iPad-based systems start around $500 (iPad not included). With a targeted retail price of $150, The Parrot would be both the most compact and most affordable teleprompter system on the market for DSLR and mirrorless shooters today. The 77mm thread gives it compatibility with a number of today’s most-loved lenses, including Canon’s EF-S 17-55mm, EF 24-70mm and EF 70-200mm. For lenses with wider than a 24mm field of view, prepare for some vignetting caused by the protruding matte box.
As-of Christmas Eve the Kickstarter campaign for The Parrot has exceeded it’s original funding goals of $30,000 by over $8,000, and now aim for a $50,000 goal to include development and release of an app to simplify the prompter process when using your phone. To get in on the project and purchase a Parrot at their discounted pre-order price, head over to their Kickstarter campaign to claim yours.