Sharon is an owner/operator of a field teleprompter kit that she’s brought to support productions of all sizes. It might be used by a spokesperson for a small business who just wants to introduce their company to potential clients. Sharon’s also used her teleprompter for major TV network anchors (in the field) for the first Obama inauguration.
She bought her kit from a fellow producer who had trained her how to set it up and run it so that he could hire her to be his teleprompter person for business shoots he was doing. She then found that, on her own, people wanted a teleprompter. And so rather than continuing to rent the kit from the producer, she asked if she could buy it off of him, so he could just hire HER, and she could then offer teleprompter-for-hire services to him, and her other clients. He agreed, and she’s been using the kit ever since.
The teleprompter kit is run by Sharon, through a laptop- not an iPad. She manually controls the speed, keeping pace with the talent’s reading style.
When you are conducting a video shoot, there’s not time or budget for re-shoots. If the client misses a word, or mispronounces something, it needs to be caught and corrected that day, because if it’s not noticed until the footage is in the edit suite, it’s too late. Sometimes a sentence just doesn’t work, even though it looked okay in written form initially. With an eye for detail, and her skill of writing for the ear, rather than the eye, Sharon’s clients appreciate what she brings to jobs that she is on.
She’s used her teleprompter on all kinds of cameras and setups, from standard body large format cameras, to DSLRs, to having it run to confidence monitors at conferences, or large format monitors in large venues with audiences.
When it comes to videography, Sharon doesn’t over or undersell her skills and abilities. It’s more important that her clients get the right camera type and skill level for the type of videography that’s needed. After all, does a business interview require the skills of a feature film Director of Photography, and his/her 8K camera, when the finished video will live on a company website? Probably not.
However, are you trying to recruit new talent or customers to your business? How should the viewer feel when seeing the footage and the video? It may require specific camera moves that a standard camera on a tripod can’t do. More equipment, or specialized lighting may be needed for the environment. After asking the right questions, the right camera and operator can be identified. That may mean bringing on another camera person and their gear. In that case, Sharon may serve as the field producer for the shoot.
The rates quoted for freelance videography are for Sharon and HER equipment. If it’s determined that something/someone else is needed for the job, the costs may vary, depending on what is needed. She is also comfortable serving as a camera operator for multi-camera events where another production company is providing the camera, and who just needs to bring on labor. She has extensive experience with live events such as meetings, conferences, concerts, events and parades.
Depending on the complexity of the video shoot, it’s not always the best idea to have one person wearing all of the hats! In those cases, it’s best to have a field producer on hand. Field producers serve as the liaison between the client and the crew, managing expectations and the day’s schedule to ensure everything that is expected out of the day….is completed within schedule and budget. The production coordinator is responsible for more of the administrative tasks of a video project, while the field producer is responsible for more of the on-set work done on the shoot days.
If there is a teleprompter operator, the field producer makes sure that the teleprompter operator has the script in advance, and introduces the appropriate person on the client side to the teleprompter operator in case script changes need to be made. The director of photography and the lighting and/or art departments are provided the information on each scene by the field producer and/or director, so that they can establish the right look for that scene. If a site survey is needed in advance, the field producer will go out with the crew on the site survey to ensure any identified challenges are addressed prior to the shoot day. The field producer also may work with a script supervisor to ensure that they have what’s needed to ensure continuity and no missed dialogue occurs.
There are logistical and legalities to address for more complex video shoots. The production coordinator does a lot of this behind-the-scenes work, in coordination with the producer. This includes identifying whether a Covid Compliance Officer is needed, and ensuring they have access to the location in advance to make sure they know what to expect, and how to keep the set safe. The production coordinator is also the person that coordinates the location logistics: any location fees, rules, etc that need to be adhered to when using the space. The production coordinator ensures that talent releases are created, signed and archived with the project. They may be in charge of creating call sheets and ensuring all crew and talent know when and where to show up on shoot day, and what each person should bring with them. They also work closely with production assistants, who often help them on shoot day with the myriad of tasks to be done to pull off a great shoot day. The production coordinator is responsible for more of the administrative tasks of a video project, while the field producer is responsible for more of the on-set work done on the shoot days.