Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Taking a cue from Apple - An affordable take on teleprompters for video production

Published by Mr. C

Almost since the day Sidepodcast started creating videos, you'll have heard Christine bemoan the lack of a teleprompter. Remembering reams of text, under the pressure of hot studio lights while the cameras are rolling is no-one's idea of fun. Having something to fall back on is often a necessity.

Behind the scenes of the Sidepodcast Christmas special, Christine eyes up the shot
Credit: Sidepodcast

The problem with most teleprompters, is that being somewhat specialist by nature, they have a habit of costing a pretty penny. By way of example, the small model we were looking longingly at was set to cost us £1,800. You can see why we've been putting it off for a while.

Reusing existing hardware

Thankfully there's an app for that, and when Bodelin Technologies released ProPrompter (iTunes link) for the iPhone / iPod Touch our quest for an affordable autocue system was over. Coming in at a far more reasonable £5.99, the application allows the iPod to act as a tiny teleprompting system.

True, the screen is a little on the small side for this role, but playback speed is variable, colours are customisable and loading content is straightforward. If nothing else, it's a considerable improvement on holding up sheets of A4 paper and manually swapping them as required. The iPod is mounted atop the camera via a Joby GorillaPod with suction pad attachment and will happily sit there for hours.

Lacking presentation

It's little improvements such as this gem that make us motivated to create more video content this year. Incidentally, having looked into what other sites are offering in terms of F1 video, a trend we've noticed wherever we look, is the distinct lack of presenters hosting shows.

Neither Autosport TV nor GPUpdate TV seem to offer anything beyond stock footage and a voiceover track (which is almost exclusively male). Can finding an onscreen presenter be that difficult in this day and age? Maybe having a person in front of camera is something else we should be giving USF1 more credit for.

If you're doing any form of podcasting, be it video or audio, we highly recommend the ProPrompter solution. It reuses our existing hardware and the application has already paid for itself in time and effort saved.