Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why TV Presenters don't make mistakes.....

SriLankan PM and AUTOCUE at Caldecott TV Studio
Source: MITA Courtesy of Naitonal Archives

They do..but far in between. The reason is that presenters use a device called AUTOCUE. It is a facility where the script is display on a TV monitor and by an arrangement of mirrors the script is reflected directly together with the camera lens on to the eyes of the reader. As such the presenter is always looking into the lens and reading the script the same time..VVIPs also use the AUTOCUE . This facility helps to reduce recording time as well make the presenters look good. The AUTOCUE is used first by in US and made popular when US Presidents could not go on TV without it. It is also popular with of Prime Ministers of UK . In an interview on her book The Downing Years former PM Thatcher mentioned the AUTOCUE..
" LAMB: You talk about one of your trips to the States when you addressed the Congress, and that you were up until 4 o'clock in the morning working with what you call in Britain an Autocue -- we call it a TelePrompter -- working on your speech. And you were on an early-morning television show.
THATCHER: About half past 6, yes.
LAMB: How did you do that? How do you do that and stay clear-headed?
THATCHER: I did it because it had to be done. Whatever has to be done, you somehow find the energy to do. To address Congress was the biggest thing that had happened to me, and I knew that Ronald Reagan, when he did it, was absolutely superb, a real professional, and he used the Autocue, or TelePrompter. It is so much better to use it; otherwise you are looking down at your notes. If you've got a TelePrompter, then you are looking up and you may go from one TelePrompter to another, but your eyes never leave the audience. I wasn't as skilled at it as he was so I had to practice, and, in fact, we borrowed his Autocue. But I arrived from the VC10 quite late at the embassy, and they had set up the Autocue. .."

There are different types depending on the usage. I believe the device above was brought into the studios at Caldecott Hill in the late 70s following a trip to the White House.....

Please share your experience if you know about this equipment Auto or Telepromter..

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