iPads are being used more and more in video production and Ikan is making some awesome products that go with this trend. I was lucky enough to get a new teleprompter both hardware and software from Ikan. Awesome piece of equipment and recommend it to anyone doing teleprompter work and those with very quick set up and break down times.
The first thing I noticed about the kit is weight. I remember as an intern I had to carry a big bulky kit around DC all day, up and down stairs for a construction safety shoot. Needless to say I hated teleprompters from then on. This is under 10lbs and takes only about 5 minutes to set up and the same to break down. When you order yours, be sure to take the time to put it together before going on a shoot. There is a little installation time and luckily I had the time to put it all together the night before.
So how’d it do on set? I was shooting for 522 Productions for a corporate training video so the talent were the ones who worked there. Non of them had experience with reading off a teleprompter nor speaking into a camera with Kinos lighting them up. Some of the comments I received were ‘That was so easy to read’ ‘The pacing was perfect’ ‘After a while I forgot there was a camera behind it’. As a producer and director, that’s exactly what you want to here. As the teleprompter(er) it makes you look good. We shot on the Sony EX3 and the big Ikan baseplate worked great.
The only thing I didn’t like, which isn’t much of a problem for me and many others, is there was no case included. For only $699 I wasn’t surprised and rather then jacking up the price by adding a case, it gives the owner an option on how they want to case it. I recommend a Pelican case. Wouldn’t need anything big and mostly just something to keep the glass and iPad holder safe.
That covers it for the hardware. I will be posting a video soon to accompany this post. The other thing I was able to test is the Elite Prompter iPad App. This thing is great. Simple, easy to use, and you can import scripts from Drop Box and Adobe Story. What I did for this shoot was open the script in Mail, copy the script, and pasted it right into Elite Prompter. From there I was able to change the size, color and bolded certain words. The other feature I loved was cue points. There were different topics that needed to be touched on and I ‘marked’ the beginning of these. What this enabled me to do is easily skip to each topic like you would chapters on a DVD. Although you can set a speed and let the iPad automatically run, I used an Apple wireless keyboard and recommend that. Much easier to control and didn’t have to move. Although you can hook up a monitor to your iPad, I just sat a little aways from the talent and that worked fine.
Overall both of these products work great. If you have any questions, or want me to test out anything in particular be sure to comment and I will try it out for you. Hope you enjoyed this review and be on the look out for a video!