Musicians using a concert teleprompter is more common than you would think.

Taeyang performing with a concert teleprompter in San Francisco.
Musicians have a lot of lyrics and songs to memorize. Naturally, when they’re on stage they can’t mess up. However, they merely use the concert teleprompter to jog their memory—they’re not staring at it the entire performance:) The prompter also can act as a set list. We’ve supplied concert teleprompters for Sting, Liza Minnelli, Metallica, Snoop Dogg, Rufus Wainwright, and T-Bone Burnett. A concert teleprompter is also known as a “word wedge”, or sometimes called a “stage teleprompter”.

Kpop superstar Taeyang (from Big Bang) came to San Francisco for an MTV concert right before Thanksgiving. We were hired to provide a concert teleprompter and operator for his event.

This was a particular challenge since the lyrics were mostly in Korean. We’ve prompted in many other languages, but Korean is new to our team. I searched Craigslist and found local Korean translator, Yano Rhee. Luckily, he had a degree in film and had worked in AV companies before transitioning to the medical field. Yano recently worked with the survivors of the Asiana SFO crash. When I interviewed him, I learned he had a musical background—the electric bass—and was excited by the challenge. We met the day before the concert to go over the teleprompter software, and then rehearse with the band.

Moving the Concert Teleprompter

Right before we left for the night, I was requested to move the teleprompter equipment from it’s initial location. Normally, the prompter sits low on the stage between the musicians and the fans. However, since this was being recorded and broadcast by MTV, cameras positioned behind Taeyang would see the concert teleprompter too. Since I have a background in grip and rigging, a quick trip to the local expendables store, JCX, was all that was needed.

The next morning I hung the monitor from the stage speakers near the ceiling. Taeyang agreed with the exact placement, since it was a balance of seeing his lyrics, and appeasing the MTV cameras. Running cables through the curtain was done well before the other stage crew got in, so there was no work interference.Taeyang from the K-pop supergroup Big Bang perfomed in San Francisco for MTV using our concert teleprompter.

There’s a reason behind the particular joy I have in using a concert teleprompter: I used to perform in bands on saxophone, so I miss the synergy that comes from working together on something live that causes my feet to tap along to the music. The first concert that I ever did teleprompting for was Liza Minnelli. What a rush to be part of that ensemble! Even though I was not playing an instrument, I was keeping time and being in sync with the musicians, so the familiar thrill came back.

It was no different with Taeyang, even though I was not personally teleprompting his lyrics for the concert. Yano had that honor. I loved the crowd and performance and learned quite a bit about the K-pop fanbase and industry.

It was an honor to work with Taeyang, his fans, his team from YG, the great crew from Oceanwatch, Yano, MTV, the staff at Bimbo’s 365, and the local stage technicians.

Learn how our friendly team of skilled teleprompter operators can save you time and money.

Teleprompting drama with millionaire donors.

Film director James Cameron is on stage in front of hundreds of wealthy X PRIZE Foundation donors. He’s reading a speech from a teleprompter in order to raise funds and awareness. People are listening attentively and writing checks.

What you don’t know is that just hours before the live event, the in-house teleprompter system failed. The producers had selected an employee with only marginal prompter experience and operating flawed teleprompter software. When it became apparent this vital part of the evening’s fundraising event was not going to perform, the producers reached out to their contacts and found us. Luckily, we were close by with gear and were able to be there in minutes. We interfaced with their existing equipment, met with the other presenters, and were able to format a master script in time for Cameron’s performance. The event was a success, and sizable funds were raised for a worthy project.

Learn how our friendly team of skilled teleprompter operators can save you time and money.

 

The CEO of Kaiser Permanente is sitting in a TV studio, reading from our camera mount teleprompter. Three takes later, he’s off to catch an important flight.

What you don’t know is that he was kept waiting for hours while another company’s teleprompter repeatedly failed. And, once they developed a work-around, their teleprompting software failed. The production company then called us. Since we store over 20 teleprompters at our office, we were able to drive directly there. We met with the camera operator and producer to assess the situation. We then quickly set up our teleprompter, loaded their script file, and re-formatted it for teleprompting. We did one rehearsal to make sure the CEO was satisfied. Just three takes later, “It’s a wrap.”

The CEO was able to make his flight, the production company got their shot, and they didn’t waste a whole day’s budget.

What is that level of reliability and peace of mind worth to you?

Learn how our friendly team of skilled teleprompter operators can save you time and money.

 

Barack Obama outdoor Teleprompter

Our special teleprompter system makes it easy for last minute script entry.

Barack Obama walks up to the lectern at an election rally in 2008.

He delivers his speech with grace, power, and emotion. He reads off our outdoor presidential teleprompter while giving numerous ad libs to the crowd.

What the audience doesn’t know is that we were handed his script only a few minutes before. We normally prefer 30 to 60 minutes before an event to edit scripts into the most readable teleprompter format. However, that day we flew through his script to triage the editing for best use of the available minutes.

It was his staff’s trust in us and our decades of experience that let them deliver the speech moments before he took the stage. He connected perfectly with the audience, and later that year, Barack Obama became our country’s 44th President.

Learn how our friendly team of skilled teleprompter operators can save you time and money.