Case Histories

Prompting in Chinese
Walker’s last minute prompter need
Relationship building
The Strawberry Powered Chip

It's not just a job. It's not just a technical service.

When we work for you we consider ourselves part of your team. We're committed to helping produce your best possible outcome.

So when a bit of dialogue isn’t delivered as written, or if something doesn’t seem right, we’re not shy about asking.

Each situation is different, of course.  If there are five people from the agency watching every take, you don’t want or need suggestions from us; but when it’s a small crew of two with one client, most producers appreciate the extra eyes and ears.  Sometimes, it’s just how we ask the question.  For instance, “does it bother you that …?” 

Every assignment's different.  Each one has its challenges — and we meet those challenges with professionalism. We go above and beyond technical expertise to provide a unique service, as you'll see in these stories.
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Prompting in Chinese

A client asked if we could prompt some video projects in Chinese.  “I think so…” I said, knowing our high-end prompter software is multilingual. In this case, we applied a bit of ear for detail to get the result we wanted.

First, we researched the Chinese font.  It’s not standard on US versions of Windows.  Once we found and installed the correct font, our software indeed produced Chinese characters from the script.  

But how to pace the scrolling words for the on-camera talent when our prompter tech Dave couldn’t read them? Fortunately, a few English words in the script enabled him to scroll in sync with the speaker’s pace.

Then our client gave him a script with several sentences of Chinese characters, and no English by which to navigate.  As they began recording, Dave noticed that by attending to the rhythm of the language, he could pace the prompter according to the pauses at commas and periods.  (Who knew there were commas and periods in Chinese?)

Did Dave stay on-track? He asked the presenter if the prompter was keeping up and she said, “The prompter is perfect.  It’s as though you could read Chinese!”
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Walker’s last minute prompter need

Late one evening (about 10pm), my long-time client Walker called to request a prompter for 8am the next morning.  We were able to help. And he followed with this email:

“A lot of what we were shooting today was people going beyond the call of duty. So along those lines, let me say that I have really appreciated our 'partnership'. There are not many people that I can call on just ten hours notice. Thanks for being there today.”
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Relationship Building

After a multi-day project prompted by operator tech Renee, a client wrote,

“As a media trainer and presentation coach working with teleprompter operators all over the country, my recent experience with Dallas Prompter exceeded all expectations.

“Part of the job at an annual conference was to prep presenters for their big speeches before two thousand peers.  Some had used prompters before and some had not, and operator Renee Roberts gave comforting reassurance that she was there to follow their lead.  Many last minute changes were no problem, and the running joke at dress rehearsals was that she must be reading minds, completing changes on the prompter before the speakers finished making them from the podium.

“Renee’s extra effort was key in successful presentations. Our leaders got to know her on a first-name basis and all were grateful for her calm attentiveness.

“Thank you Renee and Dallas Prompter.  You made my job easier and everyone looked great.”
-- Mark W., Boston, MA
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The Strawberry Powered Chip

We were hired to prompt a video about a silicon chip that operates with very low-power.  To make the point, they produced a short video with the designers giving a demo of the chip -- powered by the acid from a strawberry.

When I arrived, the producer explained the project.  We would record the chip designer (on-prompter) as he introduced the device, break from the prompter and shoot b-roll as they connected the chip to the strawberry, and then finish with the designer back on camera, reading from the prompter.

During the prompter break, I watched as they tried to connect the wires to the strawberry and the chip.  It was a bit of a struggle, the wires didn’t stay in the strawberry, the chip and berry wouldn’t stay in position, and setting it up took more effort than expected.

They were finally successful.  The LCD clock came to life and began counting off seconds.  The crew and I watched this for a few moments.  The producer turned to me and said, “okay, now let’s rebuild the prompter.”

I was about to spring into action, but something was bothering me.  I didn’t remember anyone saying “roll camera.”  So I asked the producer, “Don’t you need a shot of the chip and strawberry working?”

“Oh right,” he said, “thanks for reminding me!”
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