How Using a Teleprompter Can Elevate Your Video’s Messaging

For even the most comfortable on-camera speaker, teleprompters can do so much more than provide a convenient scroll of script, they can be an amazing tool for staying on topic or striking a specific tone. Padcaster spoke with filmmaker and podcast host Larry Milburn on why he chose the Padcaster Parrot Teleprompter when he created his video raising awareness for the Live Nation Global Relief Fund. Larry is no stranger to speaking on camera or conducting unscripted interviews for his podcast Roadie Free Radio, but when it came to creating a video centered on garnering donations for behind-the-scenes music and film crews, he wanted to make sure he got it right. The Padcaster Parrot Teleprompter provided Larry with what he needed to speak candidly about a subject he cares deeply about. Read about his experience with the Parrot below. 

Why did you choose to use the Parrot Teleprompter for the Live Nation Global Relief Fund video in particular? You mentioned you’re usually more free form in your other videos and don’t use a script.

My goal was to film something that came from the heart, and I didn't want to do a bunch of takes to get it right. I wanted to make sure that the language was absolutely correct. I also didn't want to be fumbling for stuff. I thought the Parrot Teleprompter would help make everything more effective. Plus I wanted to try the technology out to see how I liked it because I was considering using it not only for the Global Relief video, but for other videos on my YouTube Channel, Roadie Free Radio. Normally when I film my other videos I'm sort of going off the cuff a lot, but even if I was just using the Parrot to scroll a bulleted list of things I need to remember, and not a full script, it would help.

You mentioned historically you’ve taken a more free form approach in your other videos. Do you think the Parrot Teleprompter might have a place in some of your other projects? 

Sometimes when I film my other videos I will have written notes out or notes on my phone but with the teleprompter I can just have everything I need scrolling. This Global Relief Fund video was a cool way to try out that idea. 

I think the other point about wanting this video to be scripted was I wanted to have a clear message and I wanted it to feel different than the other videos that I've done. I knew this was a real ask and a real problem so I wanted the video to have some gravity as opposed to it being more informal like my other Vlogs.

What kind of other videos do you think you'll use it for in the future?

I certainly plan to use it with client videos when I start filming those again. I can now say, “Hey, I've got this super easy to use teleprompter and all it needs is a phone” if they’re struggling to speak on camera. 

I will definitely be using it for YouTube videos for the Roadie Free Radio show to keep me on target and especially if I do any more of these more seriously toned types of videos like the COVID-19 Global Relief Fund video. I really like using it even if it’s not for a script and it's just to make sure I’m hitting certain topics or talking points.

I think it’s a really great idea to use the Parrot as a means to keep on track and make sure you’re hitting all the points you need to. Is there any other reason you enjoyed using it?

I also love the Parrot’s versatility when it comes to the step-up rings, I like that I’m not boxed into having to use it with one specific lens size.

 Tell us a little bit more about the Global Relief Fund and Crew Nation.

Absolutely! I care deeply about this community. The crews have brought me into their world and allowed me access and I do firmly believe that without them live shows would not happen.

So whatever I can do now to help them I will try to do it. There are obviously several different avenues to help them. There's MusiCares, and there's the Gibson “Rigs for Relief” happening right now too and of course the Live Nation Global Relief Fund. That the one in particular just spoke to me because they were specifically addressing crew around the world, not just in the U.S.

I jumped on that and I reached out to them directly and offered my help. After speaking with a marketing representative, I came up with the script, filmed it, and uploaded it to YouTube. Once it was done and up on my channel, I sent it to probably a hundred people. 

I got a terrific response from people saying, we would love to help out in any way that we can and, you know, I'd say most people follow through, most people want to help.

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