I show you how to make a cheap, easy and portable DIY Smartphone Teleprompter/Autocue for YouTube. This will help you if you are starting out making videos and need to be able to read a script while also looking at the camera.

What You Need

  • Soft toy box (link)
  • Perspex, Glass or Acrylic (link)
  • Black matt adhesive paper (link)
  • Scissors
  • Spare smartphone
  • Teleprompter App (link)
  • Smartphone or camera to record with
  • Tripods
  • Velcro (optional) (link)
  • Black Sharpie (optional)
  • Black Cloth (optional)

YouTube Video


How to build

Step 1

Cut out a hole in the back of the soft toy box big enough for your camera to look through. This can be done easily with a pair of good quality scissors.

Step 2

Cover the inside (and outside if you wish) of the box in black matt adhesive paper. This will make sure that none of the design is reflected in the perspex (glass or acrylic).

Step 3

Insert the perspex (glass or acrylic) and attach to the bottom of the opening at the back. Next, attach the sides of the perspex (glass or acrylic) to the side of the box at a 45-degree angle. I used Velcro for this as a stopper, so I could move the perspex (glass or acrylic) up and down to get the perfect angle when I insert the smartphone.

Step 4

Insert your spare smartphone (for this I’m using an old Samsung Galaxy S4) into the bottom tray of your soft toy box and load your teleprompter (autocue) software. For this, I am using PromptSmart, although there are loads available on both iOS and Android. Move the smartphone back and forth until the text is projected into the middle of the perspex (glass or acrylic).

Step 5

Position your camera on a tripod at the desired level. On another tripod (or you can use boxes or some other way to hold the teleprompter up) position the teleprompter as close to your camera as possible and line the camera up in the middle of the cut out at the back. Put your black cloth (I just used some black paper) over the back of the camera to make it easier to see the text. Make sure not of the box is in the shot (I use the telephoto lens on my iPhone X as my camera using Filmic Pro).

Step 6

Start to record your videos with your new teleprompter.

Improvements

When using the teleprompter I found that the lighting was showing up on the perspex (glass or acrylic) to combat this I added a piece of black paper over the top of the box.

I also added some velcro to the black paper at the back to hold it up out of the way when I am setting up the shot so it doesn’t get in the way.

I need to cut out some of the front parts of the box as it was showing in my shot. You may need to make further modifications to this project to meet your needs and accommodate the equipment you have.

If you have any marks in the paper, rough edges or small bit of the design showing through, I recommend using more black matt adhesive paper or a black Sharpie for the smaller imperfections.

Let me know in the comments below what you think of this design, if you are going to build it and how you would improve it.

Thanks for reading,
Carl

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