Prompting…Behind the scenes

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turnberryThe Open Championship returns to the Ailsa Course at Turnberry in July 2009 for the first time since 1994 when Nick Price was victorious. The worlds’ greatest golfers will gather to do battle for the famous Claret Jug on what is considered one of the finest courses on The Open rota. 

Earlier on this week I drove the 55 miles to Turnberry with my ProPrompter kit in the back of the car. I had been hired by Metro Ecosse (Edinburgh) as part of a crew to provide my prompting services. I was rather worried that morning as the sun was splitting the sky’s, great for the golfing shots and the odd interview but as any LCD Autocue provider knows…LCD’s and bright sunshine do not mix. 

apple-iphone-in-hand-thumbv2My prompter is especially different as it is very portable which means it is small, the LCD is only 8″ across so the bright sunlight was not going to do it any favours. I discovered the night before that my expensive prompting software was also available for my iPhone so I downloaded it as a safety backup. This was good news and the iPhone as it turned out was brighter and sharper than my LCD but has one major drawback…you need to upload your script to a dedicated server in order to download the script for use on the day but as any autocue operator knows only too well…changes to the script are inevitable so the iPhone version was a handy back-up but operationally very cumbersome.

As it turned out the piece to camera was delayed by an hour, this allowed the sun to hide behind light cloud cover therefore diffusing the light. Our guest was none other than Jack Nicklaus a legend in the world of golf. Jack had had a grueling day for a man of 69 years of jack-nicklaus-to-cameraage… sat down and presented about 10 pieces to camera as if this was his first call of the day. To say he was a pro is an under estimation, he questioned and changed the script without me needing to change the words and it was over in the blink of an eye.

 

The LCD screen was cranked up full, the words were as big as I dare make them but the important part for me was the job was done and Jack was off to another part of his schedule unaware of my initial anxiety about the LCDs performance in daylight and it’s overall size.

 

 

 

 

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