Many people, even those not used to audiovisual production slang, know what we refer to when we talk about a ‘gobbo’ (hunchbacked, in Italian).

The term comes from the theatre and indicates a small dome protecting a gap in the middle of the proscenium where the person appointed to give suggestions and lines to the actors, called the prompter, stood.

With the diffusion of movie and television production, the ‘gobbo’ became, generically, every instrument used on set to allow the actors to read their lines (or some keywords): starting from the studio assistant holding some papers while standing beside the camera, up to scrolling screens, sometimes even incorporated to the cameras.

These ‘special screens’ are called teleprompters: they are composed of a support mounted under the camera lens on which is placed a screen (usually a tablet); on it scrolls the speech or interview text, controlled from a short distance with a remote control; the text is then reflected on a mirror placed directly on the lens, like a ‘hood’ which can even remind the looks of those ‘curtains’ used in the past to shield the camera (and the photographer’s head) from the light, in those first daguerreotypes.

The teleprompter allows the subject of a video to speak directly toward the camera, looking into the lens, making almost completely disappear the impression that the eyes are reading a text. The discourse is made fluid by the possibility to read it right in front of one’s self: the main character is then free to focus their attention to their movements, the pauses to take and those small extra points they’d like to add to the speech, without losing the thread or having to strain their memory.

It is a helpful assistant which guarantees a spontaneous and natural touch to institutional messages and interviews, even when backed up with a well sketched up text. Our clients have come to appreciate its benefits to the point where they often require its use.

Edithink has been employing this instrument for more than twenty years, initially coming from a TV experience. Lately, we have acquired light and thin instruments, ideal for corporate communication in which we observe the necessity of small productions to guarantee the least waste of time to our clients, often important chiefs of company.