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Publication numberUS2696753 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 14, 1954
Filing dateApr 14, 1950
Priority dateApr 14, 1950
Publication numberUS 2696753 A, US 2696753A, US-A-2696753, US2696753 A, US2696753A
InventorsHerbst John G, Klion Sanford J, Peckjian Arnold J, Segal Robert H
Original AssigneeKlion, Script Aid Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Projecting script roll prompting apparatus for actors
US 2696753 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 14, 1954 R, SEGAL ETAL 2,696,753

PROJECTING SCRIPT ROLL PROMPTING APPARATUS FOR ACTORS Filed April 14, 1950 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS ROBERT H. sEGflL SANFORD J. KLION JOHN G. HERBST BY 1 pm/0w PECKJ/AN Dec. 14, 1954 R. H. SEGAL. ETAL 2,696,753

PROJECTING SCRIPT ROLL PROMPTING APPARATUS FOR ACTORS Filed April 14. 1950 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 I FIG. 8.

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INVEN OR5 4 ROEERT H. seem K snm ono J. KL/ON JOHN G. HERBST y &RR- 1.0 DECK/JAN United States Patent PROJECTING SCRIPT ROLL PROMPTING APPARATUS FOR ACTORS Robert H. Sega and Sanford J. Klion, New York, John G. Herbst, Brooklyn, and Arnold J. Peckjian, Astoria, N. Y., assiguors of fifteen per cent to said Klion and eighty-five per cent to Script-Aid Corporation, New York, N. Y.

Application April 14, 1950, Serial No. 156,004 2 Claims. (Cl. 8828) Thisinvention relates to prompting devices for actors, announcers, speakers whereby the lines or script are visually. displayed in convenient locations for aiding the actor or speaker in saying his lines.

An object of the invention is to provide an improved and novel form of prompting devices which is of par ticular use in connection with television or newsreel productions, in which there is little time to prepare and to engage in long rehearsals prior to the production itself.

Another object of the invention is to provide a novel prompting device including several prompting aids disposed at several locations about the stage or set, out of range of the cameras in use, and carrying in each of such prompting aids a copy of the script, suitably enlarged so as to be seen easily by the actor, and arranged to be moved as desired by the production director as the words are. spoken.

A further object of the invention is to provide a novel prompting aid in which the written material is printed upon a roll of film or any other suitable transparent material adapted to beunrolled therefrom and onto another roll, while passing before. a light beam from a high intensity source of light, the enlarged image being cast upon a translucent screen in the view of the actor.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a novel prompting aid of the type described, in which the script is projected upon a viewing screen from a film, and in, which novel means are provided so that special additional directions to the actor may be marked upon the film at any time, to be projected upon the viewing screen, thus avoiding the need for oral and audible rendering of such instructions.

A further object of the invention is to provide a script prompting aid device in which the scrip is movably displayed upon several script aid devices simultaneously, from different angles relative to the actors on the stage, and in which the director, by suitably turning his. script traverse mechanism causes the other script aid devices to move simultaneously therewith, and in which he may also reverse the movement of the script if needed.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description of a preferred embodiment thereof as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, and in which,

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a stage, with actors, and showing a television camera and several script aids disposed about the stage for displaying the script to the actors, and showing the directors script aid.

Figure. 2 is a perspective view showing the television camera, with a script aid mounted thereon.

Figure 3 is a top plan view of the directors script aid.

.ig'ure 4 is a sectional elevation taken on plane 44 ofFigure 2, through the script aid itself.

Figure 5 is a sectional elevation taken on plane 55 of Figure 4.

Figure 6 is a sectional elevation taken on plane 66 of Figure-3.

Figure 7 is a perspective view of a film guide employed in the device of Figure 5, showing the film passing over its backing plate.

Figure 8 is a schematic diagram of the circuits showing how power is supplied through the switches on the directors script aid, to the various electric devices used.

Figure. 9 is aschematic diagram of the connections of a pair of selsyns, thatv is, the transmitter and the receiver, as connected to the power lines.

Figure 10. isa wiring diagram showing the operation of the concentrated point source are lamp.

It has been found that the production of television plays and shows is beset with great difficulties particularly since the material is frequently used only once and then discarded. As a result, the actors find it quite difiicult to memorize their lines, when they have only a short time in which todo so, whereas in'the usual stage productions, the same play is rendered over and over again, each night for several weeks or months, and intense memorization by the actors is more readily undertaken.

The present invention provides a solution to this problem, by setting up a number of script aids about the stage setting, but just out of camera range of the tele vision camera. The script is displayed in enlarged-form upon these script aids, and is printed upon a film roll, which is turned under the control of the program director as the play progresses. Thus, the actors, should they momentarily forget theirlines, can merely look generally in any direction on the stage and will see, clearly en larged, the exact lines which are supposed to be spoken at that precise time. A similar script aid may be mounted upon the televison camera itself, to similarly aid the actor when directly addressing the television audience, or for a close-up view.

In order to understand clearly the nature of the in vention, and the best means for carrying it out, reference may now be had to the drawings, in which like numerals denote similar parts throughout the several views.

As seen in Figure 1, there is a stage 10 with actors shown thereon, and having walls or scenery partitions 16, 18 and 20. A television camera is shown at 22,, being mounted upon a rotatable stand 24, and having turret lenses 26. A number of script aids 28a, 28b, 28c, and 28:! are showndisposed about the stage set, those at 28a and 28b being supported upon brackets 30 upon the set walls, but out of the camera range, so as not to be visible thereto.

The script aids 28d and 28c are supported upon tripods 32 and 34, and a' fifth script aid 23c is mounted directly upon the side of the television camera 22, by means of brackets 36 and 38. All the script aids 28b, 1), c, d and e are identical in construction, and each has a viewing screen 40 made of ground glass, ground plastic sheeting, or other suitable material'upon which the enlarged image of the script may be cast, by means of the point light source lamp 42. The outer surface of the viewing screen 40' should be non-glossy, so that it does not readily reflect the intense lights used for illuminating the stage set, which reflections would otherwise prevent the actors from seeing the enlarged script shown thereon.

The concentratedarc lamp 42, which is mounted in the socket 44 on the. wall 4-6 of the script aid 21% and of course also in the other script aids 23a, [2, c and d, since all the script aids are identical in construction, is a new type of light source in which permanent electrodes are are sealed into a glass bulb filled with an inert gas such as argon. The source of the light is a small incandescent spot which forms on a specially prepared refractory oxide cathode. When the arc is established, the oxide surface is raised to its melting temperature, and a brilliant white light is emitted by the molten surface and a cloud of vaporized material which extends for a few thousandths of an inch from the cathode. This vapor returns to the cathode, thus renewing the surface. The lamps are unique. because, in various sizes, their light emitting spot may be as small as 0.003 inch or as large as one-tenth of an inch in diameter, and with brightnesses up to 65,000 candles per square inch. The lamps are useful for narrow-beam and high-intensity applications, and in small sizes the lamps are a close approach to a point source.

They operate on direct current, or from Well-filtered rectified alternating current, and are started with a high voltage which breaks down the gap in the lamps, ai are run with sufficient resistance ballast in series to limit their cur-rent. Such lamps are manufactured by the Western .UnionTelegraph Company of 60 Hudson Street, New York city, and are further described in their Engineering Bulletin 38B. Referring to Figure 8, it is seen 3 that alternating current from the input power lines 50 and 52 is conducted by wires 54 and 56 through switch 58 on the directors control panel 60, to the power unit 62 for the concentrated arc lamp 42, so that rectified direct current is supplied to the arc lamp 42, through the wires 64 and 66.

Inside the power unit box 62, as shown in Figure 10, are disposed a step down transformer 63 feeding into rectifiers 65, and across the output leads 64 and 66 is connected the concentrated arc lamp with a series ballast resistor 67. For starting the lamp, a normally closed switch in series with a ballast resistor 71 is connected in parallel with the concentrated arc lamp 42 and its series ballast resistor 67, the switch blade being subject to magnetic attraction. An iron core inductance 75 having an open small air gap is connected in series with one of the direct current wires between the rectifier output and the switch, so that when the current is turned on, direct current flows through the inductor, the switch and its resistor, generating a magnetic field across the air gap in the iron core of the inductor, which attracts the switch blade, opening the switch and interrupting the current. When the current is interrupted, an inductive pulse, generated across the inductor, breaks down the arc gap in the concentrated arc lamp, and the lamp becomes operative, the lamp current flowing through the inductor holding the switch in open position.

The use of the concentrated point source are lamp 42 makes it unnecessary to employ lenses to focus the image of the script imprinted on the script film 70, upon the viewing screen 40. The script film 70 is rolled upon the upper spindle 72 of each script aid and the directors script aid also, which is shown in sectional detail in Figure 6, and is unrolled therefrom, onto the lower spindle 74, shown in Figures 3, 4 and 5. The spindles, which include hollow cylinders 76 secured upon hubs 78 and 80 for rotation therewith, are in turn carried upon shafts 82 for rotation therewith. From Figure 6 it is seen that the shaft 82 is journaled at its right end in a bearing 84 formed in a supporting bracket 86 carried by the base 60 for Figure 6, or carried by the end wall 88 in Figures 4 and 5, and shown at 86a in those views.

At the other end, as seen again in Figure 6, the shaft 90 of the reverse selsyn transmitter 92 extends into the hub 78 and is secured therein by a set screw, so as to support the same for rotation therewith. The selsyn transmitter for forward drive is shown at 94, and it is mounted on the base 60 just like the one shown in Figure 6, so that, for illustrative purposes, the sectional view of Figure 6, shown as taken on plane 6--6 of Figure 3, that is through the upper selsyn and the roller 72, but may also be understood as illustrating the construction of the lower selsyn and associated rollers and shafts.

It is seen that both the left hand hubs 78 and 78a of Figure 3 project radially in disc-like fashion, to substantially greater diameter than that of the cylinders 72 upon which the script film 70 is wound. This radial portion acts as a stop at the left portion of each cylinder roll 72 and 74. The fihn 70 may be of cellulose acetate, with the script wording imprinted thereon.

In the wall 94 of the housing shown in Figures 4 and 5, an opening is formed at 96 to allow the light from the lamp 42 to project therethrough and through the film 70, and onto the viewing screen 40. A film guiding frame 98, shown in perspective in Figure 7, is placed over the left side of this opening 96 as seen in Figure 4, and secured thereto by means of screws 100. The film guiding frame 98 includes a frame base 102 with an opening 106 formed therein to match the opening 16 in the wall 94.

A transparent backing plate 108 of glass or other suitable material, is seated in the opening 106, as seen best in Figures 4 and 7, and the film 70 passes t'hereover, the light from the lamp 42 coming through the backing plate 108. This backing plate is also useful inasmuch as the director may open the forward portion 110 of the script aid housing, which is hinged at 112 to the main portion 114, and write directly upon the film such additional instructions for the actor as are needed, without the need for giving verbal audible instructions. The marking hav ing been completed, the housing is again closed, and the instructions are projected upon the viewing screen. The backing plate 108 thus serves to provide a stiff writing surface when needed for the film. It is understood, of course, that when writing on the film, suitable crayon or pencil will be employed.

The film guide frame 98 has two side members 114 and 116 carried on the outer face of the frame base 102, parallel with the side margins of the opening 106, and 1t also has two top and bottom members 118 and 120, which bridge across the outer end surfaces of the side members 114 and 116. From Figure 7, it is clear that the film 70 thus passes between the two side members 114 and 116, and under the top and bottom end members 118 and 120, being thus guided in the slot or passageway formed thereby.

The film directors panel, shown in Figure 3 has a similar film guide frame 98a, with the corresponding parts marked with the suffix a, as 114a and 116a. However, it is seen that the film directors panel does not have the front housing with the viewing screen 40, as do the script aids 28.

A line 122 is etched or marked on the viewing screen 40, as seen in Figure 2, and a similar line 122a is stretched across between the two side guide members 114a and 116a but over the script passing thereunder. This marking line indicates the exact words of the script which are at any moment to be spoken, and the script is so turned that the said words appear right above the marking line. Thus, at a glance, the actor can read off his lines right above the marking line, without looking all over the viewing screen, and the director turns his script in such fashion as to maintain the correct alignment of the script words with this line.

It is not necessary for the directors control panel 60 to be provided with rearward illumination as from a projection lamp 42, since he needs no enlargement of his script. If, however, this is considered necessary, then such illumination can easily be provided.

From Figure 3, it is seen that each of the shafts 82 and 82a has a crank handle 120 and 122 by means of which the director can turn the script either up or down, that is, forward or reverse. Normally, the script will all be rolled up on the top roller 72, and unrolled upon the bottom roller 74 by turning the lower crank handle 122. As the rollers 72 and 74 thus turn, their respective selsyns 92 or 94 will turn together therewith. By means of switch 126 shown in Figures 3 and 8, the proper electrical connection is made, the switch 126 being a double pole, double throw switch. When it is thrown in one direction, the lower selsyn transmitter 94 is operative as the crank 122 is turned, moving the script downwards as seen in Figure 3. The turning of the selsyn transmitter 94 by the director causes the receiver selsyn 130 in such script aid housing 28a, b, c, d and e, to turn in the same direction and at the same speed as that of the director on his panel 60 of Figure 3. Hence all the scripts move together and in synchronism with the script of the director. Further, whenever the directors script stops moving, all the scripts stop moving.

If, for some reason, the director desires to move the script in reverse, as for example, to wind it back on the upper roller, then all he has to do is flip his selsyn control switch 126 over to reverse position. And then he turns upper crank 120, actuating selsyn transmitter 92, and all the corresponding upper selsyn receivers 132 in each of the script aid housings 28a, b, c, d and e. In

Figure 9, the condensers 134 and 136 are employed to limit hunting when the selsyn switch 126 is thrown. A servo-mechanism may also be used for this purpose, if desired.

On top of each of the script-aid housings 2811, b, c, d and 6, there are mounted a red lamp 138 and a green lamp 140. The directors table 60 in Figure 3 has a third switch 142, also shown in Figure 8, which may be flipped one way to turn on the red lamp, indicating that the actors should slow down, in reading their lines, or he may flip it the other way to turn on the green lamp, indicating that the actors should read faster, the switch being arranged for a central neutral position when both lamps would be out.

From the above description, it is apparent that this is a very useful device, particularly when actors are performing before the television camera.

It will be understood that, although we have described our invention in specific terms, various changes may be made in size, shape, materials and arrangement without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as claimed.

We claim:

1. A script prompting system comprising a directors control panel, a first script roller rotatably mounted on said control panel, a first crank for turning said first script roller, a first selsyn transmitter turnable with said first script roller, a second script roller rotatably mounted on said control panel below said first script roller, a second crank for turning said second script roller, a second selsyn transmitter turnable with said second script roller, a script roll bearing a script and rolled about said first and second script rollers, a roll guide disposed between said first and second script rollers and in the path of said script roll, means in said roll guide for maintaining the alignment of said script roll, line means in said roll guide and extending across the path of said script roll, for indicating script portions thereon, at least one script aid housing disposed in the line of vision of an actor while on a stage, a viewing screen carried on said script aid housing, a projection lamp in said housing and adapted to cast a light beam on said viewing screen, a script aid roll guide disposed in the path of said light beam, first and second script aid rollers mounted rotatably in said housing, a second script roll corresponding to said first script roll and bearing a script thereon, said script roll being wound around said first and second script aid rollers in said housing and engaging said script aid roll guide to pass through the path of said light beam, whereby said script thereon is projected upon said viewing screen for prompting said actor, a first selsyn receiver rotatable with said first script aid roller, a second selsyn receiver rotatable with said second script aid roller, power line means connected to said selsyn transmitters and receivers for actuating the same, wire means interconnecting portions of said selsyn transmitters and receivers for causing the same to turn in synchronism with each other, and switch means interposed in said power line means and said wire means for alternatively interconnecting the said first selsyn transmitter with said first selsyn receiver, and the said second transmitter with said second receiver, whereby upon turning said first roller in said control panel the said first selsyn transmitter causes said first selsyn receiver connected therewith to turn, and whereby, upon interconnecting said second selsyns together, turning of said second roller in said control panel causes said second selsyn receiver to turn, whereby, upon turning one of said first and second rollers on said control panel, the script on both said control panel and said script aid housing will move in unison.

2. A script prompting system comprising a directors control panel, a first script roller rotatably mounted on said control panel, a first crank for turning said first script roll, a first selsyn transmitter turntable with said first script roller, a second script roller rotatably mounted on said panel below said first script roller, a second crank for turning said second script roller, a second selsyn transmitter turntable with said second script roller, a script roll bearing a script and rolled about said first and second script rollers, a roll guide disposed between said first and second script rollers and in the path of said script roll, means in said roll guide for maintaining the alignment of said script roll, line means in said roll guide and extending across the path of said script roll, for indicating script portions thereon, at least one script aid housing disposed in the line of vision of an actor while on a stage, a viewing screen guide on script aid housing, a projection lamp in said housing and adapted to cast a light beam on said viewing screen, a script aid roll guide disposed in the path of said light beam, first and second script aid rollers mounted rotatably on said housing, a second script roll corresponding to said first script roll and bearing a script thereon, said script being wound around said first and second script aid rollers in said housing and engaging said script aid roll guide to pass through the path of said light beam, whereby said script thereon is projected upon said viewing screen for prompting said actor, a first selsyn receiver rotatable with said first script aid roller, a second selsyn receiver rotatable with said second script aid roller, power line means connected to said selsyn transmitters and receivers for actuating the same, wire means interconnecting portions of said selsyn transmitters and receivers for causing the same to turn in synchronism with each other, and switch means in said power line means and said wire means for alternatively interconnecting with said first selsyn transmitter with said first selsyn receiver, and said second transmitter with said second receiver, whereby upon turning said first roller in said control panel the said first selsyn transmitter causes said first selsyn receiver connected therewith to turn, and whereby upon interconnecting said second selsyns together turning of said second roller of said control panel causes said second selsyn receiver to turn, whereby, upon turning one of said first and second rollers on said control panel, the script on both said control panel and said script aid housing will move in unison, said system including a housing for said second selsyn, said housing being mounted upon a. television and motion picture camera.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,263,355 Artigue Apr. 16, 1918 1,489,510 Stromberg Apr. 8, 1924 1,590,199 McDonnell June 29, 1926 1,837,979 Mensman Dec. 22, 1931 1,838,170 Arano Dec. 29, 1931 1,909,815 De Florez May 16, 1933 1,959,038 Ridgway May 15, 1934 1,965,906 Pettingell July 10, 1934 1,985,253 Hopkins Dec. 25, 1934 2,291,931 Troeger Aug. 4, 1942 2,364,369 Jelley et a1. Dec. 5, 1944 2,374,486 Howell Apr. 24, 1945 2,412,551 Pratt et a1. Dec. 10, 1946 2,425,217 Wienke Aug. 5, 1947 2,457,914 Nemeth Jan. 4, 1949 2,475,641 Rosenberg July 12, 1949 2,598,947 Thielen June 3, 1952 OTHER REFERENCES Heckler et al.: Abstract, Serial No. 702,106, published November 1, 1949, 628 O. G. 255.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2860544 *Jun 8, 1955Nov 18, 1958Teleprompter CorpCuing device
US2883902 *Oct 14, 1954Apr 28, 1959Jess OppenheimerPrompting apparatus
US2981144 *Sep 6, 1957Apr 25, 1961De Frenes Joseph FlorianPrompting system
US3326577 *Oct 23, 1965Jun 20, 1967Francis GreifMemorandum devices
US3748384 *Jan 17, 1972Jul 24, 1973O Tv IncClosed circuit television prompting device
US3749485 *Dec 10, 1970Jul 31, 1973Carter Products Co IncShadow-line projector for assembly reference
US5477282 *Jul 29, 1994Dec 19, 1995Detroit Innovative Products CompanySpeech prompter
US5946836 *Feb 24, 1997Sep 7, 1999Sahebolamri; AhmadVariable display device
Classifications
U.S. Classification353/46, 40/471, 352/4, 353/122, 242/546
International ClassificationG03B21/132, A63J25/00, A63J99/00
Cooperative ClassificationG03B21/132, A63J25/00
European ClassificationG03B21/132, A63J25/00