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As background, I have a very low budget setup, complete with using an iPhone 6 as my camera (with Filmic Pro as the software, so I can manually change things like exposure and focus). I made a teleprompter which has been working for me out of a cardboard box (coated on the inside with black tape) and an iPad (since I'm reading song lyrics, I don't need an operator). I used to be able to get video that was good enough quality for my purposes. I am shooting with Cowboy Studio umbrella lights in my garage.

My question is this: since adding the makeshift teleprompter, the video became darker and much grainier. I think it's because it's basically shooting through a black tunnel, and I have to crop the edges off. Within Filmic Pro, I have manual access to ISO and shutter speed, as well as a separate "Exposure Compensation" which seems to change the previous two values. How can I remove the darkness and graininess? I've tried increasing the ISO or decreasing the shutter speed, but my video ended up looking like badly done stop-motion animation. Did I go too far? Do I need to change the lighting setup?

Setup from rear This is my setup from the rear, including both lights, the backdrop, and the cameraphone tripod and box-prompter.

Setup from side 1 This is my setup from the side, showing distance from cameraphone/tripod to microphone, which is where the talent (me) stands.

  • Can you post a picture of the setup? Are you using a beam splitter (two way mirror)? – Michael Liebman Aug 26 '16 at 23:40
  • I'll try to get a picture tomorrow. I am using plain glass from a picture frame, not tinted or anything. – Cassandra Gelvin Aug 27 '16 at 5:56
  • Okay, I added two pictures. I took a third one which shows more closely how the two tripods and the box-prompter are positioned, but I don't have high enough reputation to post three and I'm not sure exactly which part of the setup will help the most. – Cassandra Gelvin Aug 27 '16 at 15:16
  • I can't really see it clearly enough, but why do you need the box and the glass? Why not just put the iPad as close to the iPhone as you can without the rig? – Michael Liebman Aug 27 '16 at 23:22
  • Without the reflection, the talent wouldn't be looking at the lens, or camera, and that would be noticeable. – Cassandra Gelvin Aug 28 '16 at 14:43

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