Teleprompter Career Gratitude

I’ve been teleprompting professionally for at least 30 years now. I started thinking how cool life is. I just felt it needed to be put out there, as a simple act of thanks to many of the people who have given me some nice opportunities and who have been fun to be around in this cool industry.

The following is kinda long. Read it if you feel like getting to know me better. Skip this post if you know I’m pretty happy in life and that’s enough:)

Big thanks to my film teacher at Chico state, George Rogers who got me my first internship at Murphy Film Group near Sacramento. Bob Murphy and Carolyn Belz were excellent and kind as they allowed me to learn on the job as they made commercials and political spots.

They introduced me to Cal Image who put the first teleprompter in my hands. I ended up working for both Murphy Film Group and Cal Image freelance after my internship ended. Because I was using temperamental “well-used” gear and expected to provide professional service, I chose to purchase my own prompting system to augment what Cal Image provided.

They quickly let me know since I now owned equipment, they saw me as a competitor and stopped hiring me… which forced me to be self reliant and by default, ta-daa: a competitor:) I sincerely thank them for letting me go, and forcing me to start my own company.

When New View Films came to shoot several spots in Sacramento for the Money Store, Murphy Film Group gave them my name as a good Production Assistant.

Danny and Barney Colangelo introduced me to a higher level of commercial filmmaking, plus many crew members whose skill and humor amaze me to this day. Dave Lezynski, Lambo, Garrett Freberg, Carolyn Tyler and Mary Sue Thomsen. Eventually, I moved up from PA, to art department, to teleprompter operator. Working with the Colangelo brothers was my entry to the Bay Area filmmaking. Much gratitude guys!

It was my awesome roommate Pat Sielski who gave my name to Total Media and Magnetic Image that started my audio career…

The wonderful people at Mag Image in turn gave my name to Susan Reimenschnieder who brought me aboard the Cisco/ Howard Charney/ Mary Barnsdale/ Jeff Eby/ Arnel Torres “world traveling teleprompter” train for about ten incredible years. Whew… I still miss that stuffed passport.

When Total hosted a shoot for Oracle, I met Bruce Hamady who facilitated many fun shoots with me now billing myself as a corporate art director and set builder.

Emery Clay is like a brother to me, working together on HGTV shows, and even convincing them they should do a “House Detective” show on my “should have never been built” house in Point Richmond.

I’m super grateful for my incredible, fantastic team of prompter operators: Ralph Kelliher, Jim Thylin, Martin Hyland, Charlie Kuttner, Jason LaBatt, Zak Eby, Lauren Mentzel, Sam Goldhaber, my brother Thom Tanner, my Operations Manager, Kelly Lawrence and Shop Manager, Albert Leung. Plus many others who have helped me along the way.

There’s been so many other cool people and companies, too, and in no particular order: Chater Camera, Rebel Sun, Alan Steinheimer, Jon Francis Films, Lucasfilm, Little Giant, Greg Freeman, Hub Strategy, Mac House, Ken Butler, PacSat, Acme Spots, Markham, Legion, Macy’s Satellite Network, Mark Herzig, Craig Patterson, Luke Seerveld, Robert Strong, Chris Coughlin, Doug Freeman, Paul Tisa, Paul Koblik, Japji, Conchita, and JP Morgan, too.

I’ve not listed everyone cool in my career here, sorry. Know that I appreciate you anyway. A lot.

Even John “Got to Go!” Bennett and Dawn Scribner.

I’d have to list the entire past & present Reel Directory if I could (Thanks Lynetta Freeman)

This is such a great career—where I can honestly say I love coming to work—serving clients, learning a ton, and making the talent be comfortable and authentic.

I’m just in a special place: Thanks y’all! Here’s to another decade of fun, camaraderie, and teleprompter magic.

In humble amazement… Neil Tanner.