Make Interviews Easier
It’s incredible how much the subject can relax when they have a real person, rather than a lens, to talk to. Relaxed interviews mean fewer re-takes. Absolutely indispensable if you are shooting non-actors.
More Intimate Footage
The eyes speak volumes. The eye to eye connection allows for an intimacy and candor that is hard to achieve otherwise. The EyeDirect makes this connection natural. You’ll see a noticeable difference as the nervous apprehension of your subject melts away. When compared to the alternative: the subject trying to remember to talk naturally to a lens, it’s night and day. This level of comfort allows unexperienced subjects to look away, and then reestablish direct eye-contact with ease.
Film Babies, Film Animals
Even if you are filming kids, dogs or circus animals, the EyeDirect has been proven successful in capturing the attention of the most difficult subjects.
No Surprises in Post
If you have ever discovered your subject’s eye-line darting back and forth in post, you already know how much grief the EyeDirect can save you.
Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris pioneered eye-line interviews with the “Interrotron”. The problem was that it’s a huge rig, with an additional camera for the face of the interviewer and two extra monitors mounted to the front of the cameras, teleprompter style. The genius of the EyeDirect is it’s simplicity. It takes a different approach to accomplish the same powerful interview technique as the Interrotron, but in a compact, lightweight package that requires no power whatsoever.
Highly Adjustable, Award Winning, Patented Design
With minimal setup, the EyeDirect Mark II can be used by either a camera operator/interviewer duo, or a lone camera operator. The adjustable wing mirror tilts toward the top or bottom for director comfort. It can easily be used on the left or right side of the camera. The EyeDirect uses a High quality glass 60/40 beam splitter, identical to most teleprompters, the secondary mirror is also glass. The adjustable 22″ sliding baseplate accommodates balance of most professional cameras. Optional 2″ riser is available for mounting prosumer and still cameras. The opening has a 16×9 ratio field of view (10.25″ x 6.25″) and the lens port diameter is 140mm. A rubber donut is included to block stray light around the lens barrel. The EyeDirect was invented and patented by Director and Cameraman Steve McWilliams. His success with the motion picture rentals of the EyeDirect’s big brother, the EyeLiner MP1, has led to the creation of the smaller EyeDirect Mark II and EyeDirect® Mark E. At NAB 2007 the EyeDirect was awarded the coveted Mario award for innovation.
Doubles as an iPad Teleprompter
With the included iPad accessory, you have a teleprompter/autocue in your kit all the time, making it all the more valuable to your small kit.
Sturdy and Compact
Primary Construction is built from one piece of ABS plastic. It folds nicely to a compact size to protect the mirrors and assist in shipping (optional SKB Case available).
The EyeDirect Mark II works will all HDCAM cameras including Red and Alexa as well as all HDV cameras.
Includes EyeDirect® Mark II Housing, mirrors, baseplate, rubber donut and iPad teleprompter accessory.
10.5″ x 10.5″ x 6.5″
Updated with longer base-plate.
EyeDirect MKII Manual Ver1.3
How wide of a lens can I use?
You are limited, just like with a teleprompter, to about a 40 degree field of view. Use this helpful AbelCine Field of view comparator to select your camera and then dial in at least a 40 degree field of view. It will indicate the widest lens you can expect to use. Please know you must do your own testing if you plan to use anything other than a ‘portrait millimeter’.
Q?What do you mean when you say the ‘eyes punctuate’ with EyeDirect?
In conversation, your partner will use eye contact to make a point stronger. When the eyes return to the viewer… at this prescribed moment…. this authenticates the conversation… and draws an audience into the non-verbal signals the speaker is sending.
Q?Is it complicated to set up?
Those familiar with camera hardware will have no trouble setting up the EyeDirect. Assembly Instructions are available online.
8 month old
I am proud to say I have never had a return because the EyeDirect didn’t work as intended. If there is a ‘point of interest’ that is available for the subject to look at, the subject is capable of focusing, they will look at that point through the EyeDirect. I have photographed dogs, babies, autistic children, couples, twins, toddlers, elephants, celebrities and even real people! Subjects will instinctively look at their ‘point of interest’, whether it be a food treat for a dog or Mom’s smiling face. I often say, I guarantee eye contact regardless of age or mood. Even if the subject is uncooperative, (as in footage collected of incarcerated prisoners or celebrities), they will still look. Within a week of purchase, you are welcome to return the device if it does not work for you.
Q?Will the unit work with more than one person in the shot?
Yes, a group of people will all look directly into the lens because there is a ‘point of interest’ that captures their attention. You will actually find with children and teens…. they may ‘stretch’ to position themselves directly in the eyeline.
Q?How do you prepare the subjects to use the unit?
Generally, the less said about the unique ‘qualities’ of the device the better. The subjects will assume this is part of being on camera and will not have any trouble with the functionality. Basically, the interviewer can begin the interviewer with…. ‘Look at me’.
Q?Can the EyeDirect be used outside?
Aaron and iPad Accessory for teleprompter
The unit may be used outside or at night etc, as long as the subject may look through the EyeDirect and see the interviewer. This may require some additional ‘lighting adjustments’ to be made to the interviewer. (Below is the EyeDirect Mark II being used with the iPad Accessory.)
Q?Does this work with dogs?
Yes, the dogs actually acquire the scent of their ‘trainer or handler’ because of their proximity and when the trainer uses a ‘food treat’, the dog can see and smell it.
Q?I interview by myself and have people look at me… when I take my eye away from the camera. How can I shoot and interview at the same time?
The EyeDirect will work on either side of the camera and regardless if it is the Mark II or the Mark E, the cameraperson can orient the mirror so they can keep their eye to the eyepiece… and look at the subject through the EyeDirect… with their other eye. You will find this takes a little practice to work as a one-person-camera department, but the design of the unit will accommodate this ‘trick’. If you work alone… simply look to your subject, as you have in the past, but this time… look ‘through’ the EyeDirect… and nothing else is different.
Q?How is it possible? You say the person is often more comfortable in front of camera when using the EyeDirect?
It has been my experience and also expressed by EyeDirect users, that the introduction of this device between the ‘glaring eye’ of the interviewer and the subject is actually somewhat ‘disarming’. The idea that the interviewer is ‘inside of the subject’s personal space’ is minimized because of the EyeDirect.
Q?What does it mean that the image is left to right correct?
With a teleprompter, you have noticed the text on the screen must be reversed for the ‘reflection’ to appear left to right correct. (This is because the text is reflected into one mirror). With EyeDirect, we have two mirrors… so the reflection is ‘re-oriented’ correctly so the viewer can read headlines through the device… without the image being backwards. This is extremely helpful if your subject is reading ‘sign language’ through the unit. The ASL appears as it would if there was not a reflection ‘box’ in front of the camera lens.
Q?No electricity or batteries?
For the unit to function… you do not need electricity or power. You will want your subject to see the interviewer clearly, so it is helpful in dark environments to put a small light on the interviewer’s face.
Q?For talent and celebrities… can’t I just ask them to look into the lens… and get the same result?
EyeDirect Yao Ming for Garmin
My experience has been, when the actor or celebrity ‘engages’ with another human with direct eye contact, you will see a much stronger delivery. People ‘punctuate’ with their eye contact and you can usually tell when someone is interacting… and when someone is looking at the front element of the lens.
Q?Why isn’t it bigger… so the subject can see more of my image?
The EyeDirect is optimized to keep the ‘eye’ of the interviewer as close to the optical center of the lens as possible. Imagine if you used a patio door as your ‘reflective’ glass. Your subject could see your reflection… but your reflection may not be ‘directly over’ the lens. This would mean you would not get direct eye contact.
Q?How long does it take to set up?
For a large production camera with a zoom lens, you can assume you will need about 10 minutes to feel comfortable setting it up and cleaning the mirror surfaces as needed.
Q?Can you ship the same day I order?
We often ship the same day if we receive full payment by noon (Central Time).
Q?Is there a light loss… or a filter factor?
Yes. Like any device that uses a beam splitter, the light loss is between 1/2 and 1 stop. Users are encouraged to measure this loss and accommodate accordingly.
Q?What are the widest lenses I can use?
Both units are limited on the wide end of the lens as they will vignette like a teleprompter. You can expect to use a 40+mm lens on both units.
Q?How big is the lens opening on the Mark II.
The Mark II has a 140mm opening to accommodate most professional cine zoom lenses. You can use a lens with a larger front element, if you do not need the lens to slide ‘into the box’. Using portrait millimeters usually lets you have the front element out of the box… and shoot ‘through’ the EyeDirect without vignetting.
Q?Will the EyeDirect work as a teleprompter?
Yes, the Mark II has an iPad accessory holder that accomodates a larger iPad and with an APP, you can run teleprompter software. With this accessory… you can also use Skype as the ‘prompt’. An mini iPad accessory holder is coming soon for the Mark E.
Q?Can I rent an EyeDirect?
Many rental houses have purchased EyeDirects for their rental inventory and will often purchase one if the potential rental justifies it. The EyeDirect site is primarily for sales and education. We would encourage you to ask your rental house if they have access to the EyeDirect.
Q?Can the subject see me… and can I see the subject?
The EyeDirect is a series of adjustable mirrors that lets the interviewer see the subject and vice versa. As there are ‘two mirrors’ creating the image, anything introduced into this system is read left-to-right correct. This means you can prompt your subject with a newspaper headline or use sign language… and the subject will see it as ‘real’ as opposed to a reversed and reflected image. I suspect children respond to this ‘referral of image’ better than they would respond to the ‘reflection of image’ they would see if mom was talking to them through a single mirror.
Q?How much does it cost to ship to Europe and how quickly can I get it?
In the Shopping Cart page, you may select the shipping service you prefer and can determine cost and delivery date before you purchase. As with all international shipping, customs is a consideration on your delivery date. We have shipped all over the world, from Dallas to Dubai to Dublin, to Australia and Alaska with only a few complications.
Q?Which model EyeDirect should I buy? Mark II or the Mark E? What are the differences?
The Mark II is the larger unit designed to accommodate everything from a DSLR to a fully rigged Alexa with a zoom. The Mark E functionally is the same device, but is designed for DSLRs and prosumer cameras. The smaller size works better for ‘handheld-monopod’ and ‘on-the-street’ interviews. The Folding Mark E is popular if you have travel plans or need to work with a lower profile device.