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Captioning anyone?

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Todd Terry
Captioning anyone?
on Jun 11, 2009 at 4:40:09 pm

Hey gang...

Not purely a business question, but businessey enough I think (so I hope no one minds me posting this in here).... but this does affect my business on an upcoming project (budget-wise) and this forum tends to have the widest variety of different kinds of users, so I'll hope you'll all bear with me...

We have a project that requires closed captioning, because it is a government-grant funded thing. There are a number of short (10:00ish) presentations to be delivered via DVDs. There is also a half-hour broadcast version, with distribution and delivery format still unknown. While the DVD versions are obviously standard-def, they are downconverted from the HD master project. Whether the 30-minute broadcast show will be SD or HD is still unknown.

The quandary is captioning, which is a very foreign land to us.

We've only done a little bit of this in the past, for DVD presentations. Back then we just did the poor man's "dumb captioning," with two versions on the disc... one that was clean and one that was permanently captioned. The "captioning on/off" buttons on the menu screen simply selected which show to run. That's easy breezy, and works fine... and will be an acceptable solution for the DVDs for this project.

The broadcast show is another matter. It obviously needs to be legitimately closed captioned.

So... I'm curious as to what methods you guys use to accomplish captioning. Do you outsource it? If so, to where? Or do it in house? And if so, how (without necessarily getting into the technicalities of it since this is a business forum)?

Just FYI, we run Matrox AXIO LE suites, presently chugging CS3 and CS4 (hoping to upgrade all to CS4 soon). I'm not above investing in a software solution (or hardware?) if doing it in house is a viable option.

Wisdom appreciated, as always...


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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walter biscardi
Re: Captioning anyone?
on Jun 11, 2009 at 5:12:14 pm

CaptionMax. We use them for all our captioning needs. http://www.captionmax.com

They can deliver both SD and HD products. We simply sent them the finished master and they create the captioned version.

Been using them about 3 years now, great folks.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

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Todd Terry
Re: Captioning anyone?
on Jun 11, 2009 at 5:26:09 pm

Thanks Walter... I will check them out.

After doing some more calling we've also found another source since my original post... some guy (a one-man-bander-type) who is under contract to our state's Public Television Network and does all their captioning (as well as his own business... he's a retired court reporter and has taken the plunge into video captioning). I don't know how he does it, but this guy is dirt cheap... something like $85 an hour. Yes, 85 BUCKS AN HOUR. No idea how he makes a living at it... I wouldn't watch the thing for $85... haha.

ALthough, as with the rest of life, you probably get what you pay for. We'll check 'em both out.

Thanks!


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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John Wilson
Re: Captioning anyone?
on Jun 11, 2009 at 6:22:54 pm

Todd,

I have used http://www.vitac.com/ for all of my captioning. They do the bulk of the captioning for ESPN and are pretty reasonable.

Cheers,

JW



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Gav Bott
Re: Captioning anyone?
on Jun 12, 2009 at 1:27:02 am

I’ve just been through a little headache with captioning on a Govt. project – your dumb captioning is not nearly as dumb as you portray.

I outsource captioning (in Australia, so company contact is a little redundant – but they would probably do the work if you wanted) – my suggestion is to use a captioning company that can happily provide you dumb and smart captions – one set for DVD & broadcast, the other for use in your NLE of choice (format fun and games ensue).

The reason I suggest going for the double set is to accommodate Govt. delivery changes, here at least, they tend to change their mind quite often. Starts off just on DVD and broadcast, then web, perhaps a VHS (ouch) and last but not least a 10 second clip for use in a power point. All captioned and un-captioned please, if that’s not too much bother?

If you do both formats at the outset you are in good shape to handle any delivery that might crop up in the later stages. Some captioning companies act as if you are insane for wanting a version that works straight in FCP or whatever, but there are those that can handle it with east and it’s a simple purpose to reversion the output file for your use.

Thanks

Gav – standing up for dumb formats in the Southern Hemisphere since 2005


The Brit in Brisbane
The Pomme in Production - Brisbane Australia.


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alec gitelman
Re: Captioning anyone?
on Jun 12, 2009 at 1:33:27 am

we use http://automaticsync.com
they transcribe, caption, and present it in 10 or 15 different file formats. they're pretty solid with their work, but of course you still do have to check for proper spelling of names and other mistakes before outputting.



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Steve Kownacki
Re: Captioning anyone?
on Jun 12, 2009 at 10:13:39 am

I agree with Walter, CaptionMAX. Been using for a while now. We simply email a script and a QT ref movie, they send back a QT that we ovelay in FCP, done. Have had spots done same day! Great service. Have to pull out the old 13" consumer TV 'cause our broadcast monitors don't have CC support.

Steve



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Steve Kownacki
Re: Captioning anyone?
on Jun 13, 2009 at 3:19:11 pm

OOPS! Just realized I've been using CPC out of Rockville, MD. CaptionMax was years ago. http://www.cpcweb.com.

Steve



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Tom Meegan
Re: Captioning anyone?
on Jun 17, 2009 at 1:10:20 pm

Hi Todd,

We had two programs that needed captioning last year and we used CaptionMax. It was a very good experience. They were comfortable explaining the process, options and fees, and delivered with a tight turn-around.

Our contact there was Susan Schneider.

Best,

Tom Meegan
Woven Pixels


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Todd Terry
Re: Captioning anyone?
on Jun 17, 2009 at 2:28:24 pm

Thanks all... appreciate the good advice!


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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