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My presentation I'll be giving in Helsinki on Monday 21st January 2013.

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  • Three deaf men, different types of deafness9 shows a year in 2000, to 220 or so nowCharity, board of trustees Government, taxpayerEvents accessible RSC Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Don’t offer translation
  • Sound file from University of ManchesterExtract of book being readMimics high frequency hearing lossIf whole play sounded like that to you:Sign language interpretation helps if you understand BSL (British Sign Language)Volume increase would help a bit, but not completelyLipreading would help a littleStill not full accessOn/off switchPersuasion
  • Video created by Make Sense www.makesensedesign.comDid you understand that time?Brain is very clever to put vision & sound together
  • Oliver! Theatre Royal Drury LaneMiss Saigon, Bristol Hippodrome
  • Captioning Studio in Austrailia
  • Graeae Theatre Company, tour of Reasons to be CheerfulTin Bath Theatre Company
  • Novel Theatre CompanyLittle Women
  • FeedbackCaption users
  • AirScriptI-CaptionDurateqFigaro
  • Shakespeare
  • German, French in War HorseAfrican language in The Lion King
  • West EndLocal hubs
  • Process from STAGETEXT’s point of view
  • FinlandPresentation2013

    1. 1. Making Every Word Count- Theatre Captioning in the UKLissy Lovett – General Manager of STAGETEXT (UK)
    2. 2. Running order• Who is STAGETEXT?• Captioning basics• Technology• Software• Captioning Process• Captioner Training• Operational Models
    3. 3. Making every word countWHO IS STAGETEXT?
    4. 4. Background to STAGETEXT• Founded in 2000• 4 of our 6 Trustees and 1 of our 6 staff are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing• Funded by Arts Council England and charges to theatres• Work in theatres, museums and galleries
    5. 5. What does STAGETEXT do?• Delivers English captions/subtitles for events which are spoken in English• Helps theatres set up their own captioning services• Develops technology• Develops audiences
    6. 6. STAGETEXT’s achievements in theatre• STAGETEXT delivers 220 captioned performances each year• Over 40 theatres now have access to their own captioning equipment across the UK• Over 40 people are trained as theatre captioners in the UK• Wide range of types of events
    7. 7. Belgrade Theatre, CoventryMaking every word countCAPTIONING BASICS
    8. 8. What can you make out from this piece of spoken text?Sound file from the Universityof Manchester
    9. 9. What can you make out this time?
    10. 10. Video created
    11. 11. Who uses captions?• Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people who wish to access plays in English – 1 in 6 of population – Wide range of types & severity of hearing loss• People whose hearing is not as sharp as it used to be – 40% of people over the age of 50 and 70% of those over 70 have age-related hearing loss• Hearing audiences
    12. 12. The audience
    13. 13. Questions so far? Actors’ warm-up prior to captioned performance of Life is a Dream, Donmar Warehouse, 18 November 2009. Photographer: Matt Humphrey
    14. 14. Making every word countTECHNOLOGY
    15. 15. Display options Open Closed captioning captioningGaiety Theatre,Isle of Man
    16. 16. Open captioning Closed captioningPros Pros• Audience doesn’t have • More likely to be to declare available every night• No change of focus Cons between captions and • Change of focus stage between device and• Sociable activity stage is difficultCons • Missing action on stage• Unit positioning crucial when reading text to experience
    17. 17. Open captioning – LED displays Miss Saigon. With kind permission of Cameron Mackintosh Limited. Bristol Hippodrome Photo: Freia TurlandGwion Wyn Jones in Oliver! With kindpermission of Cameron Mackintosh Limited.Photo: Simon Annand
    18. 18. LCD displays Going Dark, by Fuel at the Young Vic Theatre, LondonThe Captioning Studio, Australia
    19. 19. Projection Tin Bath Theatre CompanyReasons to be Cheerful,Graeae Theatre Company
    20. 20. Positioning of open captions• Positioning of the captioning displays can make or break the performance• Need to consider – Configuration of the stage/seating – Are there pieces of the set flying in or out? – Where are the speakers being hung? – Where are the lights shining? – Where is the seating for caption users?
    21. 21. British Sign LanguageInterpreterstandingstage rightCredit: the Seea Voice
    22. 22. Captioned performance of Little Women Sadler’s Wells 22
    23. 23. Transcribed post-showdiscussion following a performance of Yellowman Hampstead Theatre 23
    24. 24. CaptioningUnit flownlow at backof stage
    25. 25. Captioned performance of Miss SaigonCaptioned performance of Miss Saigon at the Bristol at the Bristol Hippodrome Hippodrome Photographer: Freia Turland
    26. 26. CaptioningUnits eitherside of stage
    27. 27. Getting It Wrong and Getting It Right• ‘The poorly positioned boxes meant that the captions were so high up and too far to the left and right of the stage that it was impossible to follow the captions and the action.’• ‘I found the captioning truly impressive - not at all intrusive. It was sited in the middle of the set, and felt a natural part of it. In fact, it works so well, its almost as if its always been there and Ive only just noticed.’
    28. 28. Closed captioning Handheld devicesAirscript DurateqFigaro
    29. 29. The future?Sony’s subtitling glasses
    30. 30. STAGETEXT use LED displays
    31. 31. STAGETEXT’s captioning equipment Microphone Caption unit cable Laptop Interface 2nd caption unit Bristol Old Vic Photo: Mike Lusmore
    32. 32. Questions about technology?
    33. 33. Captioned performance of Hansel and Gretel Northern Stage Photo: Linda BorthwickMake every word countSOFTWARE
    34. 34. SoftwareRequirements Possibilities• Import text In the UK we have used:• Edit text • Eclipse• Output text • CaptionView• Skip sections And now• Add ad-libs • STAGETEXT bespoke software
    35. 35. STAGETEXT’s software
    36. 36. Questions about software?Captioned performance ofAladdin, The Wok ‘n’ Roll PantoNew Wolsey, Ipswich.Photo: Mike Kwasniak
    37. 37. Making every word countCAPTIONING PROCESS
    38. 38. The captioning process Imported to Electronic Initial First script STAGETEXT script formatting check softwareSecond script Refinement of Checks with Work with check formatting company DVD Check Final queries with Performance! formatting company
    39. 39. Formatting
    40. 40. Final formatted captions
    41. 41. Captioning challenges• 3,500 to 6,000 lines per script• Up to 60 hours formatting time• Spelling and punctuation• Research – Checking spellings – Foreign languages – Song lyrics
    42. 42. UK captioning conventions• Full text of play, nothing omitted – Exception when lines overlap, or very fast• Character names included• Sound and musical effects included – Present tense – In the world of the play, so “shouts from garden” not “shouting off stage”• Minimal interpretation• Accents sometimes included• Emotions rarely included• Nothing is translated
    43. 43. Who is using the captions?New Wolsey Theatre• 359 people in audience• 17 people booked for captioning with box office (4% of total audience)• 103 people returned the card to say that they had found the captions useful (29% of total audience)• CONCLUSION: 20 to 30% of your total audience will be using the captioning but will not have declared as caption users
    44. 44. Making every word countCAPTIONER TRAINING
    45. 45. Who makes a good captioner?• Excellent spelling, punctuation and grammar – we need people who care about apostrophes• Confident around computers• Confident when liaising with theatre companies (but not too pushy!)• Someone who would enjoy bringing theatre to people who otherwise would miss out
    46. 46. UK captioners• Only one or two for whom captioning is a full-time job• Usually caption as a part-time job on top of regular employment• Mostly professional (i.e. paid)• Come from theatre backgrounds, deaf organisational backgrounds, or completely unrelated backgrounds
    47. 47. What does captioner training need to include? 1. Seeing a Captioner training at the Wales captioned show Millennium Centre, Cardiff 2. Process 3. Conventions 4. Software training 5. How to liaise with theatre staff 6. Practice
    48. 48. STAGETEXT captioner training 3 or 4 daysPre-training Work at face-to- tests home face trainingExamined Mentored Supported show show show
    49. 49. Questions about captioning and captioners? Captioned performance of Hansel and Gretel Northern Stage Photo: Linda Borthwick
    50. 50. Making every word countOPERATIONAL MODELS
    51. 51. UK captioning modelsEquipment Captioners• Hire in from STAGETEXT • Hire in from STAGETEXT• Own their own • Train in-house people• Share some locally • Hire in freelancers• Touring theatre • Train touring company company own members equipmentAll combinations of the above happen in the UK
    52. 52. Using an external provider• They provide the equipment and the captioner and do all the hard work• You will need to take responsibility for securing a script for the captioner to use• You still need to get the audience there!
    53. 53. Captioned show process for STAGETEXT Book captioner Double check Confirm DVD &Find suitable date (and STTR if which equipment script will be Arrange site visit & time necessary) will be used available Send captioner Send order Check booking Check allocation Send branding brief acknowledgment details of seats information Check all’s well Contact Send post-show Remind theatre with theatre & Technical brief Company discussion details to test loop captioner Manager Add new On show day Prepare FOH caption-user Follow up with Collate feedback attend get in, posters & names to theatre brief ushers, etc feedback forms database
    54. 54. Having an in-house service• You need equipment and staff who can set it up• You need a locally-based captioner who has been trained• You will need to take responsibility for securing a script for the captioner to use• You will need to get in the audience
    55. 55. Sharing resources locally• Are there any other theatres that might be interested in sharing equipment with you?• Might they also be interested in sharing the costs of training a captioner?• Huge benefit is that you can work together on developing audiences and you can be sure that your captioned performances will never clash!
    56. 56. Working with your captioner• Contract• Fees and expenses• Who owns the script?• Will the captioner share the script and whose decision is that?
    57. 57. Questions about our operating models, or anything else?
    58. 58. Thank you!
    59. 59. Contact detailsLissy Lovett Tel: 020 7377 0540General Manager Mobile: 07813 139408STAGETEXT Floor, 54 Commercial St, E1 6LT