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Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) Pacific Rim Disabilities Conference: Best Practices for Audio Description


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Best Practices for Post-Production and Emerging Forms of Audio Description

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Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) Pacific Rim Disabilities Conference: Best Practices for Audio Description

  1. 1. Best Practices for Post-Production and Emerging Forms of Audio Description Robert Pearson Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) May 20th, 2014
  2. 2. Agenda 1. Overview 2. Background and Experience 3. Financial Model 4. Described Video (DV) and Roadmap 5. Post-Production DV Best Practices 6. Live DV Best Practices 7. Embedded, Multilingual and Digital
  3. 3. Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) Make accessible media for all Canadians • Overview
  4. 4. Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) • AMI-audio; news and information with local and original programs • AMI-tv; open described, closed captioned TV • AMI-tv Français; in French • • DV Guide
  5. 5. Making Television Accessible to Everyone: The Canadian Experience Most studies show that blind and visually impaired persons watch TV as much as sighted persons. This G3ict White Paper Business Case Series, published by G3ict in June 2013, is researched in cooperation with Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) s_and_reports/p/productCategory_studies/s ubCat_13/id_287
  6. 6. AMI-tv • The worlds first and only open described, closed captioned digital TV service • Available with basic digital package at no additional cost • Broadcasts popular movies and TV series (Canadian and American) with open description and closed captioning
  7. 7. AMI-tv • Broadcast Simulcast and describe live major events and popular programs such as the Royal Wedding, a Canadian reality show, Toronto Blue Jays Baseball and the Paralympics • Produce and broadcast original content • Blind and low vision reporters offering a unique perspective with relevant content through a positive portrayal
  8. 8. Financial Model • Per subscriber – AMI-audio: $0.04 – AMI-tv: $0.20 – AMI-tv en Français: $0.28 • AMI-tv en Français paid in Francophone markets, but distributed nationally • Not-for-profit, everything invested back • Largest costs are for acquiring and describing Canadian broadcast content
  9. 9. In Canada, it’s Described Video • Described video (DV) is a narrated description of a program's main visual elements, such as settings, costumes, or body language • Works best for pre-recorded programs, such as dramas and documentaries • Described video uses a separate audio track
  10. 10. Description Roadmap Timeline • April 2011 to June 2012 – Described Video Working Group • June 2012 to June 2013 – Post-Production Described Video Best Practices • January 2014 to June 2014 – Live Described Video Best Practices • 2014: Embedded, Multi-lingual, Digital
  11. 11. Post-Production DV Examples AMI YouTube Channel • AMI Old House • AMI Diner • Industry PSA • Murdoch Mysteries
  12. 12. • Member from 14 organizations (Community Groups, Broadcasters, Producers, Description Houses, Canadian Association of Broadcasters) • Described Video Best Practices; Artistic and Technical Guidelines submitted to the CRTC in July 2013 accessibility/Pages/Described- Video-Best-Practices.aspx Post-Production DV Best Practices
  13. 13. Post-Production DV Best Practices Artistic Guidelines 1. Individual/Physical Characteristics 2. Scene Transitions 3. Visual Effects 4. Non-verbal Sounds/Communications 5. Titles, Subtitles , Credits, Text on Screen, Signing 6. Style and Tone Technical Guidelines 1. Channels 2. Loudness & peak levels 3. Soundtrack vs. DV mix levels 4. Equalization 5. Sync 6. Recording quality 7. Output parameters
  14. 14. Industry adopted Described Video Best Practices + Internally developed guidelines based upon the unique experiences of each producer = Consistent and good quality DV in Canada Post-Production DV Best Practices
  15. 15. Live DV Best Practices • The Live Described Video Best Practices are an extension of the Post-Production Described Video Best Practices. • Royal Wedding • Blue Jays Baseball
  16. 16. Live DV Best Practices • The describer is an actor who is a narrator. • Role of the Describer • Logistical 1. Research 2. Physical Location 3. Producer, Describer Relationship 4. Characteristics of a Live Event 5. Handling the Unexpected • Technical
  17. 17. Embedded DV (EDV) Best Practices • EDV is an experimental method of creating described video, whereby the identification of key visual elements are incorporated into the original production of the program, such that traditional DV is not required • The program is produced from the onset in consultation and collaboration with an experienced describer in order for blind and visually impaired audiences to understand and enjoy it without the addition of traditional DV
  18. 18. Embedded DV (EDV) Best Practices DV EDV Separate narration track No separate narration track Altered delivery format One delivery format Executed after program is packaged Executed throughout production Factors: o Scriptwriting and narration Factors: o Scriptwriting, narration, talking heads, dialogue, translations, sound effects, background noise, music, lyrics, and the space between all of the above
  19. 19. Multi-Lingual DV Best Practices • AMI-tv en Français • Working with French broadcasters in Canada to gain insight into the nuances of French programming that may need to be considered • Everything for French has been considered in the English Post-Production document
  20. 20. Digital DV Best Practices • An Accessible Media Player • Video, Audio, Captioning, Description – Turn all of them on and turn all of them off • A generic solution to ensure accurate output of a separate audio track. • Embedded Description considerations.
  21. 21. Described Video TV Guide
  22. 22. Contact • • • Twitter: @a11ymedia • Facebook: Accessible Media Inc. • YouTube: