Captioning Basics

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Captioning Basics

  1. 1. Theatre Captioning<br />Making theatre accessible to <br />deaf, deafened and <br />hard of hearing audience members<br />
  2. 2. What can you make out from this piece of spoken text?<br />Credit: University of Manchester<br />
  3. 3. This is what theatre performances would sound like to audience members with a hearing loss<br /><ul><li>Body language & lipreading would give more information but...
  4. 4. Amplification would not help
  5. 5. BSL interpretation only helps BSL users</li></li></ul><li>What can you make out this time?<br />
  6. 6. Credit: Makes Sense<br />www.makesensedesign.com<br />
  7. 7. Who uses captions?<br />Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people who wish to access plays in English<br />1 in 7 of the UK population, 9 million people<br />People whose hearing is not as sharp as it used to be <br />55% of people over 60 have age-related hearing loss<br />Hearing audiences<br />Anyone who has difficulty following strong accents<br />Students who are studying the text of a play<br />People whose first language is not English<br />
  8. 8. 359 people in audience<br />17 people booked for captioning with box office (4% of total audience)<br />103 people returned the card to say that they had found the captions useful (29% of total audience)<br />CONCLUSION:25% of people using captioning do not request the service<br />The undeclared audience<br />New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich<br />
  9. 9. Preparation of captions<br />
  10. 10. Delivery of captions<br />Speech appears as text on caption unit(s) at exactly the same time as words are spoken or sung.<br />Full text, speaker names, sound effects, music and offstage noises are shown<br />Similar to television subtitles & opera surtitling but crucial differences: <br />Opera surtitles are above the stage & often difficult to read<br />Both television subtitles & opera surtitles can be edited down from the full dialogue<br />Television subtitles can come up ahead of the dialogue and spoil punchlines / important plot points.<br />
  11. 11. Benefits of captions<br />Makes theatre accessible to deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people<br />To enable a person with a hearing loss to appreciate the spirit, meaning and intent of the performance and obtain the same experience as a hearing person obtains in a theatre<br />Fosters social inclusion<br />A theatre is truly accessible to customers with a hearing loss if it has captioned performances, sign language interpreted performances and a good working sound enhancement system<br />
  12. 12. STAGETEXT captioner<br />at Bristol Old Vic<br />Photo: Mike Lusmore<br />The Captioned performance<br />
  13. 13. Technical possibilities<br />Caption Unit<br />Plasma Screen<br />Projection<br />Centre photo from Chelmsford Civic Theatres<br />
  14. 14. Text position<br />Decide as early as possible <br />(the model caption unit above is used in set models)<br />Include everyone - lighting, sound, stage management, box office and front of house<br />Allocate seats accordingly<br />Check lights, speakers, safety curtain & sight lines<br />Caption units should be - <br /><ul><li>Ideally in the set
  15. 15. As close to the action as possible
  16. 16. At about actors’ head height</li></ul>Caption unit model from New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich<br />
  17. 17. Deafened actor Tim Barlow as Tybalt, prior to the captioned performance of Juliet and Her Romeo, Bristol Old Vic (April 2010). Photo: Mike Lusmore<br />
  18. 18. Captioned performance of <br />Little Women<br />Sadler’s Wells<br />15<br />
  19. 19. Captioned performance of Aladdin, The Wok ‘n’ Roll Panto<br />New Wolsey, Ipswich. Photo: Mike Kwasniak <br />16<br />
  20. 20. Speech-to-text transcribed post-show discussion after <br />Yellowman<br />Hampstead Theatre<br />17<br />
  21. 21. Warm-up prior to the captioned performance of Life is a Dream<br />Donmar Warehouse<br />Photo: Matt Humphrey <br />18<br />
  22. 22. Captioned performance of Miss Saigon at the Bristol Hippodrome<br />Captioned performance of Miss Saigon at the Bristol Hippodrome<br />
  23. 23. Captioned performance of <br />Hansel and Gretel<br />Northern Stage<br />Photo: Linda Borthwick<br />20<br />
  24. 24. Making captioning work<br />Making a commitment<br />Captioning works best when whole organisation is committed<br />Giving proper support to captioners <br />Promoting the show effectively<br />Include prominently on all marketing<br />Making links with local older people’s groups and so on<br />Making it easy for caption-users to book tickets<br />Making sure it’s All Right On The Night!<br />Installing & running technical equipment early<br />Double checking position of text & caption-user seats<br />Customer care for audience members including deaf awareness training for front of house staff<br />
  25. 25. Feedback from our users<br />“We didn’t talk about the captions. We talked about whether or not the death throes of the performers were realistic.”<br />“ STAGETEXT has enabled me to go to the theatre with my family once more. ”<br />“This has opened up an entirely new world for me. The sheer delight in being able to fully understand a play is difficult to convey to a hearing person”<br />
  26. 26. Questions?<br />
  27. 27. Thank you!<br />
  28. 28. For more information<br />Visit www.stagetext.org<br />Email Lissy Lovett at lissy@stagetext.org<br />

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