Capturing Sound and Sight

Here we gain an insight into the work of television captioners, subtitlers and voice describers for the hearing and vision impaired.

Red Bee Media Australia has offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, they specialise in creating and providing live and pre-recorded closed captions (subtitles) for major Australian broadcast networks such as SBS, Nine Network, Seven Network and Network Ten. They also supply captioning for major advertisers and their agencies, video and DVD distributors, subscription television channels and conferences in Australia and overseas.

It is now the law that all prime time (5pm - 12:00am) free to air television shows display captions for the hearing impaired. Because captioning is a specific skill that requires good vocabulary and grammar, good typing skills and an interest in TV shows, Red Bee Media is training up people with good vocabulary and typing skills to become captioners and speech voicers. The vision impaired are also being catered for with Audio Descriptions.

At Red Bee you can be trained up in the following areas:

  • Captioner -¬†produce captions for Online, Live and Offline post production for English language TV programs and videos for the deaf and hearing-impaired.
  • DVD Speech Voicer - speech recognition program which creates captions.
  • Stenographer - highly skilled live typer.
  • Audio Describer - recording descriptions of shows for the visually impaired. Audio Description (AD) is a language option on DVDs that verbally describes what is happening on screen. Settings, costumes, body language and other important visual clues are described as part of the soundtrack. One DVD can hold up to 26 different soundtracks for each program and AD is located on one of these tracks.
  • Voice Recognition Users/Voiceover Artists - for live remotes and on-air television networks in Australia and international broadcasters.

James Evans is an actor, voice over artist and script editor as well as an audio describer at Red Bee Media. His works involves giving detailed voice over descriptions of movies and television shows for the visually impaired. James' timing has to be exact to fit in the descriptions in between the actors' script. James loves his job, but says it can be funny and challenging at times, for example - having to describe tricky or embarrassing situations like sex scenes or violent crime scenes!

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VJ Rodney Meier