Providing Subtitles and Audio Description for Feature Film ‘Connect’

Image of man, seen from the shoulders up, in front of a grassy beach with the words and title of the movie - 'Connect' - on his left

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When Creative Scotland approved Marilyn Edmond’s application for funding for her debut feature film, “Connect,” the grant came with a caveat: the movie would need to be distributed with both subtitles and audio description to make it accessible to a wider audience. The problem was that Marilyn had no previous experience in producing either of these and had limited time and budget available to secure the subtitling and audio description services she needed.

“Connect” confronts the issue of suicide among young men in the UK by following the story of a young Scottish man, played by Kevin Guthrie, as he battles with his mental health. Marilyn not only produced and directed the film through her company, Angel Face Productions, but also wrote the screenplay, which was inspired, in part, by events in her own life. While this film is her directorial debut, Marilyn has worked as an assistant director for years, building industry contacts which she used to help her source the best services at affordable rates for the film. A producer at Blazing Griffin recommended Take 1, now VITAC, based on the subtitles and audio description the company had produced for their feature film “Anna and the Apocalypse.”

“I actually considered using another supplier but, after speaking with [VITAC], I felt like they were the experts in this field,” said Edmond. “Because of their experience in delivering for a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) and working with Creative Scotland, I could just hand over the material and leave them to get on with the work.”

VITAC had just 10 days to produce the subtitles and audio description for the film. Because the subtitles were based on the existing film script, they were relatively quick and simple to prepare, but creating audio description requires an additional scripting and quality control process before recording. Once the script was perfected, the VITAC team recorded the audio description with a Scottish voice-over artist to complement the story and then put the prepared audio files through a final quality control cycle before delivery.

While some clients provide input into the process, many of our clients entrust us with the production of their audio descriptions completely. That’s why quality control is of the utmost importance at VITAC. For example, our scripts are QC’d twice by our team of experts and we review the recordings with the talent to ensure that they’ve matched the tone and pace of the film. Technical scripting techniques ensure things like pronunciation are consistent across the AD and on-screen performances, and we use tools designed specifically for audio description recording to ensure the best technical quality.

Contact our access services team now to discuss subtitles or audio description for your project.