Preparing broadcast deliverables for distribution to multiple networks can be both time consuming and complicated because each network has its own preferred format and list of requirements. Though putting documents like dialogue lists or CCSLs together can be tedious for production teams, it’s a critical part of the production process – the information contained in these documents informs a series of other workflows including localization, translation, rights management, and royalties. Careless mistakes here can be expensive for networks to rectify and can cost production companies their reputation with international distributors – which is why RED Production Company has chosen Take 1 [now VITAC] as their script partners.
RED is an independent production company based at Manchester’s MediaCity. The company has produced some of the UK’s most popular and critically acclaimed drama series over the last 20 years, with recent shows including “Years and Years” for BBC One, “The Stranger” for Netflix, “Finding Alice” for ITV, and “It’s a Sin” for Channel 4 and HBO. Since 2019, the production team have relied on VITAC to support international distribution deliverables.
Originally, the RED production team prepared their own scripts but found the process quickly became too time-consuming. After working with another provider for a period they were attracted by VITAC’s competitive rates.
“More requirements like caption lists and dialogue lists have been encapsulated into the script – it’s definitely becoming a bigger beast,” says Amy Gill, RED Post Producer. “It takes so long to put them together and it’s not that expensive to outsource – especially because music cues are included. After working with VITAC on my first project for Netflix, and seeing that they got it right, I saw no reason to use anyone else.”
For productions like “Years and Years” where timelines are tighter, VITAC provides a basic transcription at the picture lock stage so that the team can get a head start on translations and other localization processes. When the broadcast master is completed, this is updated and expanded into a full script. A basic script typically includes a full, time-coded transcription of all the dialogue (both voice-over and synced,) logs of on-screen captions and credits. Depending on the network the series is being delivered to, this can be expanded to include detailed shot descriptions, music cues, descriptive markers, speaker lists, forced narrative, and visual text events. As media specialists, VITAC regularly work with international networks and distributors, so we’re familiar with the specific broadcast delivery requirements of each. The original transcriptions are also prepared by our professional transcribers as XML data, so reformatting the data for each network is quick and easy.
With many stakeholders involved in an extensive post-production process, convenience and efficiency are top priorities for the RED team.
“When an episode is finally picture locked there are so many people that it has to go to and so many stakeholder’s notes to go through,” said Gill. “We’re not normally in a big rush – preparing broadcast deliverables is part of our process – we just need the simplest, most efficient workflow and a good product. Working with VITAC is always a positive experience, they make it dead easy.”
Get in touch now to get a quote for scripts, translations, or captions.