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Feeling The Love: Client Feedback

Posted by Anna on February 25, 2016 at 2:00 pm. Captioners, Captioning, Subtitling, Video Description

Nothing brightens our day more than hearing our clients are happy.

We really appreciate all of our clients and their efforts to make media accessible to all people, so we were truly humbled to hear the feeling is totally mutual!  In a recent client satisfaction survey, we asked the question, “What could CaptionMax do to improve your overall experience with our company?” These were some of the responses we got:

Your folks were super friendly and accommodating. Thank you!

Keep doing what you are doing.

We’ve had extremely good luck with CaptionMax.

I have delivered thousands of masters and so far all my experience with CaptionMax has been excellent. You guys are my first choice for closed captioning and ABS transcription. If it ain’t broke…

Nothing at this time. The level of support, quick turnaround and quality of work has always been excellent!

We have been pleased overall with service and quality.

Hard to say — every experience has been terrific!

We have used CaptionMax many times – video cc and scripts – the experience and service have always been best in class.

My experiences with CaptionMax have always been the best in all areas.  I highly recommend CaptionMax.

Can’t think of anything.

Want to become a satisfied client of ours? Contact sales@captionmax.com or request a quote here.

We’re Thankful!

Posted by CLeininger on November 23, 2011 at 10:43 am. Captioning, Movies, Subtitling, Video Description

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the U.S. How does the holiday season always sneak up so quickly?!

Our offline staff will get a much-needed day to rest their speedy fingers and indulge in too much turkey, stuffing, and all the fixings. We’ll all be back on Friday, rested, well fed, and raring to work.

Our realtime staff will work through the holiday to caption your favorite holiday events. We are working on a dozen basketball games, not to mention other fantastic holiday specials. Don’t worry; they will also be taking a couple of quick breaks to scarf down some holiday goodies too.

We could not keep doing this fantastic work if it wasn’t for you!

We are thankful for …

- all the viewers who keep us on our toes by suggesting new programs to caption and video describe.

- all our clients who choose to add accessibility to their videos.
(Clients like A&E, AIT, Allied Vaughn, APT, Ascent Media, Best Buy, BioMedia Associates, BKN International, Bravo, Bullfrog Films, Bunim/Murray Productions, CBS, Clear Channel Entertainment, Colonial Williamsburg, CSN, Comedy Central, CPB, Dreamworks, Embassy Row Productions, Faith & Values Network, Fanlight Productions, Films Media Group, Florentine Films, Fox Broadcasting Company, FremantleMedia, Google, Granada TV, GSN, Gurin Co., HBO, History Channel, HIT Entertainment, Holt McDougal, Image Entertainment, Hometime, IFC, ITVS, King World, KQED, Laureate Education, Lifetime Television, Lions GateLiveNation, Magical Elves, Major League Baseball, Mayo Clinic, McGraw-Hill, MG Perin, MTV, NETA, NASA, NASDAQ, NAD, National Black Programming Consortium, National Geographic Television, National Institute of Health, NBC Universal, Nickelodeon, Noggin, Outdoor Channel, Reveille Productions, SCET, SyFy Channel, Scripps Networks, Showtime, Sony Pictures Television, Spike TV, Starz, The CW, TV Land, TV One, Twentieth Television, United Way, University of Minnesota, USA Network, US Department of Education, US Park Service, US Postal Service, VH1, Warner Brothers Television, Wet Cement Productions, WNET-Thirteen New York)

- all the educators working to create inclusive educational communities with captions and video description.

- all the advocacy groups who keep our legislators on their toes.

Thank you, and we hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Consumer Advisory Board Meeting 2011

Posted by CLeininger on October 5, 2011 at 8:17 am. Captioning, Consumer Advisory Board, Movies, Subtitling, Video Description

Welcome to CAB 2011.

We had another successful Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) meeting. The weekend was packed full of movie watching, interesting presentations, and invaluable discussions. Enjoy some of the photos of our meeting.

Joya Bromeland, Timothy Smitley, Josh Miele, Jordan Richardson, Ardis Bazyn, Michelle Rich, and Cathy Lyle.
Our fantastic board members. Joya Bromeland, Timothy Smitley, Josh Miele, Jordan Richardson, Ardis Bazyn, Michelle Rich, and Cathy Lyle.

Cathy and Kate talking at while getting coffee.
We started with some meet and greet. Cathy (Board Member) and Kate (Video Describer) grab some coffee while chatting about last night’s movie.

Mike Hanson talking about his Appalachian Trail Hike.

Mike and Josh discussing the hike.
Our guest speaker, Mike Hanson, presented stories from his experience on the Appalachian Trail Hike. Mike is a blind attorney who hiked the trail in 7 months; he is very amazing and inspiring. Check out his facebook page for pictures and videos. We can’t wait to see the documentary!

Lunchtimee in the cafe.
Lunch break in the cafe.

Mel and Jess presenting captioning examples.
At our meeting, we discuss different captioning situations. Our board members review our choices and give us feedback.

Jeremy presenting video description samples.
Our board members also review samples of our video description. This is why we have the best description in the business.

A thank-you to our board members.

Thanks to everyone who attended our annual meeting. Thanks to our staff, who made the meeting a great success. Now it’s time to plan for next year.

Our Top 5 Favorite Blogs

Posted by Emma on July 13, 2011 at 9:16 am. Captioning, Movies, Subtitling

There are so many amazing blogs about living with disabilities. Here are 5 on our ‘need to read’ list. Do you have any favorites?Thank you to everyone who have shares their story.

1. CaptionFish

This is a directory/search engine for captioned movies nationwide. There is nothing like it on the internet! Just type in your zipcode and find the nearest movie theater that displays closed captions! It’s a snap.

2. Speak Up Librarian

Read stories about deaf living by a hard of hearing librarian attempting to find her way in the world as a deafened adult. Her stories revolve around her everyday experiences. She talks about the latest TV trends, watching closed captioned movies in a theater, and issues around communication. She has a great voice!

3. BrailleWorks Blog

This blog has a wide range of articles about the need for braille, social networks for blind families, new technology, movie reviews, and parent resources. There are also current event updates.

4. Great Things About Being Blind!

This blog contains enlightening and uplifting stories about being blind. It was started in January 2011 to add a new voice to the disability community.

5. Hearing Your Voice

This blog has news, updates, and stories about being deaf & hard of hearing.

Is FCPX Right for CaptionMax?

Posted by Emma on July 6, 2011 at 8:44 am. Captioning, Subtitling, Techy

by Emily Bell
Multimedia Manager

MacBook Pro with FCPX Software
(credit: Apple)

So, we probably won’t be “upgrading” (is crossgrading a word?) to Final Cut X anytime soon. While we offer many file-based workflows already, we also do a lot of work with the broadcast TV market, and for us, Final Cut Pro is integrated into our technical operations center along with our video servers, routers, and high-def and standard-def tape decks. For the time being, we will continue to use Final Cut Pro 7 to provide tape capture and tape transfer services to our clients and to access your finished projects in our archives.

This is kinda how we feel about FCPX. Take it away Team Coco.
(There are no captions or description since we are using a clip from the Team Coco website.)

We also love DVD Studio Pro too much to say good-bye, since our authors know all of the scripting secrets to make really cool DVDs with it.

We will be doing some testing with the new software, however, to see how our subtitle and closed caption files import and whether our software nerd needs to make any tweaks. If you are a current client who already made the switch to FCP X, please let your project manager know when you set up your next job with us so we can be sure to send you the right file!

A Call for Quality Captions

Posted by Emma on June 15, 2011 at 8:39 am. Captioning, Consumer Advisory Board, Subtitling

CaptionMax has a dedicated Consumer Advisory Board with experts in all kinds of accessibility. As guest bloggers, we ask our board members to share their accessibility stories or voice their concerns.

by Carl Jensema, Ph.D.

Photo of a guitar with captions "lively guitar music"

Tonight my wife and I sat down to watch Country Strong.

I don’t know who captioned it but they gave a textbook example of how not to do it.  The whole movie is about music, but NONE of the music was captioned.  The dialog was captioned and then when someone started singing there would be no captions at all for several minutes until the song was over.  Extremely frustrating.  I stopped watching the movie.

We’ve had captioning since 1980 and some caption companies still haven’t figured out how to do it!

(more…)

DVD Studio Pro: Buttons and Subtitles!

Posted by Emma on May 25, 2011 at 9:14 am. Subtitling, Techy

Here’s another quick, tech-related blog for all you editors and producers out there.

What happens after you’ve imported a .son or .slt files into DVDSP? How do you allow your user to turn the subtitles on and off? We hope that this quick guide helps to get you moving in the right direction. Enjoy!

First

Label each subtitle track in the timeline with its language. This will keep your subtitles organized. There’s a little drop-down box for that, full of languages you’ve probably never even heard of:

Second

Make the subtitles default to the “off” position. Most people want the subtitles to be turned off unless the user clicks a button to turn them on.

1. Go to the Disc Inspector -> General tab,
2. Under the Streams Section, set Subtitle to “not set”
3. Make sure the View Button is unchecked.
(See the graphic below.)


Third

Add some buttons that allow users to turn on the subtitle tracks. You might put these on the main menu or if you have a lot of subtitles, you might make a separate “Subtitles” or “Languages” menu.
(We don’t show you how to add buttons in this tutorial. We show you how to link a button to a subtitle track.)

1. Create a button for each subtitle language.
2. Then look at the Button Inspector and set the Target to be the video track, as you would normally do for a “play” button.
3. Then go to the Advanced tab. In the middle section, labeled Streams, there is a Subtitle option. Select the stream you want and click on the View checkbox.


In this example, Subtitle Stream 1 is the English subtitle stream. When the user clicks on the “English” button, the track will play with English subtitles.

User controls (on the remote)

Some DVD players have a “subtitle” key on their remote control. You can influence the behavior of this control.

To allow the user to turn the subtitles off and to cycle through all the available subtitle streams using this key:
1. Bring up the Track Inspector
2. Go to the User Operations tab
3. Under the Stream Selection options, make sure “Subpicture Stream Change” is enabled.


If you want the Language or Subtitle menu to pop up when the user presses the Subtitle key on their remote, you can also set that in the Track Inspector.
1. In the General tab under Remote Control,
2. Choose your subtitle menu in the Subtitle drop-down.


There’s more complex scripting that you can do if you want fine control over the subtitle streams, but the controls above will be sufficient for most quick and easy projects.

The Magic of Captioning

Posted by Emma on April 13, 2011 at 9:09 am. Captioners, Subtitling

You’ve been looking at adding captions to your video for weeks, months, maybe even years and now you want to know who does the work? We’d like to introduce you to a few of the jobs behind the scenes of the captioning world.

Offline Captions

The Transcriber
Does the down and dirty grunt work of creating a written representation of a program’s audio to be used with captioning. Transcribing is the first step in the captioning process. There’s a lot of research done to get the correct spelling of names, places, and activities.

The Caption Editor
The caption editor takes the transcript and turns it into captions. They do the bulk of the captioning work by adding the timing and placement of the captions. The caption editor also does some research to double check the work of the transcriber.

The Proofer
The last step in the offline captioning process is the proofer. This person is a seasoned caption editor who review the program to ensure proper style & accuracy.

Live Captions

The Realtime Caption Writer
Live captioning is a stressful job so we need to use trained Court and Conference Reporters. The live captioner types while the program is airing, which means that mistakes cannot be proofed before airing. Whew….they have to work hard.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Court_reporter

Tech Time: Subtitles for FCP

Posted by Emma on April 6, 2011 at 8:44 am. Captioning, Subtitling, Techy

There is another cool way to add subtitles to your video! Did you know that you can embed subtitle files into Final Cut Pro (FCP) project? It’s really easy to do and your subtitles always look sharp.

Image of embedded subtitles (white text with a semitransparent background)

(This technique is available for versions 5.1.2 and later. Sadly, this won’t work for FCP versions older than 5.1.2 or Final Cut Express.)

What you need:

An XML file with PNG graphics that matches the timing of your FCP sequence. (That’s it!)

How does it work?

The XML file with PNG graphics provides an open, transparent, graphic format that anyone can utilize with a wide range of tools.

Here’s the basic idea; however there are a few more steps when working on an actual project.

First, import the .xml into Final Cut Pro.

Graphic showing the steps of importing an XML into FCP.

(The XML import allows you to match your subtitle sequence to your master program sequence. Just scroll through your list of sequence setting choices.)

(A new sequence is created that includes only the timed subtitle PNGs. Open the sequence and take a look. Pretty snazzy!)

Second, open your finished video sequence and drag your CaptionMax Subtitle sequence onto the track above your finished video.

Lastly, render the finished video sequence with subtitles and play it in FCP to test it.

Now you’re ready to export your video out of FCP and into any format. Your video will have open, accessible captions that look very sharp!

If you have FCP & an excellent Video Editor, then we recommend this format to add open captions to your video file.

Does this work in other editing systems?

This is the workflow we recommend for FCP but Avid & Blu-ray both have similar set-ups.

- Avid users with the Avid DS subtitle plugin can get an Avid DS text file.

- Blu-ray also uses XML/PNG files, but the XML file is totally different than the FCP XML. Exports for FCP & Blu-ray are, unfortunately, not interchangeable. Be sure to clarify your editing system when talking to your project manager!

- Users of other editing systems are out of luck—there isn’t a subtitle file that can be imported by, for example, Adobe Premiere, unless you’ve heard something we haven’t!

Happy editing!

Access in the Classroom – It’s Not Just Braille.

Posted by CLeininger on March 16, 2011 at 11:12 am. Captioning, Consumer Advisory Board, Subtitling, Techy, Video Description

CaptionMax has a dedicated Consumer Advisory Board with experts in all kinds of accessibility. As guest bloggers, we ask our board members to  share their accessibility stories. Our next CAB guest blogger is Joya Bromeland, a 6th year itinerant teacher for blind and visually impaired students. Joya works with many different schools to make technology accessible to all students. In the past year, she has been developing this great resource to empower classroom teachers. She has been great enough to share it; so head on over and check it out! Take it away, Joya.

A row of computer monitors on a desk

I’m one of Louis Braille’s biggest fans, and providing braille and braille instruction continues to be an important part of my job, but the multi-media classroom of the 21st century requires that my students who are blind and visually impaired be just as skilled in areas of technology, self-advocacy and creative problem-solving in order to have basic access to classroom tools.

As an itinerant Teacher for students who are Blind and Visually Impaired (TBVI), I collaborate with teachers in roughly 18 different schools to ensure that our students have access to the same instructional materials, experiences, and opportunities as their sighted peers.  It’s an ambitious and necessary goal that leads to alternative pathways to access and success: braille, tactile graphics, refreshable braille displays, speech screenreaders, audiobooks, audio description, keyboard shortcuts, video magnification and more.

I start with the assumption that every element of the curriculum can be accessed nonvisually—whether it’s Algebraic graphs, diagrams of the moon phases, PowerPoint assignments and board work, websites, Twitter, Moodle, email, newspapers, books, abstract visual concepts, and videos.  Then, through collaboration with general ed. teachers, braillists, and my fellow TBVIs, we figure out a way to make it happen through accessible formats and specialized instruction.

Our students become experts at thinking outside the box, maneuvering around it, giving it a good kick every once in a while—all inherent to the process of full and independent participation at school among their sighted peers.  It’s not surprising we work with such great students (and I can’t wait to see what they bring to our future!)

Of course there are daily bumps in the road to access.  There are days when I am on the phone trying to reach publishers of an online textbook because their “accessible version” of the book is not accessible to my students.  Or I’m sending accessibility standards to the “Contact Us” links on websites after a frustrating session with a student that probably led to me scanning, pasting, or retyping the web text because it was inaccessible via screen reader.  And this spring, we TBVIs will continue the campaign for reducing bias and providing equal access to standardized tests for our students. But more and more we have the law to back up our expectations for accessibility with ADA, IDEA, NIMAS, and now the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act.

Currently, there is limited availability of audio described videos for specific curriculum, though these videos are being produced by educational publishers and used by teachers at increasing rates.  Working with my students, I understand the value in providing vivid audio descriptions with accurate vocabulary in the 5-minute science video shown at the beginning of class, or the history video shown to build context for a unit of study.  Access to AD video leads to opportunity for my students to develop the same level of awareness and understanding of concepts as their sighted peers.  Publishers and schools need to act on this value in order to make audio description a real possibility in the classroom.

I’ve really appreciated the resources CaptionMax has made available to teachers in Minnesota to help spread the word about Audio Description and teach us how to access it.  It’s also been exciting to be a part of the Consumer Advisory Board, where we experience some of the rigorous process that goes into high quality audio describing. I’m hopeful that the Video Accessibility Act and the committed work of CaptionMax will lead to greater availability of these videos and ultimately greater access and opportunity for our students.

 

Locations

  • Minneapolis, MN
  • (CaptionMax World Headquarters)
  • 2438 27th Avenue South
  • Minneapolis, MN 55406
  • Phone: 612.341.3566
  • Fax: 612.341.2345
  • Burbank, CA
  • 245 East Olive Avenue, Suite 600
  • Burbank, CA 91502
  • Phone: 818.295.2500
  • Fax: 818.295.2509
  • New York, NY
  • 5 Columbus Circle
  • Suite 810
  • New York, NY 10019
  • Phone: 212.462.0060
  • Fax: 212.462.0061