4 Captioning Best Practices

1. Take 4 Passes (At Least).
It takes, at minimum, 4 passes to accurately caption media. (What’s the difference between subtitling and captioning?). The 4 passes are as follows:

  • Transcribe accurately what is being said, with punctuation, spelling, and the write words [sic]. Phrase your transcript into captions. Include sound effects.
  • Time your captions to the media, matching them with audio and on-screen events. Position the captions to indicate who is speaking.
  • Test broadcast appearance, watching the media and captioning together as they will appear when finished. Make sure the positioning, phrasing, and timing feel natural and that it is clear who is speaking. If you find anything that is unclear or awkward, fix it.
  • Test readability to ensure that display duration and reading rate are adhered to, and that any timing errors or illegal characters are removed.

2. Know Where Your Supers Are.
Knowing where the supers are helps ensure that the captions don’t get in the way so that viewers understand who’s speaking and the captions don’t interfere with the show. Make sure you have the latest information, since any changes to supers or subtitles may affect your captioning. The last thing you want is the captioning and subtitling on top of each other; sometimes both are needed!

3. Work From the Original Script.
Working from the original script lets you know the spelling of a character’s name or how to spell the name of that make-believe planet. It also helps identify a character who is speaking off-screen. Be sure you’re clear on the story, too: it makes a difference whether your characters are dropping in or out of orbit.

4. Triple Check for Spelling, Punctuation, and Readable Phrasing.
Badly punctuated or phrased captions seriously impair your audience’s ability to understand your media, so double-, triple-, even quadruple-check your captions. Captions and subtitles are meant to help someone enjoy your show, not confuse them further.

Make sure that the right word is chosen… to avoid sometimes hilarious results:

Line 21 doesn't make captioning errors like these(Should be THEN she BAWLS out Freddy)

Have a project that needs captioning or subtitling? Contact us.

January’s Recipe: A Foolishly Simple Flax Cracker

Line 21's January Recipe for Flax Crackers

1 cup flax seeds
1 cup water
Pinch of salt or a drop of tamari

Mix ingredients together and let them sit until the flax becomes glutinous (not the same as glutenous! there’s no gluten in flax!).

Next, spread the mixture in a layer on a cookie sheet and dry in low oven (225F or below) or dehydrator until it reaches your desired consistency. You might prefer pliable, you might prefer crispy.

Possible Add-ins:
Garlic purée, try 1T
Puréed celery, try 1/4 cup
Herbs, try 1T.

If you remember the snickerdoodle hummus recipe (note: the recipe’s at the bottom of the post) from a few months back, these crackers are a perfect fit. But they are also great with cheese, peanut butter, cream cheese, jam, honey… anything you don’t want to eat straight off the spoon.

Bonus: Looking for some lunch recommendations in Yaletown? Check out our favourite go-to spots.