What is Film and TV Transcription?

A great transcript can be the basis of all kinds of other materials, including your captioning, web extras (interview transcripts! out-takes!), and subtitling. As anyone who has ever tried to transcribe their own footage knows, it’s harder than it seems. Add in shot descriptions, music cues, TC and IDs, and you can get into a lot of complexity very quickly.

Raw Footage Transcription

Raw footage transcription is a common thing to do with interview footage (video or audio) when you need a way of searching who said what, when, and where.

Many editors don’t require full verbatim for their raw footage, but it’s nice to have and makes cutting and pasting together a full transcript a lot easier. In addition, you might want to take your rough transcription and build it out into a full dialogue list at a later time.

Tips for raw footage transcription:

  • If you choose to do your own transcription, allot yourself some dedicated time for typing and listening… probably quite a bit more time than you think it could possibly take.
  • Our choice for transcription software is Inqscribe. We don’t recommend attempting voice recognition. It requires so much proofing that you might as well just start typing.
  • You might want to enter your raw footage into a logging application like PilotWare. This is completely do-able if you follow the application’s formatting details exactly. Attention to detail is critical.

Line 21 offers bulk rates for transcription on a tiered schedule, so if you have a huge number of hours to get through, or even if you just need someone to help with overflow, we can get the job done quickly and efficiently. We’re masters at managing these high-volume, tightly scheduled jobs.

Transcription For Post Production and Distribution

At the post production and release stage, you may be asked for any of a variety of as-shot or as-produced scripts to accompany your project into distribution. Your distributor or broadcaster will have very specific ideas about the transcription format they need. These can include (from simplest to most complex):

Dialogue List

Sample of a Simple Dialogue List

A dialogue list includes word-accurate dialogue and speaker IDs, and may or may not include timecode.

As-Produced Script

Sample of an As Produced Script

An as-produced script is an exact reflection of the final program as it will be broadcast. It includes act breaks, scene breakdowns and descriptions, continuity as required, plus word-accurate dialogue and IDs. As-produced scripts will also sometimes have timing for scenes or acts.

CCSL or Combined Continuity and Spotting List

Sample of a Complex CCSL Script

Here we reach full complexity!

A Simple CCSL is one where:

  • each shot is numbered and given a time reference
  • continuity is concisely described
  • dialogue is word-accurate and includes ID and is fully spotted
  • and main titles and supers are numbered and timed in.

The script is completed using either a timecode format, a feet-&-frame format, or both.


A Comprehensive CCSL includes all the elements of a Simple CCSL, plus adds numbering for all titles, includes fully timed subtitles, annotations for the subtitles to assist translators and make sure they understand the dialogue, and notations about whom each character is speaking to. A full list of end credits is also included.


Custom Scripts

Don’t see what you need? Line 21 can draft a script in a style that best suits you and your distributor. We can include just those elements you need, leaving out any that you don’t, making the most cost effective use of your production budget. Please call us anytime to discuss how we can best serve you.Find out more information about Line 21’s transcription services.

November’s Recipe:

Raw food brownies

These are amazing: gluten free, sugar free, vegan, and so delicious! Also: dead easy.

 Raw Food Brownies: Gluten Free, Sugar Free & Vegan

14 medjool dates, pitted (you need the juicy ones)

½ cup raw almonds or walnuts

½ cup raw cacao

Pinch of salt

Some raw vanilla


Blend all in the food processor. If you like them really smooth, process the nuts first. If you like them chunky, process everything all at once. Add a few more nuts if your batter is too loose, add a bit of water if it is too tight. It should press together easily.

Form into balls. Roll the balls in a bit of coconut or cacao nibs, if you like, and put them into the freezer for 10 minutes or longer to stiffen them up.


Via The Vancouver Raw Food School as reported in the Vancouver Sun.