About Me

Welcome! My name is Katerina and I'm an Acting student at Ryerson University. This summer, I will be working with the Centre for Learning Technologies at Ryerson on their LiveDescribe Program. This Blog will record and follow my process and experiences as an audio describer for the visually impaired. Using the LiveDescribe program, I will be creating audio descriptions for videos of TV episodes, films, etc. These audio descriptions are and will be available online as they are created at www.livedescribe.com. Keep checking back here for new video details, discoveries, and so forth!

Friday, May 29, 2009

LiveDescribe Week 4

Week 4: May 25th – 29th, 2009.

Week 4!!

I have been learning more and more about decision making when it comes to descriptions. I’m finding myself having to decide which descriptions are necessary and which are not. Sometimes, there is enough room in between dialogue to include certain descriptions, but when I go back to evaluate the description, at times I realize that it is simply not necessary at all. So, thus the debate is: Do I include all the description possible to fit into a space, or do I only include what tells the story?

A few things to think about:

Can silence be a storyteller as well? - - In Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister there was a moment, where there was a sombre silence for less than 3 seconds, and I had the choice between describing an audience member`s reaction or allowing the silence alone to hit the listener. I chose the silence because I felt that that had more purpose and served the experience more, rather than describing an audience member’s reaction.

In studio audience types of shows: I find that the reactions of audience members are nowhere near as important as describing reactions of people in dramas for example. In fictional shows, they further the storyline, while in audience-interactive shows, rarely does a reaction of an audience member change the direction of the show.

Again, I am running into a huge problem with group scenes - - how to make them clear??? Does naming the characters help? Or is that distracting? Can the listener already distinguish between voices? Do I assume they cannot distinguish between the voices? I was having such a hard time keeping all of the Degrassi characters straight, I had to go to a website with character profiles so that I can figure out who’s who, before going in to do the descriptions.
Show introduction descriptions: description aside - - what is the purpose of introduction? What is the purpose of the images and the titles? It’s to give the viewer information about the show. So, when describing an introduction, should you just describe what the visually impaired individual cannot see? Or do you create a show introduction to serve the same purpose as it would for a sighted individual?

For the purpose of Degrassi’s show introduction - - it plays a song, that is representative of the time, the audience, the characters represented. Listening to it, I believe that it gives the listener the introductory information necessary, that if I were to speak over it to offer my own introduction, it would take away from what the introduction’s audio already offers. I have the option of possible describing characters throughout the song’s intro, but A) it would lose the song in the process and B) it would be so much information thrown at the listener at once, that it would probably not be helpful anyway.

Extended Description:

COOL TOOL - - Extended Description - - minor glitch!! It is a bit delayed in the recording, and doesn’t always show up in the audio line, which makes it very difficult to edit. But Ryan is fixing it! Also, as extended description plays, you can’t stop it - - you have to wait for it to finish before you can pause. I’ve found that the extended description works well, but it does cut off milliseconds off of dialogue on both ends of the description, so you have to be very careful when considering placement.

I’m beginning to have a much better understanding of what is necessary to be communicated to the listener, vs. what is just empty information. It’s not about following any sort of rules, it’s about telling a story. Good motto to go by when describing comedy? - - Don’t tell me how funny it is... make me laugh. The describer has to remember that shows are supposed to be entertaining, and that should not be lost because of description.

Newest Episodes – Check them out! @ http://livedescribe.com/wiki/browse.php

- Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister 2008.
- Rick Mercer Report March 10th, 2009.
- Rick Mercer Report March 17th, 2009.

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