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, August 21, 2009

LiveDescribe Weeks 15&16

LiveDescribe Weeks 15: August 10th - 14th, 2009. Week 16: August 17th - 21st, 2009.

I’ve been running into some problems with the LiveDescribe program. I accidentally lost a full 95% completed episode of the Office somehow, and I have no idea how. I closed the program due to an issue with the microphone, before which I saved my work. When I went to re-open the program it was unable to locate any of my descriptions. It is all gone, and I’m very upset by it, because it was a good episode!! And now must be re-done, which is annoying to say the least.

While working on an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, while recording an extended description, the program froze, and now every time I go to open this episode on the program, it freezes once again. I have not pin-pointed the problem.

Just to keep you all posted otherwise, I’ve been doing a lot of writing and recording lately. I am fully aware that it has been a very long time since I last posted episodes. There are many reasons for this! One of the reasons is that we have run into an uploading glitch that is being fixed, so until then, I won’t be posting any new episodes. But just so you are aware of my progress…

The following episodes have been recorded/described, just need to be briefly edited before being posted:

- The Office Full Season 1 – Episodes 1 through 6

- It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Full Season 1 – Episodes 1 through 7

- Friends Season 1 – Episodes 1 through 6

The following episodes have been written:

- Full House Season 1 – Episodes 1 through 6

- Degrassi High Season 1 – Episodes 5 & 6

Soon, more described episodes of: 30 Rock, Being Erica, Little Mosque on the Prairie, Saved by the Bell, Degrassi, Flashpoint, and Dawson’s Creek – will all follow!

So that’s all good stuff you can look forward to! I will let you know once they’re all up!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

LiveDescribe Weeks 13 & 14

LiveDescribe Week 13: July 27th - July 30th, 2009. & Week 14: August 4th - August 7th, 2009.

The Office (US) is still on its way!! They're almost done. I want to post the episodes up at the same time. I just have some editing to do.

I'm realizing that these days, my details are not as specific as when I first began describing. Little details that don't further the story are being omitted. I've begun to do this naturally without giving it much thought because I just know that they don't progress the story at all and are distracting. Specific details such as "she is taken aback" are evident already in the tone of voice. I need to trust the tone of the voice and the silences in between dialogue in certain situations because they are great story-telling devices, and I don't want to be sharing information that is already obvious. I've had to ask myself what details don't need to be explained.

This last week, I've been going to help out at a Clay and Paper Theatre Company Production - - A show in a park! This production company organized their play to integrate audio description into their show, and also offer a Touch Tour before the show. If you don't know what a touch tour is: it is an opportunity for individuals to be guided through the show's costumes, props, sets, masks, etc. The touch tour is led by the actors, and audience members are able to talk to the actors about their characters, their character voices, and touch all of the items involved in the show. This is an amazing opportunity for blind or low-vision audience members to gather as much information about the show as possible before experiencing the live production.

As for the audio description used, it was absolutely seamless. I hadn't really experienced audio description of this sort. The script was adjusted to integrate description. For example, through dialogue, it was always clear who entered the scene, who was speaking. For Example: "There's the marine biologist", etc. However, if you were not a blind or low-vision person aware that audio description was to be provided, as a sighted person, the audio description easily went unnoticed.

I was working at the show to survey individuals about their experience with the touch tour and the show.

This experience of seamless integration of audio description has really got me trying to think of ways to make my descriptions less intrusive to the experience. It's very difficult to achieve this as someone not involved in the original creative process. I think it's so great that Clay and Paper Theatre Company decided to make their show accessible and made the necessary adjustments to create a seamless experience.