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Why Documentary Makers Need to be Using Transcription

By March 13, 2020September 4th, 2021No Comments

You may be surprised to hear that transcripts are a key component of the post-production process in film-making. When not using transcripts, filmmakers and documentary makers alike increase the complexity and tediousness of the post-production process, while making achieving the final product they have in mind an uphill battle.

In this article we explore why documentary makers use transcription and similarly, why those who currently aren’t, need to reconsider doing so immediately.

1. Promotes greater accessibility of content

Transcriptions serve as the precursor to subtitles and captions in videos. And, as we’ve previously discussed, the benefits of subtitles and captions are significant when it comes to accessibility. Subtitles can act as an effective interpreter for those who do not speak the same language of a given documentary. Further, viewers who are either hearing impaired or hard of hearing can benefit immensely from having accurate closed captions that they can read from and follow along with as the video is playing.

In the end, accessibility of content leads to greater viewership and a better user experience. 

2. Speeds Up the Editing and Re-editing Process

Transcribing voice from a video into actual text makes all of the original information well within reach, and video editing / re-editing a snap. With a full video transcript, documentary makers have the full context of the video’s speech in which it was provided. Further, timecodes and timestamps are used as references, allowing editors to work more efficiently with the use of transcriptions, particularly where timestamps are synchronized with the timestamps in the video.

With transcription, editors can save time by avoiding having to switch between viewing and editing footage in post-production.

3. Allows for Consumption on the Go

With more and more people consuming content on their mobile devices, it is becoming more important to consider how this change in consumption behavior calls for a change in the way that content is presented to users. In fact, 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound, while many other apps and websites have an auto-play feature enabled which cues up videos without sound. As such, adding closed captions to videos, so that people (and potential customers!) can watch video content anywhere, is paramount!

Transcriptions: In-House or Outsource?

You may not know it, but when it comes to transcription, many post-production teams prefer to cut out the middle-man and manage the task in-house. However, mistakes are often made this way as many teams lack the in-house expertise to produce the transcription themselves. This lack of expertise also increases cost significantly, as in-house teams are not always able to produce transcriptions efficiently and the task may often require multiple iterations.

In contrast, whether automated or human, outsourcing transcription services is a wise decision. It is more cost-efficient thanks to the help of advanced software and professionals who are qualified in the field and able to perform the task more quickly. More importantly, the quality of transcriptions is significantly better given the level of expertise that comes with outsourcing the task.

TranscribeMe provides filmmakers with a completely holistic approach to video transcription and translation, making it easier for organizations of all sizes to finish documentaries and videos quickly and affordably.

Have a film, documentary, or other video project in progress? Get in touch for a FREE transcription and translation quote.