5 Tips for Closed Captioning Success

Need to provide closed captions for digital media? Word Wizards has some tips for you that will help make the process go a bit more smoothly. These simple recommendations can help save you time and money during your next captioning project. So before you send of media for captioning, remember these tips and your project should proceed without any hiccups or surprises.

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5 Tips For Success:

  1. Provide a quality transcript with time code! Closed Captioning requires an accurate transcript of the dialogue to be effective. By providing time codes within your transcript, the closed captioning technician can easy perfect the timing of the captions as they appear on screen. The more time the captioner must spend figuring out the timing, the more expensive the project will be and the longer it will take. Word Wizards offers a significant discount if you bundle your transcript and closed caption jobs together.
  2. Choose your priority: Turnaround vs. Price. A good captioning provider can turnaround closed caption projects on the same day they are ordered, but at a much higher rate. If you know you have a tight deadline, submitting your closed captioning project with plenty of time to spare will save you serious dough on rush charges.
  3. Know your distribution mechanism. There are several formats of closed captions each intended for various types of media. YouTube captions are saved in a completely different format than broadcast captions. Knowing what mediums of distribution you intend to use to put out your video before hand will guarantee your captions show up correctly on whatever platform of delivery you choose. Make sure to clearly express what mechanism you intend to use for distribution at the beginning of the project. That way, the captioning firm can get it right the first time and no time will be wasted in the confusion.
  4. Be honest about project requirements. Closed Captioning require significant resources, planning, and managerial attention. Providing honest and accurate information about your project needs allows the captioning team to effectively plan for the workload. When sending media off for closed captioning, provide accurate information describing; how long is the video, what format is it currently in, how will it be distributed, what is the project deadline, is the media “sensitive” requiring additional security, what language is the dialogue, how many files are to be expected.
  5. Know your captioning team and how to hold them responsible. Captioning project often leave little room for error. Although cheap alternatives flood the market, it is your neck on the line if a captioning project does not come through within the deadline or is sub-par in quality. Understand where you are sending your media and get a feeling for how seriously the organization takes customer services and satisfaction. In this business, you get what you pay for. Avoid the cheapest options, because when project deadlines are tight, you can’t afford any surprises. Talk to your service provider and make sure they accept phone calls and answer questions promptly.

Caption Smart, Caption Right

It is your responsibility to make smart decisions when contracting out of house for any media processing service. By keeping these tips in mind, and following your business instincts, you can avoid some serious pitfalls associated with closed captioning and other media projects. Word Wizards provides quality closed captioning services and will gladly help you with your next captioning project. However, if you decide to shop around, using these tips will help you choose an option that fits your needs, your budget, and your timeline.