Captioning Options are a broad area when it comes to video production.
Think about captioning options as the blanket category for all text displayed in a video that’s the exact same as the audio content. It’s not a translation, captions are not subtitles.
An easy way to keep the two straight, subtitles are for viewers who don’t speak the original language of the video. Captions are for those who, for one reason or another, can’t hear or understand the audio track.
Two captioning options
When captions pop up, they’re considered either open or closed. Open captions are put into the video file itself and cannot get turned off by the viewer. Closed captions are optional. You can turn them on, or switch them off, as needed.
Most video content has closed captioning available. Even many TV shows offer it. This provides an opportunity for those who are hearing impaired to enjoy the video content.
Open captioning has applications that are a little more loose. It’s best when providing clarity to the audio if it’s needed for anyone who’s watching.
Closed captions for accessibility
These captions give the viewer the full experience of what’s happening, as far as the sound, on screen. The written words make sure the viewer doesn’t miss anything, from dialogue to the atmospheric sound in the video.
Open captions for clarity
Open captions have their ideal place when the recorded dialogue on screen is hard to understand for one reason or another. This could be because of someone’s accent, or just a poor recording.
Captioning lets someone with a thicker accent, you’re worried viewers won’t understand, to not have a translator speak over them. Their voice continues to come through without the audience missing what they’re saying, all thanks to captions.
This captioning strategy is especially handy in reality programming that involves travel. Even if everyone on screen is speaking English, being from different countries, it may prove harder to understand some over others. I’ve even seen programming where captions popped up every time the reality show explorers went underwater since it wasn’t so easy to hear everything they were saying through their face masks.
Again, as a captioning option, open captions improve accessibility of your video content. They enable viewers to better understand all the audio without having to strain or guess at what’s being said.
The biggest issue around captioning options is accuracy. Since the captions must mirror the words and sounds on screen, it’s important the team building the captions are working off an accurate transcript. This begins with hiring a qualified team of transcribers and goes on to have a trusted vendor to generate the actual captions.
At ECG Productions, we check and recheck all our captioning content to ensure the highest level of accuracy. Our attention to detail is a pillar of all our production services, and one each member of our team values. Should you want to add closed captions for accessibility, or insert open captions for clarity, we’ve got the experience to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can work with you to create the best video content.