Paramount and subtitles

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by rbirk, Dec 12, 2002.

  1. rbirk

    rbirk Stunt Coordinator

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    First I want to say that Paramount is one of the leading companies supporting English subtitles in all their movies. Even most (or even all?) documentaries and featurettes have them. A great thank you, Paramount.

    One thing though, after seeing Roman Holiday and Serpico. When the characters speak other languages than English there are no subtitles at all. That is too bad. If you have problem hearing and need the English subtitles when the characters speak English, you most probably will have a problem with other languages as well.

    I wish in the future, the subtitles would be complete.

    Thank you and keep up the good work.

    Ron Birk
     
  2. Martin Blythe

    Martin Blythe Second Unit

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    If you're referring to sub-titles during the movie when someone speaks something other than English, then I see no reason to change what we're doing. If someone speaks Italian during the movie and the filmmaker didn't supply sub-titles for that scene, why should we put them on the DVD?

    But I appreciate your compliments on the special features sub-titles - that's something we strongly believe in.
     
  3. Mikah Cerucco

    Mikah Cerucco Cinematographer

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    I can answer that question. The answer is all. I know because members of my family couldn't watch them otherwise. Never before has the family noticed what Studio releases a movie, but now they ask me "Is that Paramount?"
     
  4. Megan_A_D

    Megan_A_D Stunt Coordinator

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    nod I also offer Kudos to Paramount for being one of the first studios to step up to this plate and I believe is the studio to have done it the most consistently...

    But definently... for deaf people... subtitles vs captions, Captions are just about always superior because there seems to be some inherent rules in what does and does not get captioned vs what gets subtitled.

    On average (note I'm speaking in general terms and that there are discs out there that this does NOT apply to), I find that subtitles to be lacking because they tend to be written not for the deaf and hard of hearing but as if it were an English translation of a foreign language film. Almost never do they include mention of sounds which very often is key to the plot. They tend to leave a lot out, ie someone calling someone's name repeatedly - we only sometimes get the name once if at all let alone a proper display of once for each time uttered. Also things are often reworded.

    Now captions aren't perfect... I've encountered a number of places where the captioner for some inexplicable reason, decided to paraphrase punch lines, jokes, or parts of dialogue. However, that's always noted as a bad deed on the part of the captioner since captions are supposed to be exact textual description of every line of dialogue as well as sounds that are heard. 95% of the time this is done properly...

    I can't tell you the number of times, I've been watching something captioned and a hearing person sitting with me remarks that they're getting or finally understanding lines of dialogue that they never knew before or remarking that they can't hear that sound that's being described and that the characters on the screen are reacting to.

    I'll definently take subtitles over nothing but captioning (done right and not by some person with a revisionist yen) is always my preferred way to go!

    My 2 cents,
    Megalion

    (who was devasted when Episode II and LOTR EE both went back on trend and did not caption their extras at all unlike their fully captioned predecessors)
     
  5. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    I've always thought that's a good point

    The now-cancelled Firefly has romanizations of the Chinese dialogue in the closed captions. At the very least I would like to see that

    Tora Tora Tora always pissed me off because half of the J dialogue is not translated
     
  6. rbirk

    rbirk Stunt Coordinator

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    Let me try to explain what I mean. In this case I do understand some of the languages, but I have hard time hearing. So without the subtitles I am lost when the characters speak other languages than English. It is very frustrating.

    If the director intended the lines to be translated you will usually see supplied English subtitles. But if there is no original translation I would expect, when you enable English subtitles on the DVD, to see the subtitles contain the original language. That way, if you understand the language, you can follow and understand.

    Otherwise it would be like having the characters talking gibberish instead of Italian, Spanish etc and you can say that most people do not understand it anyway. Why do they need to speak a real language? (just trying to make my point a little clearer)

    Ron
     
  7. Mikah Cerucco

    Mikah Cerucco Cinematographer

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    I'm surprised there's any debate about this. Paramount is the best, bar none, when it comes to making extras accessible. Folks, there's plenty of other places to direct our outrage on this one. Is it possible this is a case of targeting the easiest target (since Martin is here to read)?
    Episode II was a huge disappointment since Episode I was enabled, but I'm confused about your comment on LOTR EE. My copy most certainly DOES have Closed Captions on the extras.
     
  8. Mikah Cerucco

    Mikah Cerucco Cinematographer

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  9. Megan_A_D

    Megan_A_D Stunt Coordinator

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    Mikah I'm sOOO happy that you pointed out my error!!

    to explain, Peter Bracke over at DVDFile has gotten very good about mentioning the existence of lack thereof of subtitles/captions on the dvds that he reviews and his review of LOTR EE explicitly said that there were no captions! I remember writing and expressing the hope that perhaps his advance copy (which all the reviewers got the same day) were from a special advance run that wasn't complete yet or something... He didn't think so but in the end looks like that was the case.

    The second I got to the part of the post where you say that LOTR EE was captioned for you... I ran for my player and popped in Disc 3 and sure enough you were right!! YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY!!

    Ok so to address the questions you had for me...

    Yes I certainly agree that it's better to go after the studios who aren't keeping up with Paramount in this dept than to push for Paramount to do the captions as well and I was trying to make that clear by starting out with kudos for Paramount... but in the end Martin did mention that he wants our feedback and that's my 2 cents that while I'll take subtitles over nothing, I in the end prefer captions.
    I'm not outraged at Paramount at all!! They were the first studio in my experience (with Double Jeopardy that I saw) to do this at all!

     
  10. PienSavaca

    PienSavaca Stunt Coordinator

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  11. Mikah Cerucco

    Mikah Cerucco Cinematographer

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    I'd like subtitles commentaries as well, but I'm just aware of where my bread is buttered. I don't think we're far off in our opinions. To me "90% there" is an "A" and I'd rather focus on places that are receiving a failing grade than chastise the "A" student for not scoring higher. [​IMG] In the end, I think you mean to explain the missing 10%, not complain about it.
    I'm still shell-shocked that a disc like SW:EP2-AOTC has all those extras, and no access for the hearing impaired. Especially after SW:EP1-TPM. Van Ling talked about it a little, though. Apparently, sometimes the DVD producers want to include the subs, but the studios squash it -- probably for time/cost reasons. I don't like it either way, but I really hope it is a time issue and not a cost one because the cost is minuscule.
    Paramount [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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