Subtitles

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by ThibaultLonguet, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. ThibaultLonguet

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am pissed that studios don't always include subtitles on their DVDs. [​IMG]
    I mean what does it take to have a man type the dialogues. I think it's quite simple and not a high cost. That way deaf people can watch the show, so as people whose native language is not english and still need it sometimes (like me[​IMG] ).

    Thibault.
     
  2. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2001
    Messages:
    2,442
    Likes Received:
    28
    Thibault, it can actually be very expensive. I know it can cost about $10,000 for a season set of a 30 min show. Probably double that for a 60 min show.

    I'm sure this varies on a few factors.

    Gord
     
  3. Daniel Calleja

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Which region are you referring to? I know that most European discs have a wide selection of subtitles and language tracks because of the countries they cover.

    Most Australian discs also have these options, as most of our "prints" from the British R2 masters.

    Personally I'd rather buy the R1 discs, which usually have more special features, and better picture quality because they don't devote so much space to extraneous language tracks and subtitles.

    Case in point - my R4 copy of Fight Club has English, Danish, Czech, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Portugese and Swedish subtitles. Call me crazy but they're not huge parts of the population here in Australia!

    Something to think about.
     
  4. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2001
    Messages:
    2,442
    Likes Received:
    28
    Well, subtitles take up such little space on a DVD, I don't see the harm of having a bunch of them on there. Audio tracks would be different since they consume valuable disc space.

    Gord
     
  5. ThibaultLonguet

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0

    Waouh! I had no idea! [​IMG]

    Thibault.
     
  6. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2001
    Messages:
    2,442
    Likes Received:
    28
    Actually...let me look into this a bit and I'll report back here. I met someone from a subtitle/closed captioning place when I was at the TV DVD conference last Oct. I found her card yesterday so maybe I'll give her a call when I get a chance.

    Gord
     
  7. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2001
    Messages:
    6,526
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, I'm really peeved that there aren't subtitles or even closed captioning on the Homicide: LOTS sets. Sometimes it's difficult to figure out what people are saying.
     
  8. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    19,345
    Likes Received:
    291
    Real Name:
    Cees Alons
    The DVD versions of the first three Soprano Seasons didn't have subtitles. I was told that even a citizen of NY may have some problems with that dialogue, and so have I.

    Therefore, I was very pleased when the fourth season set appeared to have subtitles added. BTW, it also has a terrific soundtrack!


    Cees
     
  9. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2001
    Messages:
    2,442
    Likes Received:
    28
    Thomas, that's because A&E doesn't think people need subtitles/closed captioning, so they aren't paying to have them done. When we were working on the Kids in the Hall DVD we did a survey and found that 13% of the people that filled out the survey required closed captions to enjoy the show, so we included them. I believe there is only 1 other set from A&E that has closed captions. We also received a few emails from people thanking us for including them because they were hard of hearing, or had a friend that was.

    I guess if you're bothered by the lack of subtitles on an A&E release then I'd recommend that you complain to them. Apparently they don't hear enough people complaining, so they don't realize it's something that people really need.

    Gord
     
  10. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Messages:
    2,116
    Likes Received:
    0


    If you want to get an idea what is involved in making subtitles, try using DVDSubber. It is not that difficult to make subtitles, but it is time consuming.
     
  11. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2001
    Messages:
    2,442
    Likes Received:
    28
    Alright, I called my "friend" at the subtitle/captioning place and she gave me some answers.

    I was off on my previous post about the amount it costs (the price I gave was correct for a 60 min show). Here's the breakdown...

    Assuming it's an English program with English captions, it's $650/hour of material for popup captions (these are the standard captions). It's only $390/hour for rollup captions like the ones seen on soaps and live television like news or sports (captions for actual live television is a lot more). She said that English subtitles are about the same as closed captions.

    Now if you're talking about subtitling an English-language show in other languages (Spanish, French, Chinese) then the cost can be anywhere from $12-$19 PER MINUTE, depending on the language.

    So let's look at the Columbia TriStar release of "Roughnecks: The Starship Trooper Chronicles - The Hydora Campaign" as an example (I picked it because it's a TV product that has many language subtitles). It contains: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai and closed captioning. Using an average per minute cost of $15 for the language (except English), this 96 min disc would have cost roughly $11,000 for the 6 non-english languages plus English subtitles and closed captioning.

    To take that one step further, to give "Dawson's Creek Season 2" (977 mins) the same subtitles and closed captioning, it would cost roughly $110,000.

    Pretty interesting stuff, huh?

    Gord
     
  12. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    19,345
    Likes Received:
    291
    Real Name:
    Cees Alons
    Thanks, Gord.
    So English-only (or close-captioned) isn't that costly at all...

    Cees
     
  13. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2001
    Messages:
    2,442
    Likes Received:
    28
    Well...$10,000-$11,000 for the season for just english. I think the larger studios can justify the expense, but I guess A&E feels like it would be lost money. If they knew that they would sell X more sets which would pay for the subtitles I think they would do it.

    Gord
     
  14. Rodrick

    Rodrick Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    0
    I NOTICE SOME MOVIES HAVE SUBTITLES BUT NOT ALL TVSHOWS.
     
  15. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    4,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gord, if the show already has closed captions (and basically every U.S. show does), wouldn't it be fairly simple to write a program that automatically makes HoH subtitles?
     
  16. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2001
    Messages:
    2,442
    Likes Received:
    28
    I don't know a whole lot about captions. I know there are caption files that have to be included in the NTSC signal, but I don't know if there's a way to pull those out and write it to a file. You may be able to get the text out, but it probably doesn't have the timecode assigned to it.

    Gord
     
  17. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,311
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino


    First of all, it isn't just "the dialogues". In both subtitles and closed captioning you have to indicate where important sounds (like doorbells or off-screen gunshots) come in. You also have to alter and compress the dialogue and time the appearance and disappearance of each title. That's because it takes longer to read something than it does to hear it, so you have to leave each line on screen long enough for someone to read and understand it, while still staying in sync with the action. That means you have to paraphrase and sometimes use shorter words because otherwise a line from one scene will still be on screen when the show has cut to another. (This also applies to translated subtitles. For a funny take on that see King of Hearts, a WWI film in which some of the scenes at British military headquarters are subtitled just like those at the French and German HQs, with hilarious results.)

    Just transcribing the original dialogue is a bigger challenge than a lot of people realize. If you don't believe me, try popping a movie or TV disc into your computer's DVD drive, open your favorite word processor, and try accurately typing out all the dialogue. Suddenly it doesn't seem like such a piece of cake, and you realize you have to hire someone with a great deal of training and experience (who will not come cheap) to do just this - the simplest part of the job.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  18. Vincent Matis

    Vincent Matis Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 1999
    Messages:
    491
    Likes Received:
    0

    Yeah, I tried to subtitle a Seinfeld episode. I gave up after 45 minutes (and 1 minute worth of subtitle).
    Typing is not the hardest part, synching the sub with the dialogue is...
     
  19. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Messages:
    2,116
    Likes Received:
    0


    Go to doom9 and download a program called CCParser. This will allow you to extract Closed Captioning info from DVDs. (It's kind of complicated to use, though.)
     

Share This Page