HOW TO CAPTION
USE BRACKETS AROUND A DESCRIPTION OF SOUND.
DESCRIBE THE SOUNDS CLEARLY and SUCCINCTLY.
CONSIDER YOUR CAPTIONS AN INTERPRETATION OF MOOD IN SOUND DESIGN.
TRY TO MIRROR THE TIME THE SOUND TAKES UP WITH THE AMOUNT OF DESCRIPTION:
[ Quick, anxious bird chirps. ] YES
[A succession of quick, evenly paced, high pitched, anxious bird chirps.] NO.
(Thank you for the detail, but this can get really overwhelming.)
DON’T BE TOO SUBJECTIVE:
[The phone trills like my grandmother’s voice.] NO.
[The phone trilllllllls.] YES. fun!
DON’T BE BORING IF THE SOUND IS EXCITING / DON’T DESCRIBE WHAT WE CAN ALREADY SEE:
[A razor buzzes.] NO.
[Relentless, irritating drone.] YES.
TRY NOT TO BE CONFUSING. (It is hard to describe sound.)
"It is like a big ball of concrete falling into a metal well surrounded by seaweed." --> Tilda Swinton’s character tries to describe a ‘bang’ that is haunting her in Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s film MEMORIA. After a sound designer struggles to re-create her sound, she says “It’s earthier. Rounder.”
It is a beautiful description, and her inability to perfectly describe it drives some of the story (swoon), but if you were to write this as a caption my brain will go into an imagining zone and away from watching your film. (It’s one thing if your piece is about captioning and describing sound, and if it is, go for it, but if it isn’t...)
Thank you for making the effort to make your work more accessible and for trusting me in asking me how to do this.
Please consider making a donation to me or hiring me as a consultant.
paypal (my email can be found here: TOUCH )
If you are hearing, please understand that your description of sound is appreciated, but complicated for Deaf and HoH people, as the choices you make determine our comprehension of the work. Please consider hiring d/Deaf/HoH folks who have experience in this as consultants.
If you are d/Deaf/HoH or rely on captions and have resources or more suggestions, feel free to share them with me and I’ll add them here.