Workshop E: Audio Description for Film and television
James O’Hara


Audio description (AD) weaves a scripted commentary around the soundtrack of television programmes, DVDs or films, exploiting pauses to explain on-screen action, describe characters, locations, costumes, body language and facial expressions, thus enhancing enjoyment and meaning for blind and partially-sighted audiences. itfc has been at the forefront of this service on television since it became a legal requirement for digital terrestrial broadcasters. It now provides the same service for cinema and DVD releases. Audio description is a growing service for broadcasters, with the DVD and film industries recognising its potential and increasing their plans to utilise the technology.

The intention of this workshop, which will be in English, with a slightly Scottish lilt to it, is to demonstrate how a describer sets about the task of preparing this scripted commentary. Using a clip from a recent cinema release or television programme, participants will be invited to write an audio description. If the facilities and numbers permit it, this will be done individually.  The alternative is for people to work in groups if they prefer. Participants will need an ability to communicate clearly and concisely. They will be shown examples of the finished article, but will be expected to write a description to match the visual images on screen. The group will look at and hear the finished products.