Blindfold Games #291: Creating a Descriptive Video

Dianne Brauner watched my presentation on Blindfold Games, and asked me to make a version of it with descriptive video to share with visually impaired colleagues.  Here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yFU5T3Ezxs

Descriptive video is a service analogous to closed captioning.  With closed captioning, commonly used for people with hearing limitations, you see the dialog as subtitles on the screen.  With descriptive video, you hear a description of what is occurring on the video.  Many movies and TV shows include descriptive video – videos that have been described are identified with an uppercase letter “D” and two right parentheses, such as:

descriptive video icon

I added descriptive video to the Blindfold Games presentation by first writing out a script of what was shown in the video, then had my daughter – the voice in Blindfold Racer – record the script.  Then I used iMovie on my Mac to add the audio to the video, at each point.  The script had about 40 descriptions, and I dropped each description at the appropriate time.

The video started at 12 minutes and it took about an hour to record the audio.  Some of the sentences took several “takes”, and I have some great bloopers.  It then took an hour or two to accomplish this in iMovie.  I was already familiar with using iMovie; if you’ve never used it before, it takes about 2 hours to learn it, and there are some great YouTube videos for learning iMovie.  The completed video lasts about 18 minutes.

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