A woman with shoulder-length blonde hair and blue eyes peers ahead and smirks, with part of the Toronto skyline and a light blue sky over her right shoulder. See? That's kind of how this description thing works.

A woman with shoulder-length blonde hair and blue eyes peers ahead and smirks, with part of the Toronto skyline and a light blue sky over her right shoulder. See? That's kind of how this description thing works.

Contact: descriptionto at gmail.com, or @movies4theblind on Twitter

The Person

Hi! All my life, starting in the United States and then in Canada, I've been writing and reading things aloud. For a couple decades, that meant working in radio as an announcer, producer and what we used to call a DJ. For more than another decade, it has mainly meant describing visual media so people who are blind, visually impaired, learning English, or just not looking to understand what's going on.

I started out in audio description as a producer at Audio Vision Canada (now AMI - Alternative Media Inc.), and over several years, added directing, narrating and writing to my duties. Eventually, I became Creative Director. I was also part of the team that testified to the CRTC, who awarded us the licence to make AMI-tv the first television network in the world dedicated to content with open audio description (as it's called in Canada, described video).

In 2007, I struck out on my own, and created Movies For the Blind, a free weekly podcast of public-domain films produced with audio description so they can be enjoyed audio-only like audiobooks. The intention was to raise the profile of audio description and show sighted people who had never heard of the form just how entertaining it could be. 300 episodes were produced, which are currently being rerun with added content. 

Along the way, I have written, narrated and produced audio description for several-dozen tv projects in Canada, as well as thousands of hours of educational material for the Described and Captioned Media Program in the United States. I was proud to be named an Audio Description Advocate by the Audio Description Project of the American Council of the Blind in May 2010.

There is much more to do.

The Specs

For Audio Description/Described Video

Deliverable:

  • Described audio track(s) only, either mixed with soundtrack, or as description alone placed to time-code
  • .wav, .aif, .mp3
  • 48 kHz, 44.1 kHz, or other on request
  • Resolution: 16 or 24-bit
  • Reference video (.mov, .mp4, .m4v) with described track available on request

Source material needed:

  • .mov or .mp4 preferred, .avi acceptable
  • Picture-lock or later
  • Final soundtrack audio, as part of video file or as separate audio files for sync with video
  • If some visual elements (chyron, etc.) are incomplete, notes with time-codes detailing them
  • Screenplays or transcripts not required, but appreciated (can shorten turnaround)

For Voiceover

Deliverable:

  • Audio track(s), cold read
  • .wav, .aif, .mp3
  • 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, or other on request
  • Can take direction over Skype

Needed:

  • Script! :-)