With tv shows and movies, audio description used to be limited to “does this show have it or not?”
It was a yes or no question.
And as important as that question is, that implied a few things – the assumption was one person was involved in the creation of audio description, instead of the many roles.
At ACB’s 2020 keynote speech, I introduced the varying roles in audio description, with the strategy of educating our disabled talents that there are many places for their expertise and craft. It also educated our audiences about the many contributions and connections involved in creating this work, beyond writing and voicing.
I thought giving a name to the people who voice the work would be an easy start to the introduction. As a sighted person, my experience was in audiobooks, where I valued the skills of narrators. Some voices I just loved, and others, even for a book that I loved — well I couldn’t take more than 2 minutes of it.
I wondered if our audio description audiences could be interested in dipping there toe into the behind the scenes of aspects of creating audio description, and hear from varying perspectives of approaches.
So Know Your Narrator – and it’s bonus episodes – was born.
And beyond that, the strategy was to include the other roles. I believe the weakest link in audio description can bring down even the best! So could we change the conversation from “does this show have audio description or not” – an essential question — and get into the nuance of what works for you in audio description, and ultimately — is it in parity to sighted audiences.
Again as expert performers with disabilities are included in many roles of audio description, there’s another result — the work itself gets better.
With over 100 episodes featuring voice talents, advocates, writers, engineers, editors, mixers, quality control experts, and other pros, we continue to offer our audiences the best of the best, and we dive into the nuance. I love giving a platform to these experts.
The adna, now the Audio Description Network Alliance, is a searchable database of professional talent who contribute to audio description – writers, engineers, narrators, and more. So it made sense to align the podcast with The ADNA.
The exposure has led to employment opportunities for blind and low vision experts, as well as educate our audiences.
So – audio description audiences are becoming even more sophisticated, and the expectation is that our audiences can demand to have the question asked “how great can we make this work” instead of “how cheap can we make it.”
That question “How great can we make it?” changes the focus.
search “the adna presents know your narrator” on your favorite podcast platform
on twitter @ADNAthe