When captioning videos, video editors must be aware of the updated FCC guidelines and standards regarding caption quality. These regulations went into effect in March 2015. As many of you know, one of the most difficult aspects of a video editor’s job is placing the captions in areas that do not block important visual content on the screen. This task becomes even more complicated with text-heavy programming, like infomercials.
In its updated guidelines, the FCC states that: Captioning shall be view-able and shall not block other important visual content on the screen, including, but not limited to, character faces, featured text (e.g., weather or other news updates, graphics and credits), and other information that is essential to understanding a program’s content when the closed captioning feature is activated.
If video editors fail to comply with this FCC rule, their show can be rejected by television stations. This is an adjustment for many, as in the past caption placement could be anywhere on the screen. However, captions that stayed in the same place throughout an entire program typically caused issues for viewers. For example, captions that remained on the bottom of the screen would sometimes block important information, like website addresses or phone numbers. On the other hand, captions that remained on the top of the screen would often get in the way of graphics or block the speaker’s face. Captions blocking a speaker’s lips also made it impossible for people to lip-read. Now, closed captioning is required to move around on the screen wherever it needs to, so as not to block any of these things. Video editors must also adjust timing so there is enough time for viewers to read the captions.
If you need assistance with closed captions, why not leave it to the experts? Here at Metro Captions, our closed captioners are among the most accurate and reputable in the industry. Contact us today for a free quote on your closed captioning project.