By Mara Campbell
The AV Division is thrilled to have Mr. Pablo Romero Fresco as our first Distinguished Speaker in the ATA 60th Annual Conference this
October in Palm Springs, California.
Mr. Romero Fresco is a Ramón y Cajal researcher at Universidade de Vigo (Spain) and Honorary Professor of Translation and Filmmaking at the University of Roehampton (London, UK). He is the author of the books Subtitling through Speech Recognition: Respeaking (Routledge), Accessible Filmmaking: Integrating translation and accessibility into the filmmaking process (Routledge) and the editor of The Reception of Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Europe (Peter Lang). He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Audiovisual Translation (JAT) and is currently working with several governments, universities, companies and user associations around the world to improve access to live events for people with hearing loss. He has collaborated with Ofcom to carry out the first analysis of live subtitling quality in the UK and is working with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on a similar project in Canada. His Accessible Filmmaking Guide is being used by many international public broadcasters, universities and producers to introduce a more inclusive approach to translation and accessibility in the filmmaking industry. He is the leader of the international research centre GALMA (Galician Observatory for Media Access), for which he is coordinating several international projects on media accessibility and accessible filmmaking, including “ILSA: Interlingual Live Subtitling for Access”, funded by the EU Commission. Pablo is also a filmmaker. His first documentary, Joining the Dots (2012), was screened during the 69th Venice Film Festival and was used by Netflix as well as film schools around Europe to raise awareness about audiodescription.
He will cover two wonderful topics during the conferences: interlingual real-time captioning and accessible filmmaking.
Real-time captioning, also known as live subtitling, is the real-time transcription of spoken words, sound effects, important musical cues,
and other relevant audio information to enable deaf or hard-of-hearing persons to follow a live audiovisual program.
This new form of translation presents exciting opportunities for those professionals working in the areas of translation and accessibility. Accessible filmmaking aims at integrating translation into film production.
Commonly regarded (since it was introduced in the United States and Europe in the early 1980s) as one of the most challenging modalities
within media accessibility, it can be produced through different methods: standard QWERTY keyboards, Velotype and the two most common approaches, namely stenography and respeaking.
But when you throw in a different target language in the mix, you need interlingual real-time captioning, which requires a combination of interpretation and captioning skills.
Over 50% of the revenue obtained by most current films comes from translated (dubbed, subtitled) and accessible versions (subtitled
for the deaf, audio described for the blind), yet normally only 0.1%-1% of the budget is spent on these additional versions.
To make matters worse, the professionals creating these versions usually work under intense time pressure and with small budgets, for little remuneration, and traditionally have no contact at all with the creative team.
This can result in a version of the film that is artistically compromised: large, brightly lit subtitles may ruin a dimly lit and subdued scene;
an inaccurate AD track may fail to establish plot points effectively; worse still, the representation of characters can be affected. The result is a vastly inferior product that betrays the filmmaker’s original artistic vision. In an effort to avoid large sections of the audience experiencing an inferior product, Accessible Filmmaking proposes to tackle this issue by integrating translation and accessibility into the
filmmaking process. Mr. Romero Fresco will share how the Accessible Filmmaking model is being implemented by filmmakers and
production companies all over the world and the new opportunities it presents for audiovisual translators.
Don’t miss Pablo Romero Fresco’s presentations:
Interlingual Real-Time Closed Captions: Where Accessibility Meets Translation (086), on Friday, October 25th, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Chino Room.
Accessible Filmmaking: Integrating Translation into Film Production (101), on Friday, October 25th, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Chino Room.
(This article was written drawing from information available at Galma Observatory and the abstracts and bio submitted by
Mr. Romero Fresco.)