Switched At Birth will have audio description in 2017.

contact us at this email

Ever since our first post about getting audio description on the TV show Switched at Birth we have been working hard on actually, either, making this happen, or, figuring out if it was ever going to happen. Our focus was on digital media because the ACB is covering the TV bit and doing it very well.

The phone calls and emails began.

We contacted many describers in the United States because we wanted to, first, try to see if they would even be willing to contract with either Netflix or Apple to produce platform based audio description. Even though it would only be on one service and not the rest, the audio description that is, the describers would be working and, since they were contracting with the VOD providers to produce exclusive description, they would be paid by the VOD providers.

Many describers wanted to do this. That wasn’t a cause for concern. Many were willing to do this, make exclusive audio description on certain platforms, especially for TV shows and movies that were never described. Some were so eager; they began relaying price quotes to us.

One describer who we emailed put us in touch with a very enthusiastic group of audio description students who were also fans at Switched at Birth. They were from the audio description institutes. We were very up front about them contracting with VOD platforms instead of us, because, simply put, we can’t afford it and it’s just better to do overall. We explained our past attempt to get this happening where Lizzy said that it looked like it wasn’t going to happen to Sam and I on twitter as well.

A plan was formed. Our team would try and contact the needed parties to get the two parties connected and working together. We tried. At first, we were ignored when we emailed the right people at these VOD companies, or, we were blindly sending out communication emails, hoping someone would be kind enough to drop a name or a phone number or an email address.

For a while it seemed as if we were not going to get a break. We got one however, in the form of Kevin at Tell Me TV the two connected and they got to work. Kevin didn’t have the rights to air the show on his video description on demand service and the team at the audio description school didn’t have the rights to produce anything as of yet. We figured if Kevin could just secure rights on his end then they could just work with Kevin.

That’s still pending, obtaining the rights. Meetings need to start and people need to talk to make this happen but Kevin did tell us that meetings were set up for the coming weeks, which is a great step in the right direction.

When we heard this news we figured we would still dig to find out if Netflix would host the independently produced audio description just in case Kevin learned of the prices the audio description team were proposing and changed his mind. Still, we were banking on Kevin because he’s the only one who didn’t ignore us or brush off our concerns or desires unlike other VOD companies. We figured we would look into what’s happening with the landscape of audio description on TV, what I jokingly call, old time audio description. Our team didn’t have to look far. Many of us are subscribed to the audio description mailing list. {This article was posted that talks about the FCC halting a lot of agenda items.](http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-fcc-just-caved-in-to-republican-demands-that-it-halt-work-on-major-issues) I began to panic but many people on our team told me to just cool my jets. Still, I was worried. The first thing stalled on the agenda is described TV? Really? When I asked on the audio description email list how we can combat the FCC killing so many agenda items, I was assured that nothing was going to be killed, that things were just on hold and stalled.

Still, I became even more restless and even more desperate to figure out if the VOD platforms would at least consider contracting with describers to produce audio description for a show that was never described. Not only did I want the show described, but I wanted another thing to become possible along with the show being described. Since people will cut the cord in a number of years and get their video online I wanted to insure that VOD companies would think about contracting describers. It would give the describers a lot more work and, they can make content described that never had audio description.

I put all of us to work with one email. Get on the phones, try to message our contacts again, we need to make contact. Emails were sent, phone calls were made, and, finally, we got a response.

Ironically, it was from Netflix, of all places. One content acquisition manager told us the following:

thanks for writing to us! Let me talk with the other folks internally about this and let me get back to you about this.

I made a note to follow up with her and also told my fellow members to remind me to follow up with her in January, after the new year.

The second reply came from Bryan in the captioning department at Netflix.

Hi! Thanks for writing us. I don’t know if you already know this but Switched at Birth is already in the process of being described by Disney. The person you should email about that is Christopher Stefanidis. Email here.

He didn’t say if all seasons were going to be described or if only the last season was going to be described on TV. I asked Chris this question, what seasons were going to be described, and if they were going to give the audio description to Netflix.
We heard back from the VP at Disney. Switched At Birth will be described! His reply is below.

Dear Mr. Kingett:
Thank you for your note and interest in Described Video Service for the television series, SWITCHED AT BIRTH.
Audio description tracks for this series are currently in production (targeted completion dates are listed below).
To date, we have delivered tracks for 29 episodes to Netflix.
Unless I am mistaken, I believe it is the policy of Netflix to post AD when an entire series is complete.
It appears that we will have created, conformed and delivered Season 5 by the end of February 2017.
Given the digital platforms’ content processing time, I would assume that the series would be fully described in English shortly thereafter.
As you may know, iTunes recently began support of AD for television content.
We are pleased to support AD where possible for this series and will be coordinating with iTunes (and any other US/CAN digital platform that supports AD) upon availability of all of the tracks.
This series is not currently licensed to TELL ME TV, but feel free to pass along the corresponding contact information and I will gladly connect the parties.
Should you have any questions or require further information, please contact me.
Regards,
Christopher Stefanidis
VP, Digital Distribution Operations & Strategy
Walt Disney Pictures and Television
xxx@xxx.com
(818) 560-6573.
The below dates are the dates the tracks are set to be created. They hope to give to these platforms. We heard back from Netflix on the hosting of these tracks. Even though they have a good number of tracks they will not release them until they have all of the tracks for the show and until they are checked for quality. We predict Netflix will release the tracks March 2017.
SWITCHED AT BIRTH (YR 1 2010/11 EPS 1-10) – 16th September 2016
SWITCHED AT BIRTH (YR 2 2011/12 EPS 11-30) – 18th October 2016
SWITCHED AT BIRTH (YR 3 2012/13 EPS 31-51) – 2nd December 2016
SWITCHED AT BIRTH (YR 4 2013/14 EPS 52-73) – 23rd January 2017
SWITCHED AT BIRTH (YR 5 2014/15 EPS 74-93) – 24th February 2017

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s