Twenty Years of Transcription


Dom Bourne TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
Download PDF
Download PDF
In 1998 Dom Bourne dropped out of university and started a business providing transcriptions to production companies. The company operated from his childhood bedroom and Dom hoped it would keep him in beer money for a year or two before he decided what he really wanted to do with his life.

Twenty years later and, this year, Take 1 celebrates two decades of service to the broadcast and video sectors an achievement that Dom attributes to their ability to anticipate and accommodate change in the industry. And there have been plenty of changes to accommodate over the last two decades.

PAPER EDITS IN THE NINETIES

If you want to get an idea of what the world was like when Dom started Take 1 in 1998, all you need to know is that Google was launched in the same year. Back then video was shot on tape and the only way to log or view your footage after the shoot was to either book expensive playback machines by the hour or transfer your footage to VHS with burnt-in-time-code.

Take 1 offered an alternative and more effective - way for production companies to prepare for edit. Instead of spending hours viewing VHS dubs of their shoot footage, producers sent these tapes to Take 1 where Dom’s team would transcribe the time codes, dialogue and action onto paper. These transcriptions were then posted or biked back to Soho and used to prepare paper edits. The process took a few days to turn around, but the service was affordable, and it solved an industry pain-point at the time.

DIGITAL WORKFLOWS IN THE NOUGHTIES

In the nineties, tape-based workflows limited Take 1’s client base clients had to be located close enough to the business to either bike or post tapes and transcripts back and forth within limited production timeframes. But the move from analogue to digital workflows was about to revolutionise production workflows.

The first PC-based non-linear editing system was launched by Editing Machines Corp in 1980 and Avid released the first Media Composer system running on the Apple Macintosh platform soon after. In 1991 QuickTime was introduced and in 1995 Ikegami and Avid spearheaded tapeless video recording with the introduction of the Editcam. By the early 2000’s tapeless acquisition and file-based workflows were widespread.

Digital workflows were a game-changer for Take 1 turnaround times were halved, and the company’s client-base was no longer limited by geography. In 2008 Dom boarded a plane to Los Angeles and, with Take 1’s “we type while you sleep” proposition, landed a number of US reality shows such as Top Chef and Little Couple, many of which they continue working on to this day.

ACCESSIBILITY LAWS AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY

While expanding into the US market, Take 1 also diversified their service offering to help broadcasters meet new legislative responsibilities. The company started working with production and post companies to provide networks with post-production scripts, captions and subtitle information for broadcast.

Closed captions existed decades before Take 1 was formed. They were first demonstrated at the First National Conference on Television for the Hearing Impaired in Nashville, Tennessee in 1971. But it wasn’t until 1990 that technology allowed and legislation demanded that closed captions and subtitles become widely adopted on both sides of the Atlantic.

Two key acts pertaining to closed captions were passed in the US in 1990. The first was The Television Decoder Circuitry Act which required all analog television receivers of a certain size to have the ability to display closed captioning, and the second was the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which required that public facilities provide access to subtitles on televisions, films or slide shows.

Similarly, in the UK the first piece of subtitling legislation is in The Broadcasting Act of 1990 which required public broadcasting stations to provide minimum amounts of subtitling for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. This Act was updated in the Communications Act of 2003 which made provision for sign language, subtitles and audio descriptions and introduced the Office of Communications (Ofcom) as the new industry regulator.

More recently, Take 1’s services have been further expanded to help online content distributors comply with updated laws.

In 2010 the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act was passed in America to bring previous accessibility laws up to date with new technologies. Under the CVAA, content owners have to ensure that video programming that is closed captioned on TV is closed captioned when distributed via the Internet. In the UK, a campaign by Action on Hearing Loss prompted the amendment of the Digital Economy bill in 2017 and gave Ofcom the power to compel broadcasters to provide subtitles on video-on-demand content.

GLOBAL CONTENT IN THE INTERNET AGE

The recent explosion of video platforms has changed the production and delivery of video content forever. Increased bandwidth, the prevalence of video on social platforms and the introduction of OTT delivery have created a marketplace centred around global moments, and content distributors are under pressure to deliver original broadcasts and local versions simultaneously.

The Take 1 team was given an early glimpse into this global content distribution future in 2014 when the company was contracted as the sole transcription supplier to Discovery Communications LLC. Discovery’s reversioning team used Take 1’s transcriptions and systems to repurpose their content for distribution in multiple languages across the world in 2014 in the same way that Netflix does today. Take 1 has applied this experience to establish themselves as reliable localisation partners, providing everything from post-production and “as broadcast” scripts, to translations, subtitles, spotting lists and the myriad of reports needed for syndicated delivery.

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

There’s a lot of debate about the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the industry of the future, and there’s little doubt that the way transcriptions are created will be affected by this technology over time, but Take 1 believes it’s the data within these transcriptions that holds the key to making future workflows more efficient. This belief has prompted the company to develop Liberty a system which converts transcriptions into XML metadata so that it can be repurposed into the various documents and reports needed throughout the global content production workflow - promoting the post-production script from a single purpose document into the blueprint for the entire localisation process.

Take 1 believes that Liberty can change the future of localisation by deriving data once and applying it throughout the value chain which may sound like a lofty ideal until you consider the company’s track record.

Here’s to the next twenty years of transcription.


Tags: iss132 | transcribe | take 1 | ott | cvaa | closed caption | xml metadata | Dom Bourne
Contributing Author Dom Bourne

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Download PDF
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Safer OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

    Safer OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

  • Smarter OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

    Smarter OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

  • Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

    Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2016

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2016

  • Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

    Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

  • Kino Flo at NAB 2016

    Kino Flo at NAB 2016

  • Comigo at IBC 2015

    Comigo at IBC 2015

  • EBS at IBC 2015

    EBS at IBC 2015

  • Volicon at IBC 2015

    Volicon at IBC 2015

  • Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

    Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

  • BBright at IBC 2014

    BBright at IBC 2014

  • Visual Unity at IBC 2014

    Visual Unity at IBC 2014

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2014

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2014

  • SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

    SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

  • Perception at NAB 2014

    Perception at NAB 2014

  • Visual Unity at NAB 2014

    Visual Unity at NAB 2014

  • ATEME at NAB 2014

    ATEME at NAB 2014

  • TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

    Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

  • Bridge Technologies PocketProbe App at NAB 2013

    Bridge Technologies PocketProbe App at NAB 2013

  • Vimond Control Center at NAB 2013

    Vimond Control Center at NAB 2013

  • Telestream Vantage v5 at NAB 2013

    Telestream Vantage v5 at NAB 2013

  • Tariam Tooway stand at BVE 2013

    Tariam Tooway stand at BVE 2013

  • Wowza at NAB 2012

    Wowza at NAB 2012

  • Radiant Grid at IBC2011

    Radiant Grid at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • Show 26 - 20th November 2013

    Show 26 - 20th November 2013


Articles
Using Wireless Transmission
Jeremy Benning Wireless acquisition is a staple of live sports, entertainment and reality shows where cable free capture permits shots not previously possible, for health and safety reasons, and gives the camera-operator greater artistic licence to roam. The same is increasingly true of narrative drama where cinematographers are keen to work handheld or Steadicam where that helps tell the story. Any equipment which frees their movement and time by being lighter, easier to use and reliable in performance is going to tick a lot of boxes.
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | Jeremy Benning
Contributing Author Jeremy Benning Click to read or download PDF
An Epiphany Moment
Peter Savage 2 I had been negotiating the sale of my company and had reached the really hard end of the bargain. We were close to agreeing the final sum after a lot of too-much-give-and-not-enough-take negotiation. The solicitors were calling me, keen for a deal. It had come down to one sticking point and, in my hard ball “I am the Wolf of Wall Street” guise, I wasn’t going to let it go. It would make a value difference of 1.5% on the total outcome. Not much, you might think, but I had already nearly fallen out with the solicitors over their fees and I was giving my advisors an extremely hard time because the corporate adviser couldn’t see how I had already given more than an inch and the buyers were taking more than a mile. I was not going to let them win.
Tags: iss134 | azule | finance | Peter Savage 2
Contributing Author Peter Savage 2 Click to read or download PDF
Accelerated Workflows with eGPU
Mike Griggs From the UK’s National Trust to magazine publishers to manufacturers, digital content creator Mike Griggs has a wide and varied portfolio of clients for whom he creates 3D art, motion graphics and multimedia exhibits. A typical day might involve sampling birdsong near Virginia Woolf’s country estate or creating 3D animations for VR. To keep on top of these demands, Griggs wanted to take the full power of the GPU computing revolution on the road.
Tags: iss134 | sonnet | egpu | amd | post production | editing | Mike Griggs
Contributing Author Mike Griggs Click to read or download PDF
University and Mental Health
Rhiannon Jenkins University study and mental health has been in the media quite a bit over the last year, and I’m sure there are many people wondering what is going on? The issues are complex, and I suppose the focus of employability off the back of a degree course has raised the stress stakes for a lot of young people. I’m only qualified to talk about this from my perspective, and my story began when I joined a course not knowing I had a mental health condition.
Tags: iss134 | portsmouth uni | mental health | student | tvfutures | Rhiannon Jenkins
Contributing Author Rhiannon Jenkins Click to read or download PDF
Protecting the continuity of transmission
Lorna Garrett Your viewers love you. You consistently bring them their preferred channels 24/7. They’ve come to rely on you for their viewing pleasure. They never miss cheering on their beloved sports teams. They’re the envy of their friends as they watch live concerts of their favourite bands. They gather the family around and catch up on their must-see shows. They don’t have a bad word to say about you.
Tags: iss134 | garland | gpl | streaming | artel | disaster recovery | Lorna Garrett
Contributing Author Lorna Garrett Click to read or download PDF