Great Big Day Job Update!

So I was just perusing Boing Boing as I often do, and there's this story from Cory Doctorow about the National Film Board of Canada putting many of their legendary short films online for free. Of course, that's great news for most people, but for me, I had to go over there to see if any of my day job stuff was up there yet.

Y'see, starting last fall, in my day job - described video for the vision-impaired - we started doing A TON of work for the NFB, describing a big chunk of their catalogue. It was done for this huge online project they're undertaking. Well, it's finally coming to fruition, and it looks like they're starting with the animation. The hardest films to do, not surprisingly, were some of the legendary films of Norman McLaren. Considering his groundbreaking animation techniques and the utter lack of dialogue in them (much less linear narrative), you may wonder how the hell someone could describe it all for the blind. Well, we wondered too, as did the NFB and the McLaren estate, which is why we went through months of meetings and focus groups and yadda yadda. And in the end, we all decided to do a little more description than we usually do, adding a tiny line about the techniques used to give people an idea why this stuff is such a big deal. In the end, we're pretty happy with how it all turned out, and evidently so is everyone else - a movie or two showed at Cannes this year as they gear up for the release of a DVD box set of McLaren which will include our work, and now the films are starting to appear on this new part of the NFB/ONF website here (for the French, click "Francais" at the top).

When you go there, in the drop-down menu, select "films+described video" and you'll have your choices. Also select described video in the preferences when it asks you whether you want high-speed and all that stuff. (Note: this whole thing is Quick Time only.) Play what you want, and for the English versions, you'll hear me saying what's going on if you're vision-impaired (btw, I think the site is supposed to be accessible to screen readers, but i'm not sure), or if you just want to listen while you're surfing somewhere else or don't feel like looking. Neato!

Coincidentally, the website for my day job is alive and open to all. I wasn't directly involved in putting it together - way more patient people than me pulled it off. So head to www.audiovisioncanada.com for the final word on what the hell it is I do, with info other projects you can hear (on tv in Canada or VoicePrint online), how to buy more of it or have it done for your tv show or movie.

Okay, back to editing the Cleveland podcast. Ain't it amazing what you can learn by procrastinating?

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