Reel Opportunities

Descriptive Video Transcriber

Also known as: Audio Describer, DVT

What does a Descriptive Video Transcriber do?

Descriptive video transcribing, otherwise known as audio describing, is the process of narrating descriptions of nonverbal elements on the screen, such as characters’ surroundings, artworks, costumes, and body language, with the goal of making visual media more accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired.

A media professional who translates visual imagery into verbal information for the benefit of people is known as an audio describer. Audio Description facilitates access to video content for visually impaired viewers by providing a carefully crafted spoken audio commentary that corresponds to what is on screen. Descriptive Video Transcribers begin by writing a project script, narrating and recording content, and then creating the necessary files for integration into the rest of the production.

Audio descriptions can be created for film, television, plays, musicals, operas, dance performances, parks, national monuments, museums, galleries, public service announcements, transportation – the list is endless. In general, audio description can improve the experience and understanding of any visual information. Professional Descriptive Video Transcribers are frequently hired by major film and television productions to write and voice the descriptions for their videos.

What's a Descriptive Video Transcriber good at?
  • Writing

    Write in such a way that when the text is read it seems as if the words come spontaneously and are not at all scripted. Explain concepts and ideas in a clear and simple manner

  • Communication

    Work well with the members of the project, understand the vision of the content and communicate what's happening on-screen effectively for individuals who are blind or otherwise visually impaired

  • Attention to detail

    Listen and watch actively, perform tasks conscientiously and effectively, taking into account all their aspects and convey all the necessary details via the audio descriptions

  • Pronunciation

    Be able to properly and understandably pronounce words

Who does a Descriptive Video Transcriber work with?

It’s not uncommon for Descriptive Video Transcribers to work with Directors, Producers, Sound Editors, and other team members during post-production.

How do I become a Descriptive Video Transcriber?

There is no direct educational path to transcribing descriptive video, but a background in writing and post-production or audio engineering production is useful.

More tips

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Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.