Sponsor Spotlight: Word Wizards

Ribbon_2_Eli_Dweck_Photo_websize.jpgDocs In Progress is thankful to our corporate sponsors who help support our programs. Every so often, we want to spotlight the work of our sponsors. One of our longest running sponsors is Word Wizards which provides time code transcription, closed captioning, and translation services to documentary films and other media projects.

Word Wizards have supported our Work-in-Progress Screening series and the Community Stories Festival. Co-Founder Scott Gordon even helped us cut the ribbon at our opening after we moved into our current space. We recently caught up with the Word Wizards team to find out more about how they can be an asset to documentary filmmakers.

DIP: What are some documentaries which Word Wizards has worked on in the Docs In Progress community and beyond?

WW: One of our most memorable Docs in Progress Alumni projects for which we provided transcription was Redemption Stone by Tom Dziedzic.  This doc is about a former DC policeman, Tom Lewis, and tells about the social upheaval and rebirth that changed his life and the lives of thousands of at risk youth forever.

More recently, we worked on Behind the Curtain: Eclipsed, a multi-part documentary series for BET chronicling the ascent and realization of Eclipsed, a Broadway play all written, directed and acted by women of African descent. A winner of nine accolades including a Tony Award, the play tackles the survival stories of five women near the end of the second Liberian civil war. We also worked on a documentary-style video produced for the U.S. Public Health Service called The Hope Multipliers about USPHS workers who volunteered to respond to the Ebola crisis on the ground in West Africa, helping to contain the outbreak. 


WordWizardsTranscribers.jpgDIP: How do timecoded transcriptions save filmmakers money in the long run?

WW: Time code transcription allows producers and editors to easily locate critical clips and sound-bites within large quantities of media. The text of a transcript can be easily searched for key terms or subjects, and the time code tells the editor / producer exactly where to find that specific clip within their media.  


DIP: What excites you most about the media industry?

WW: Over the last 10 years, our company has started providing accessibility services for different types of media in the form of closed captioning, PDF remediation, and accessible transcript technology. Media accessibility technology allows persons with visual or auditory disabilities methods to interpret rich media content. As media tech changes rapidly, we have grown to accommodate this important new space in the industry. It feels good to provide a service that allows people equal access to videos, publications, and online content. Our newest innovation involves taking a standard transcript and adding verbal description of all visual elements. The transcript can be read by screen readers used by blind individuals, allowing content providers a fast and cost effective way of conveying critical visual information within video content to people who can’t see. We are pioneering this new process and are very excited about its potential to improve accessibility of visual media projects and presentations.