Tuesday, April 16, 2013


We submitted to our first festival! We are in for LUNAFEST. What a file-uploading nightmare... hours of what appeared to be a progress bar, or apple's spinning wheel of death, and failing-to-load internet pages. Scary deadlines looming, clocks ticking and birds waking up and chirping at 6am reminding us to get some SLEEP, and more of those scary bulging eyeballs I finally managed to get back into my head last week when we were done with the sound-syncing! Whew. But, we're normal again because the file worked, our film is in! And because Ruan's sister, Charne, got a new puppy which is cute to look at when you feel a little insane.

LUNAFEST is a traveling festival that brings national attention to films made for, by, and about women (who have lots of help from non-women too; I have not/will not forget that part!) to maintain and unify a strong female community. Luna's traveling festival benefits local non-profit organizations in the areas of the festivals, as well as to their main charity the Breast Cancer Fund.

For all of you LA folks, one of this season's LUNAFEST showings is this Thursday in North Hollywood, if you're interested in going. I'm waiting for a call back about captioning for those who need it, and if I hear back I will update on that, too.

Getting the final audio track was AWESOME. So cool to hear that real quality we'd been hoping for, to have the original music composition fit in so nicely, and get those captions added! We spent many hours working on the best way to add captioning for some scenes; we had a new challenge come up, and wrestled with a few ways to resolve it.

Several scenes happen in a support group room with both spoken dialogue and signing. In a few moments during these scenes, the spoken dialogue and the signed exchanges between June and her interpreter are different. Because the whole film is open captioned for accessibility, we need to make sure both speaking and signing is captioned for the audience. If we have two captions on top of each other, it's hard to follow who is where. It would look like this:

JUNE: blah blah really long sign dialogue sentence.

MODERATOR: really long spoken english sentence blah blahhh.

These would pop up every 4 seconds, and you'd send too much time figuring out which caption is one you needed to be reading, not have enough time to finish reading the sentence, and miss the action. So after figuring the hard way (meaning, after captioning the whole scene one way), we settled on keeping the spoken lines on the left of the screen in italics, and the signed dialogue under the signer in regular text. June sits on the right side of frame most of the time, so captioning under her was the best fit. This keeps the eyeballs happy, makes visual sense, and the viewers can expect where to look for any access needs and wants.

What a process! So many hours are required to make the quality we see in the end, I almost had no idea just how long and detailed it would be. We are so thankful to have a wonderful group of people supporting this part of the project. And I've learned a ton about what we will do next time. Yeah! next time.

You guys! We're so happy!

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