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Transcription for Documentary Films

Updated: Jun 15, 2022

There are many businesses where a transcription service seems useful, but there are others where it is not necessarily something you would think of. Yet, in these fields too transcription services like London Transcription can help enormously.

Making a documentary film may seem like an area where a transcription is not something you need, but actually it is.

A transcription is an accurate word for word account of your documentary. It will help the post-production process go quicker and make it easier.

Note: A transcription is only useful once the filming is finished, as there may be dialogue changes before that, making any work already done superfluous.

One useful feature of a transcription is the time code or time stamp. This lets you see at a glance, or find with a simple search, a certain point. A time code shows at what point in the recording something is said or done, so if you want to add music, a sound or caption, for example, you know where to put it quickly, without the need of running the whole reel of film to find it.

Likewise the time stamp shows an editor where there is dialogue he wants to remove, move or change in some way, and he can also identify a better place for it using the transcription again.

Having the speech as written word, also makes it easy to get a translation into another language if you intend your work to be international.

Some film companies try to save money by getting transcriptions done in-house. Some of these may be great, but the majority aren’t. This is not a money saving scheme that really works. In order to have a good, accurate and valid transcription you need a professional with experience. Using one of your own team, maybe a secretary or assistant, is like handing the camera to a passer-by and asking them to film your brother speaking to camera while your mother puts make up on people. These last things sound ridiculous, so why does the same not apply to a transcription? It is a recognised business, just like any other, so call us at London Transcription, get a quote for excellent work and give your documentary the best chance possible.

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