Prerecorded Captioning 5-Step Process
1. Log-In, Preview & Digitalization: The broadcaster or producer provides NCI with a digital video file, DVD, or duplicate videocassette of the program that includes time code that exactly matches the master. Each video is logged in by NCI’s Traffic Department and previewed for completeness by traffic personnel. The video is inspected for sequential and error-free time code and workable audio. It is also checked for video quality after upload or digitization, and this preview is essential. It serves to identify problems before the captioning process, allowing NCI personnel, in cooperation with clients, to take the necessary steps to rectify the situation. This quality-control step is of utmost importance when programs are deadline sensitive.
2. Caption Preparation: Caption editors watch and transcribe media at their networked computers. They enter a verbatim transcription of the dialog, sound effects, and other essential non-verbal features into NCI’s proprietary captioning system. The editors break the text into individual captions, assign appropriate screen placement to each caption, and time each caption to the associated audio.
3. Editor Review: The completed caption file is checked and corrected for accuracy, spelling, and timing. Unfamiliar terms are researched using NCI’s reference library, reliable Internet sites, and external resources. The caption editor submits the caption file to a Senior Editor or a Section Supervisor for a quality review.
4. Quality Review: The Senior Editor or Section Supervisor is responsible for the final quality control check of the caption file. The entire captioned program is checked, and errors and inconsistencies between segments are corrected. A copy of the caption file is then archived in NCI’s extensive caption file database spanning decades of media. Reformats and transcripts can be created quickly.
5. Ready for Encoding: Encoding is the process that combines the caption file with a submaster of the video. Once the final caption file is complete, the file is transmitted to the client or designated encoding facility via email, FTP, or other media provided. The client or encoding facility then integrates the caption data with the video portion of the program. NCI provides encoding for some types of media and then sends the client an encoded submaster.