I was prompted to write this blog post by a recent tweet from director Samuel Dore who bemoaned the fact that he felt that film directors and distributors seem to ‘moan’ about the cost of subtitling content:
And I’ve seen tweets from others with comments of a similar nature. This is a tricky topic because it would be wrong to label everyone individual or company out there as having this belief or attitude. However it’s another repeated theme I’ve seen discussed at access and language conferences this year. That’s a good thing – it means its recognised as a potential issue for some companies or individuals and others in the same industry are challenging this assumption and trying to change it. At the 2014 CSI Accessibility Conference Screen Subtitling’s John Birch asked the question “What if subtitles were part of the programme?” He pointed out that in his opinion funding issues are still not addressed. Subtitling is still not a part of the production process and not often budgeted for. Broadcasters are required to pay subtitling companies,and subtitling companies are under continued to pressure (presumably to provide more, for less money). It is a sad fact that subtitling is not ascribed the value it deserves.