Audio Description, Subtitles, Signing

How do you decide where to place your subtitles on screen?

For pre-recorded programmes, subtitlers edit the speech and make a careful decision about where to place the subtitles on the screen in order that no vital part of the picture is hidden. However, because the visual images that programme makers use tend to fill up the whole screen, there are inevitably occasions when the subtitles, wherever they are placed, end up covering a part of the picture that a viewer might wish to look at. We generally place our subtitles at the bottom of the screen because they are less obtrusive there and it is at this level that they are most comfortably read. However, for some programmes we deliberately choose to place the subtitles in a different position to avoid covering vital information. We do aim to avoid people’s mouths so that viewers who lip-read can do so. However, subtitles can appear at slightly different levels depending on whether you are watching on analogue, DTT or satellite.

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