Accessibility of GET LAMP

Posted: August 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: production | No Comments »

GET LAMP: Subtitles

After shipping out, my next big priority is accessibility information, and, believe it or not, more editing.

As it currently stands, the GET LAMP DVD is very friendly for the hearing impaired, and problematic for the visually impaired.  Ironic, I know, but obviously a situation I am not going to let stand for very long.

On the side of hearing or issues with unbalanced sound, things are pretty good for an independent production: All the main features (GET LAMP, INFOCOM, BEDQUILT) have additional audio tracks for just the background music, or just the spoken words. You can hear lots of funky edits in both cases (since I mixed them to be together, not so nakedly obvious) but you’ll be able to enjoy the parts of the movie you want, and get around hearing issues in that way. Absolutely all features, be they episodes, music videos, or the shorts, all have subtitling. The full credits for all the transcribers is hidden on the disc. Good luck finding them!

The assets for the main GET LAMP movie are scattered throughout the disc – this wasn’t intentional or meant to be an anti-copying measure or anything. It’s a side effect of the movie being interactive, and even the “non-interactive” version utilizes these self-same scattered assets, albeit without providing a menu.  This has the potential to be problematic for blind or sight-impaired users. There are two solutions I am going to pursue.

The first is going to be a document on the GET LAMP site that will provide users who want it with a guide to negotiating the two discs. In regular DVD players, the second disc beeps on insert, making it easier to determine which you have (the discs are otherwise silent). I’ve also had some players not beep on placing the disc in there, but that’s a problem with the software. I will provide a list of what chapters do what. It’s a spoiler for people who want to discover the differences and situations, but in that case, don’t check out the document.

The second is that I’m going to work on a descriptive version of the three main episodes, and then describe others as the community requests. I might have a professional printing done of these resulting sound files, a small run, and as per the Upgrade Guarantee, will be offered at cost to users who buy the main product, or I might simply offer a free digital download.  One side effect of this project will be that you’d be able to listen to GET LAMP in a music player, or a car.

While I have to focus on getting the ordered packages out, these issues of accessibility will not be forgotten. I welcome commentary and suggestions to ensure that everyone has a chance to enjoy GET LAMP to the fullest of their potential experience.

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