Friday, May 27, 2011

Webby Awards Host's Web Series Lacks Captions

This week, the big news in the web series biz was that the Webby Awards will be held on June 13, 2011. The selected host is Lisa Kudrow, whose web series "Web Therapy" is an award-winning web series, having won two webby awards this year: best comedy and best individual performance. The series' description is "Lisa Kudrow stars as a therapist with limited patience for others' problems in this original improvised series." "Web Therapy" has even been picked up by the Showtime TV channel.

However, "Web Therapy" is NOT a closed captioned web series. Produced by the L Studio, an arm of Lexus, it does not have closed captions on EITHER YouTube or the web series website.


Caption Action 2 has contacted the producers of "Web Therapy" twice to ask for captions and has not had a single response. How popular is that web series? Popular enough that the esteemed actress Meryl Streep made a guest appearance! (Meryl Streep appeared in episode 46.) The series has had at least three seasons already, and only the first two seasons are on YouTube. The video player used on Lstudio.com is incapable of showing captions, so our only hope is to convince them to caption on YouTube.

We deserve and must demand, captions on this very popular web series. Especially now that the star of that show is the host of the Webby Awards! How can you help? Contact the producers, Is or Isn't Entertainment, at info@isorisnt.com. On Twitter, send a tweet to @LisaKudrow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blip.TV Redesigns Web Site, Does Nothing to Improve Accessibility!

Update: Blip has now updated their player to include captioning!

Today there was big news in the web series industry. Blip.TV announced it had redesigned their website to showcase the best, most professional web series. Not only that, Blip had raised $18 million in new funds.


Blip.TV claims it has support for closed captioning. A message on the Blip.TV support forum from Blip.TV staff on February 23, 2011 states:

"The blip.tv player supports closed captioning in .SRT or .TT format. Just upload your file as a secondary format on the Edit Episode page."

Another, much longer support forum thread discusses Blip.TV support for captioning.

However, where are those captioned videos on Blip.TV?! When Blip.TV redesigned their site, they did NOTHING to make it easier to find the captioned videos! AND the video player STILL does not prominently display a CC button like the one you see on YouTube videos.

Via Google, we found this Blip.TV file:

http://blip.tv/spacegeek/closed-captioned-the-pope-freud-seti-202162

When we played it, we observed that there was no CC button to enable hearing people to turn the captions on and off. Therefore, we can't tell if it is hard coded subtitles, or if it is truly CC.

Blip.TV needs to spend a FEW of those $18 million dollars to improve their website and video player's accessibility!!

There are other sites like Universal Subtitles, Videohelp.com, Doom 9, and Bill Creswell's that can help with subtitle creation and/or have tools to create them.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Kids' Web Series Ruby Skye PI Begins Captioning!

This week, a children's web series, Ruby Skye P.I. became the first closed captioned children's web series (for kids aged 8 to 14) added to the master list of captioned web series. This was significant because Ruby Skye P.I., about a teenage girl detective, is an award-winning web series. At the Los Angeles Web Series Festival, Ruby Skye won eight awards:

Outstanding Interactive Narrative Comedy: Jill Golick (Creator); Kerry Young, Steven Golick, Karen Walton, Jill Golick (Producers)
  • Outstanding Lead Actress - Interactive Narrative Comedy
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress - Interactive Narrative Comedy
  • Outstanding Writing - Interactive Narrative Comedy
  • Outstanding Directing - Interactive Narrative Comedy
  • Outstanding Cinematography - Interactive Narrative Comedy
  • Outstanding Editing - Interactive Narrative Comedy
  • Outstanding Score - Interactive Narrative Comedy
As of this blog post, the first four episodes are closed captioned, and the producer is quickly working to add more! And more awards may be coming - Ruby Skye has been nominated for the New Media Film Festival Audience Choice Award.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Caption Action 2: May 2011 Newsletter

More Web Series Captioning

This past month saw some increase in captioned web series. We are now posting the master list of captioned web series at http://captionaction2.blogspot.com/ on the captioned web series page. New to the list since last issue:

BROKEN TOY
GHOULS
HARD DRIVE 13
KIDS REENACT
MICROWAVE P**N
OUT WITH DAD
PIONEER ONE (Producer is from a deaf family)
SEEKING SIMONE
SIX FIGURES
SOLO
SPACE HOSPITAL
SQUATTERS
TIGHTS AND FIGHTS
VAMPIRE ZOMBIE WEREWOLF

The list has also been improved, by adding short descriptions of each web series to help you decide what to watch.

Web Series Becoming Television

What is a web series? What is a television program? The line between the two is becoming quite blurred! For now, any original programming for the Internet is called a web series. Also, short episodes of three to five minutes each still dominate, but the writing is on the wall. The future (which is getting very close) - lies with long-form web series of television-equivalent lengths. That is, a 22 minute web series episode with commercial breaks equals a half hour television program.

Read more:

http://apps.facebook.com/causes/posts/754496