As anyone working within the video production industry knows, subtitle writing services can be expensive. Finding the best value subtitling company can be a hard task, but some cost saving strategies and in the captioning industry can be deceptive and sadly result in poorer quality subtitles.
Here are some top tips from experienced professionals on keeping costs down on closed caption and subtitle writing services. Hopefully they’ll help you to get the best value for money on your video content.
This one is pretty much common sense when looking for the best value service or product in any industry. Visit as many different sites as possible, gather subtitle quotes and also follow-up and check back for any price match promises or new client offers.
Take a look into whether your chosen subtitle company is offering any deals for new clients or customer sign-ups. At this point, especially if you will be dealing with hard copy where postage costs may mount up, it may be worthwhile looking for a local UK company that might be more likely to offer discounts.
Don’t Compromise on Closed Caption Quality
With recent regulations on Video-on-Demand closed captioning, many companies are offering lower priced subtitle and closed caption services, taking on video projects in bulk. The issue with this is the not low priced subtitling itself, but rather some of the methods and processes in which these subtitles and closed captions are created.
Transcription, insertion of timings, styling and formatting of onscreen text takes time and requires skill (which costs money). Often very low priced subtitle or closed caption services rely heavily on subtitle automation. Timings are inserted automatically and voice recognition is heavily relied upon. This often results in errors which affect the viewer’s experience of the video. Poor quality subtitles may save money in the short term, but could cost your company in reputation.
Itemise your Subtitle Bills
Where possible, when looking at prices for closed caption and subtitle writing services, it is best to work with a per audio minute rate provided by your subtitle company. When editing and cutting video, lengths often change. If your quote included a ten minute film but your file turns out to be 25 minutes long, your quote will change on that basis.
Having a per audio or video minute rate means you can work out costs beforehand. Also be sure to check for minimum charges. In many cases, ten minutes of subtitling could be charged at the same price as two minutes.
When working with foreign subtitles or subtitle translations, it’s also worthwhile arranging a per minute rate for both source language subtitling and subtitle translation. Often translations will be charged on a per word basis. This means budgets are hard to plan but having a per minute rate sorted means you know where you stand.
Plan Ahead for Captions
Urgent subtitle work is often charged at a higher rate than standard turnaround work – sometimes up to twice the normal rate. If you know you have a video or film that needs closed captions or subtitles added within two weeks, don’t leave it till the last minute – book in the work with a long turnaround and save money.
Planning can also mean having a transcript arranged to provide your subtitle company with to work with which can save money in some cases.
Package the Transcription/Subtitle/Closed Captions Deal
Companies that need subtitles or closed captions to be written often have other requirements to fulfill beforehand or after in relation to video work. The workflow of video production companies often includes:
1) Transcription of time-coded rushes for video editing
2) Transcription of final cut video
3) Subtitling services with timings
4) Subtitle burning onto video.
Oftentimes, these jobs will be booked individually but if you can arrange them all in advance as a package, you can expect to save a lot of time and money.
So that’s it. Capital Captions’ top tips for saving money on closed caption and subtitle writing services. If you are experienced within the captioning industry and have any useful tips you have picked on this topic, feel free to leave your comments below.