Red Bee Media Spain wins audio description award

Thursday, 26 June 2014 09:21am

Red Bee Media Spain has won an ATRAE award for the best audio description on Spanish television for its work on The Simpsons.

ATRAE, the Spanish Association of Audiovisual Translation and Adaptation, represents all areas of audiovisual translation and adaptation, from translation subtitling and access services to dubbing, voiceover and video game translation. This was the second ATRAE awards, and the first time that Red Bee Media has won one of them.

Public broadcasters in Spain are required to provide at least 10 hours of audio described programs per week, while commercial broadcasters must provide at least two hours. Red Bee Media Spain produces around 150 hours of audio description per year.

Pedro Gómez, Red Bee Media Spain’s AD Production Manager, told Media Access Australia that The Simpsons (or ‘Los Simpson’ in Spanish) presented particular challenges for audio describers. “For example, the speed of the dialogue, the sheer amount of things going on which are all relevant, the amount of on-screen text and subtitled songs which must be described and of course, the number of characters. All these factors, when combined with the fact that the spaces there are to insert the description are usually really short, means that writing the AD scripts is especially difficult.

”We have specialised scriptwriters who know the series really well and make sure that there are no errors and no details are missed. Also, when it comes to the recording of the descriptions, voice artists must be extremely exact because descriptions have to be inserted in very small spaces.”

”Another challenge was the description of the famous opening credits. In order to come up with the best possible description for the standard parts of this sequence, the team held a sort of competition where the best description for each element was chosen by vote. The resulting description is now used and adapted for each episode.”

Red Bee Media Australia (along with Captioning and Subtitling International) provided audio description for the trial of the service which took place on ABC1 in late 2012. The trial was expected to be followed by a regular audio description service on the ABC, but no announcement has been made about this yet.

For more information, see our Audio description on TV page.

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