Glass Parking Lot Fight Scene with Audio Description
Glass Parking Lot Fight Scene with Audio Description
Voice Over Talent Roy Samuelson Talks With Us About Audio Description For The Visually Impaired
On Jul 31, 2019
Roy Samuelson is a seasoned Hollywood voice over talent who has worked extensively in commercials, series promos and radio. Keeping up with the ever changing voiceover industry, Samuelson is leading the way as one of the top voices for audio description, enabling the blind and visually impaired the opportunity to enjoy both film and television. We caught up with this talented artist to learn more about his work in this field and constantly growing arena.
How did you get started in your career as a voice over artist?
Roy Samuelson: I started my career as a voice over artist at Disney World on an attraction called The Great Movie Ride. Sixty or so guests rode a moving vehicle going through the movies, different sets with audio animatronic characters. I had a microphone and narrated the script in between sound and visual cues. I then was the gangster, who takes over the vehicle, shoots bad guys, and gets blown up every 8 minutes. It was great practice to be on mic, and see the reactions to audiences in real time, so I could adjust my deliveries and see what worked best.
You do radio work, television promos, commercial voice over work and audio description. Do you have a favorite and why?
RS: I love all types of voice over. Each one has a specific special charge to me. Radio work, specifically commercials, gives me the ability to tell a story in 15 seconds, 30 seconds, or 60 seconds. I love delivering what the director and writer intend, and get at the heart of the emotion, and the story, and find some surprises. Television promos to me is very exciting for similar reasons, plus matching timing, so the technical aspect of it adds an extra fun layer. I find my biggest passion right now is in Audio Description – it combines all these other elements into one long form experience of showing a story.
What is audio description?
RS: Audio Description is like listening to a baseball game on the radio – you get the play by play of the visuals. For TV shows and movies, Audio Description is a special audio track where a narrator voices the visuals relevant to the plot. It’s for access to the main visual elements, and the narrator works around the audio or dialogue. Mostly it’s narration of the actions, settings, body language and graphics. I like to give it a slight emotional element so I can help carry the story along, without getting in the way of the story.
How does one access audio description in a movie theater?
RS: Movie theaters are great about complying with access. There are special areas for wheelchairs, closed captioning devices for deaf or hard of hearing audience members, and amplified headsets too. For Audio Description, a special wireless headset puts through the audio description track, so you can hear the movie, and also hear the description. Those headsets don’t make the movie louder, it’s a whole new voice to the movie.
How does one access audio description with television and streaming?
RS: TV and streaming services have all kinds of ways to turn on audio description. Apps for smartphones are usually just a few taps away. TV on cable boxes have special audio settings for accessibility. There’s no one way to get to it, and the Audio Description Project, and a few facebook groups, exchange information on how to access it, or who to call to figure it out. In most cases it’s pretty easy to turn on or off.
Do all television series and films utilize audio description?
RS: There are mandates from the FCC to require so many hours of programming per quarter of network shows, and that requirement increases. Most companies recognize the value and market share of blind and low vision audiences, and opt in to do a lot more. Sometimes the community makes a request or a demand, and companies are smart to heed those for everyone’s benefit.
What is the difference between audio description and descriptive narration?
RS: Audio Description is the preferred term to describe this service. There are some companies that use “Video Description” too. It means the same, so I’ve learned that staying with Audio Description keeps things a little more clear.
What is the difference between a narrator and a describer?
RS: A narrator of Audio Description is the voice you hear. She usually reads from a script that was written by a describer. The describer watches the original TV show or movie, and writes the script, to make sure essential elements are there, and that the words don’t get in the way of the story. That script usually has to fit perfectly, so there are a lot of challenges to writing for describers. It’s an amazingly crafted talent.
What sort of a market is there for audio description?
RS: Right now, the market for Audio Description, at least in the US, is around 26 million blind and low vision people. The number varies based on demographics or sources, but that’s a pretty high amount of people. With aging populations, it’s likely more people will be using Audio Description. It’s also great for sighted audience members; commuting for long times. Cooking. Or giving your eyes a break after staring at screens all day.
What advice would you give to a young voice over talent who wanted to get into audio description?
RS: Young voice over talents have a lot to choose from to get their information. It’s always useful to turn on Audio Description and get a sense of what you like and don’t like. Live performances sometimes also offer Audio Description. Explore the internet and see what comes up for Audio Description. The Audio Description Project is a treasure trove, and facebook groups like the Audio Description Discussion group, can be great places to learn from users and creators of Audio Description.
Where can people find you on social media?
RS: I’m on twitter and instagram @RoySamuelson – I use alt text in my Instagram images – and also on facebook at RoySamuelsonBiz.
Voice-Over Artist Helps the Blind Experience Movies
By Timothy Parker Hollywood
PUBLISHED 10:42 AM ET Jul. 30, 2019 UPDATED 10:54 AM ET Jul. 30, 2019
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Roy Samuelson is a voice-over artist who provides audio description for the blind and visually impaired during TV shows and movies. His voice describes what people with vision can see.
“If someone’s blind or low vision, they go into a movie theatre and ask for a special audio description headset,” Samuelson said.
Samuelson describes the wireless headset as a device they put on their ears, but it doesn’t make the audio louder. The headset provides a special audio track with a narrator explaining what is happening visually in the movie.
Samuelson has provided this service for many blockbuster movies including Get Out, Jurassic World, and the new Spiderman franchise.
“There’s a real personal satisfaction of getting the timing right because of you’ve got to get the script in within three seconds, and there’s audio cues and video cues that has to fit usually, between the dialogue,” Samuelson said.
It is all worth it for a man who has been in the business for decades, in a job where he is completely in the shadows.
“If the spotlight’s on me and someone says ‘You did a great job narrating,’ I didn’t do my job right,” Samuelson said.
Ultimately, Samuelson says his job has made him more compassionate to those with disabilities.
“And how I can be a better advocate to help, specifically with awareness of what this particular work is and also in other ways too,” Samuelson said.
Ultimately, he uses his words to help movies come to life for everyone.
Audio description is also available for many TV shows. You can access it by using your remote control much like a SAP button.
Criminal Minds, Season 15 – CBS
Episode Titles 1501 – 1510
Under the Skin
And In The End …
For additional details, go to audio description project
start playing the content
bottom center, touch “Audio & Subtitles”
along bottom left, click on English – Audio Description
click the top right X to return to video
(to turn off, touch screen, touch Audio & Subtitles, touch English – Audio Description to uncheck, touch top right X)
Amazon Prime iOS
start playing content
touch top right icon in the shape of a text bubble (2nd from the top right corner)
along top right column, touch English [Audio Description]
touch top “Close”
(to turn off, touch screen, touch top right icon of text bubble, touch English [Audio Description] to uncheck, touch close
Live Television (thanks to audio description project)
Go into the menu system of your television set or your cable box and locate the Audio menu.
Under Audio, you will find an option to turn on SAP.
(Sometimes the remote control will have a button labeled Audio or MTS or even SAP, and by pressing this button you can rotate through the two or three audio options generally provided).
But if you must go to a menu and select the audio functions, you may find the option you are looking for listed under Languages. There you may find that your two options are most likely English and Spanish (or Español), depending on how the manufacturer wishes to present this. (The option Spanish or Español is there because Spanish language is sometimes made available via the SAP channel. So the SAP or Secondary Audio Program audio channel can be either Spanish-language or audio description — or nothing.)
Cable Box (again thanks to audio description project)
satellite or cable box, don’t make any changes on your television: the control of the second audio program comes exclusively through the cable box itself. If you happen to be using what’s called a Broadcast Digital Converter Box to translate over-the-air digital signals for your old analog television, then you will need to activate a separate feature on that box to activate the SAP feature; however not all converter boxes that are available have this capability.
Theatrical Movies (again thanks to audio description project)
To access the description, ask for an audio description headset when you purchase your ticket at the box office
Make sure that they didn’t misunderstand you and are giving you an Assisted Listening Device (ALD) headset for people who are hearing-impaired! You don’t want an ALD headset: you want the audio description headset
NCIS, Season 16 – CBS
Episode Titles 355 – 378
Love Thy Neighbor
Beneath the Surface
A Thousand Words
What Child is This
Toil and Trouble
The Last Link
Once Upon a Tim
Crossing The Line
Bears and Cubs
Hail & Farewell
Judge, Jury …
… And Executioner
Bosch, Season 5 – Amazon
Episode Titles 501 – 510
Two Kinds Of Truth
The Last Scrip
Raise The Dead
The Space Between The Stars
The Wisdom of the Desert
Hold Back The Night
Creep Signed His Kill
Discovery Show Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail
S3 E5 Hunt for Hidden Gold: 4/29/2019
S3 E6 Parker vs. Backhoe: 5/3/2019
S3 E7 Path to Gold: 5/10/2019
That Blind Tech Show: The Return of Roy! Audio Describer and Voice Artist Roy Samuelson is in the Studio
Paramount Feature The Score (2001, audio description 2019)
Episode Titles 301 – 315
Need to Know
A Whole Lotto Trouble
Leo Getz Justice
Get the Picture
What the Puck
There Will Be Bud
The Roger and Me
A Game of Chicken
The Spy Who Loved Me
Criminal Minds, Season 14 – CBS
Episode Titles 1401 – 1415
The Tall Man
Flesh and Blood
Sick and Evil
Truth or Dare
Paramount Feature The Saint (2017, audio description 2019)
Hulu documentary Batman & Bill (2019)
Focus Features Feature The Mustang (2019)
Continuing the #AudioDescription conversation this time with Voice Over Artist and AD Narrator Roy Samuelson. Hear about his start in the business, more about the process of creating Audio Description from his perspective and our shared enthusiasm for the subject.
* Process – can Blind and Low Vision Narrators participate?
* Normalization vs. Diversity – Is there room for non-white voices?
* Technology & other opportunities for growth in the field and more…
VOBS – Voice Over Body Shop – Roy Samuelson – Episode 146 November 26, 2018
Universal Feature Mortal Engines (2018)
The Imitation Game Audio Description
Alan runs past the security stop. [“ALAN!”] The guards stop Joan, but she breaks free. Hugh, John, and Peter show the guards their identification. [“-PETER BLOODY HILTON!” “ALAN?”] In the research hut, Joan watches Alan dump decrypted messages onto the desk. The others arrive.
(“…Predictable words.” “Exactly.”)
They all search thru the files.
(“…message from this morning.”)
The team hurries across the dark street to the other hut. They adjust settings on Alan’s massive cryptology device.
(“…last 6am message?” “L” “L”)
Alan moves cables.
[TALK OVER “ALAN”]
(“…Q.” “Q.” “Done.”)
He turns three knobs, and the letter wheels on the device start to spin. Hugh and John watch anxiously. [PAUSE] Nervously rubbing his lip, Alan grabs his notes from nearby. The team stares at the churning mechanism. [:02 PAUSE] Alan mumbles to himself as he watches. [(FAINT) “COME ON, CHRISTOPHER.”] [02:00] A row of wheels spins rapidly, while the ones below tick by at a steady pace. [:02 PAUSE] Alan stares with an intense expression. [MACHINE STOPS] The wheels stop. [“OH MY GOD.”] Stepping up to the large device, Alan takes notes of the wheels’ positions. [“WHAT HAPPENED?”] He hurries past the others. [“DID IT WORK?” “ALAN-”] Running to the other hut, Alan turns the gears on the Enigma machine. [“I NEED A NEW MESSAGE. THE LATEST INTERCEPT.”] Peter brings over a piece of paper and gives it to Joan. Alan rearranges the machine’s wires. John grabs a notebook and pencil.
(“…C.” “C.” “T.” “T.” “R-”)
As Alan taps on the keys, different letters above them light up. John writes them down. [“-R.” “R.” “I.” “I.”] John holds up the small notebook, and Hugh reads.
(“…degree West.” (FAINT) “Heil Hitler.”)
With a stunned look, Alan lifts his hands from the machine. Joan covers her mouth. [“TURNS OUT THAT’S THE ONLY GERMAN YOU NEED TO KNOW TO, UH, BREAK ENIGMA.”] He smiles tearfully. John gives a brief grin. Alan chuckles in relief, and Hugh swings the notebook. [“YES!”] Joan hugs Alan, while Hugh hugs John. [:03 LAUGHS] [03:50] Peter grins as he holds his hands to his head. Joan smiles proudly at Alan, who beams at the Enigma machine. Peter throws his arms around Hugh, and John hugs Alan. As Joan embraces Hugh, he briefly lifts her off the ground. [:03 PAUSE] [04:08] Hugh turns to Alan, and their smiles fade. [:03 PAUSE] He gives a solemn nod, and Alan grins faintly. [:02 PAUSE] Smiling, Alan sits back down at the machine as the others celebrate. Peter hugs him from behind. [:02 LAUGHS 04:29] He steps away, and Alan stares at the machine with an emotional expression.