Close Captioning Experiment (Sea Monkey War)

This is one of few scripted videos I’ve done, and it’s kinda a social commentary on war… with a twist.

We were actually reading our lines, which were taped behind the Sea Monkey container. The observant viewer will notice that the Sea Monkey container was devoid of brine shrimp. I had to shoot some b-roll of brine shrimp from a friend’s ecological glass dome (which unfortunately looked nothing like the inside of the Sea Monkey container.

‘ve been interested in close-captioning as a way to make my video accessible to those who can’t hear or those that don’t speak English. It will also be a major driver of search engines in the future.

Here’s my attempt of using Overstream to generate close-captioning, and now I’ll see if I can export them to YouTube –which supports a simple subtitle format that is compatible with the formats known as SubViewer (*.SUB) and SubRip (*.SRT).

It took about 20 minutes to generate these, and I would highly recommend viewing the brief tutorial on Overstream before you try it.

Thanks to Bill Creswell’s blog, I’ve also found TubeCaption.

Wow- I exported the .sub file from Overstream and uploaded the file to YouTube (in the “edit video” section). Instantly I have close captioning on YouTube! That was incredibly easy. Here’s the final result, but you have to activate CC on the bottom right corner. Keep in mind that only the video publisher can do this at YouTube (so you generous close caption volunteers will have to send the creator a .sub file… but I’m sure most YouTubers would be delighted to receive and post them).

20 Replies to “Close Captioning Experiment (Sea Monkey War)”

  1. Nalts! I love you man! Seriously, I loved this! I literally snorted chocolate milk through my nose when you said Parangaricutirimicuaro! I sat there and replayed it like 3 times before finishing the video!

    Awesome! The girl did a fine job on the script too! :o)

  2. That is so cool! I had no idea you could do close captioning like that. My mind is reeling thinking about what would happen if Hank Green or Frezned tried to do it, haha.

    Really, though – not many people go out of their way to be helpful to the deaf community. I commend you.

  3. Totally didn’t know you guys were reading from a script. The girls gave excellent performances.

    I also especially liked the social commentary part. It showed a level of sophistication about the sociology of war that I was not aware you possessed. It was also quite topical, given the continuing impasse between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and the deteriorating situation in Lebanon and Syria.

    Whoops. I just farted.

  4. well done good message and I bet it makes the front page by tomorrow. tho, one of Kate’s lines was cut off in the captioning, but that could be my weird connection.

    sukatra [click for you]

  5. Another closed captioning program, free to anyone, which supports non-Western character sets and languages such as Japanese, is WorldCaption (click).

    You putting your hand over the girls’ eyes made me smile. Oh and I showed the Sarah Palin video to my daughter and she is finally wising up that you are some kind of kick-ass talent.

  6. The Strange Case of The Precognizant Penis

    I was standing in the middle of my Casa De Toro guard “shack”, looking out through the floor-to-ceiling picture windows at the quiescent pool and jacuzzi, 4 a.m., trying to decide whether to quit the cheap security guard company who had posted me here five months ago or to stay a while longer.

    The dumpsters here at Casa De Toro HAVE been good to me. If I leave Sucko Security, I leave the dumpsters. The dumpsters have been trying to get me to stay. In fact, ever since I started thinking about quiting Sucko, the dumpsters have been working overtime to get me to stay, plying me with all sorts of gifts, bribes and shiny little used inducements.

    I decided, standing there in the middle of my guard shack Friday night, that the bounty of the dumpsters was the work of the devil. The devil likes to ply people with shiny, worthless things. I have no more room for shiny, worthless thing, so I’m going to quit Sucko’s $8.25 an hour job and apply for Allied Security’s $10 an hour or Securitas’ $9.50 an hour.

    Just as I made that decision, I got a spontaneous erection.

    “Whoa!” I said, looking down at the rising tent, “Where did YOU come from?” It didn’t answer, just kept rising.

    Talking to my penis, I felt like Farmer John when Lassie comes running up to the barn barking about some trouble Little Timmy has gotten himself into:

    “What’s wrong boy? Where’s the fire?”

    I stepped out of the guard shack, tent and all, using my erection as a sort of divining rod to see where the trouble was, and immediately heard whimpering. Female whimpering. It was coming from the outside of the main entrance gate.

    But y’all don’t want to hear this shit. Let’s talk about Closed Captioning!

  7. If you haven’t read @12, it’s a must-read. And you need to stand with respect when Sukatra says “given the continuing impasse between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and the deteriorating situation in Lebanon and Syria.” Please tell me she copied that from a blog post.

  8. Coming soon: Teaching kids to read via YouTube captions. Of course, There are some drawbacks. Fro exampl, a typo would probably be a bad thng if you’re teaching a kid to read. And improtant literary principals, like using the write words (not homophones) two express yore self are aslo issues that could effect their reading. The werst prat wil bee the blatent mispelings in the capcions which parants won’t notice becuse there two dumn themselfs, and al off a sudden, well all realise that children our are future, and we’ve heffed it up, all thanks to Utub’s closet capshunning.

    PS-If You read “Homophones” and mentally thought “homophobes”, do me a favor and paypal me $5. Thanks!

  9. And a quick comment on the video:

    It was pretty good. As usual, the kids had to put in extra effort to carry the old man’s extra weight. 😀

    The tank scenes (which as you said, were obviously from another tank) reminded me of the movie About Schmidt. I was born and raised in Omaha, and so when Jack Nicholson’s character leaves his South Omaha house, drives on a short trip to a North Omaha supermarket, and upon entering, is in a supermarket I know to be on the west end of town, my brain was desperately trying to reconcile the scenes, but it was a doomed venture. That’s sort of how I felt about the tank thing.

    On the bright side, now you can honestly say that one of your videos was once compared to a Jack Nicholson film.

    Just don’t say which one.

  10. Hey nalts, I tried looking at the overstream site, but I can’t find anything useful. Maybe that domain name got bought out?

    I tried out the TubeCaption site (check out my attempt at captioning your “Farting In Public” video) and it works OK (not perfectly), but I don’t seem to be able to export .sub files.

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