Jan 25, 2022
Brian and Ed welcome to the That Real Blind Tech Show virtual lair Eric Wickstrom, Director of Audio Production at IDC.
With a career very heavily focused in audio production, we find out when Eric first learned of Audio Description and what he enjoys most about making TV and film accessible to everyone.
We discuss Eric’s time at the USA Network along with some of their hit shows like Suits, Burn Notice, Psych, and why the network moved away from its Characters Welcome approach.
We dive in to the F Word on Network TV, and the humorous use of it, and removal of it.
We talk about USA Network and the inception of Audio Description arriving to the network.
We discuss how much influence blind organizations have on Audio Description, and who drives the most change in the business.
We also discuss the cost of adding an AD track, and why it is logical to just do it.
Of course, Netflix comes up and their amazing commitment to Audio Description.
Since we have an expert on the podcast, we find out why one streaming service may have a title with Audio Description but then that same title shows up on another streaming service without Audio Description. We want to know why! We also dive in to the difference between high quality audio description versus subpar audio description.
We talk about some of the challenges describers face when describing for a totally blind audience versus a low vision audience, and the tough calls they need to make.
We then tackle the difficult conversation of Text to Speech automated audio description, and how it affects the industry.
Eric tells us what it is like to work with blind describers, and it is something he is willing to share with his competitors if any of them want to take him up on it.
We wrap up discussing whether or not the Academy may ever recognize Audio Description as a category, as they seem to have an award for everything else.
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