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VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION

Professional lip reading transcription can provide a means of determining what is being said in a video in which the speaker's face is clearly visible, but the voice, for whatever reason, is unintelligible to a listener.

Forensic/Legal/Investigation:
Security/surveillance/CCTV • law enforcement/dash-cam • missing persons/hostage

Archival
Film/television archives • lecture/meeting/interview documentation • home movies

Media
News footage (political, sports) • entertainment

» Contact Consuelo with your questions, or to submit a video.


Past clients include:

- ABC News
- CBS News
- US Army
- Social Security Administration
- HBO Entertainment
- National Geographic Channel
- The Washington Post
- Stanford University Medical Center
- Rotary International
- Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
- Numerous law enforcement agencies
- Private attorneys
- Prosecutors
- Public defenders
- Private investigators
- Videographers
- Media producers across the U.S. and around the world


What Clients Say...

"Wow, that is great — and so fast! You are fantastic. Our producer will be thrilled."
— SK, HBO

"Thank you so much for your prompt and professional work. Recovering any of these words feels just like discovering a treasure! I'm really happy that you could do this."
— PB, United Kingdom


FREQUENT QUESTIONS:

Each submission of video footage is unique. Because there are many different factors that may affect the salvageability of your footage (such as camera movement, camera angle, lighting, camera distance, zooming/panning, color, image quality, speaker movement, speaker accent, academy or industry specific jargon/vocabulary, and knowledge of context/content), I cannot estimate how long transcription will take, based on the length of your video. I charge a minimum two hours of my time to view your footage for the first time, assess it, and begin transcription, regardless of its length. If the actual amount of spoken content is from a few seconds to a few minutes in length, it is unlikely that any more time will be needed beyond the first two hours. Unlike auditory language transcription, lip reading transcription requires repeated viewings of short portions of video in order to refine comprehension, and therefore takes a longer amount of time than other types of transcription.

Your video will have a better chance of being salvageable if it has as many of the following characteristics as possible:

  • The speaker is speaking English (English is the only language transcribed).
  • The camera is completely still (use of tripod or other stabilizing device during filming).
  • The speaker is directly facing the camera (face/lips are visible throughout).
  • The camera is close to the speaker (distance such that head/shoulders fill most of the available frame).
  • The subject matter is known (you are able to tell me generally what is going on, the general topic of conversation).
  • No off-camera questions or comments occur.
  • The video quality itself is good (good lighting, smooth and clear image, optimum resolution, real-time capture, sufficient frame rate).

There are two circumstances in which, regardless of any other factors, your video footage will not be salvageable. These are:

  • If the speaker's lips are not visible. This may seem self-evident, but I do receive footage from clients who have the utmost faith in my ability to lipread around a microphone, or in a darkened room. If your speaker's lips are not clearly visible to you, they won't be visible to me. This includes instances where the speaker's lips are so small, relative to the size of the full frame, as to be merely a few blurry pixels.
  • If the video is not recorded at a smooth, real-time rate-of-capture. If your video appears jerky, stutters, or looks as though "frames" are missing, it will not be salvageable. Some security-camera footage, while labeled "video" footage, is really a collection of stills, taken at perhaps the rate of one to ten frames per second. In most instances, video that is appropriate for lip reading transcription purposes must be recorded at a rate of at least 24 "frames" per second. Some exceptions may be made for silent-film era archival footage.

In order for me to tell whether footage is salvageable, I must work on it. In any instance where a speaker's lips are clearly visible during smooth-motion video, there is a chance that something may be salvageable. Whether it is, or how much of it, may not be clear until I spend time viewing and re-viewing portions of the footage. Because of this, I charge a minimum of two hours of my time for the initial viewing(s) and transcription of any video footage, regardless of length. This two-hour minimum includes two hours of working to transcribe as much as possible of your footage, and a written assessment/transcript form.

I am happy to work with you prior to submission to answer any questions you have about whether your footage may be a good candidate for a lip reading transcription attempt. In addition, you are welcome to send me a frame shot or still, which would give me some idea of the distance/lighting. The more clearly and fully you can describe your footage when you contact me, the better.

You may submit your footage either electronically (by sending me a link to download it or watch it online), or on a CD/DVD by mail.

For computer media files, QuickTime format is preferred; other file types may or may not be playable, depending on platform/format. If you send your video by mail on a data CD/DVD, make sure the disc is readable by Apple Macintosh computers.

You may format your video as a DVD playable in any standard DVD player. If so, the DVD must be in NTSC format (not PAL), and coded for Region 1 (or all regions).

You may submit your payment either via my secure PayPal account, or by mailing me a check. You can submit both your footage and payment electronically, both your footage and payment via snail mail, or a combination. When you contact me regarding your footage, I will send you all relevant links/addresses.

Once I have received both your footage and your initial payment, I will begin working on your project, and will typically complete the initial two-hour assessment/transcript within 48-72 hours. I will send you the results (your assessment/transcript form) via email.

If you are hoping for a same-day turnaround or a 24-hour turnaround time, please let me know this when you first contact me.

  • Make sure your video is in one the formats listed under "How do I submit...?" (above).
  • Send (or link to) the best, cleanest copy available.
  • If at all possible, send only the footage that needs transcription.
  • Clearly label (or send me via email) the time codes for where transcription is to begin and end.
  • Send me as much information as possible about the video: who, what, where, when, why, how. If you think you know what is being said, or what the topic of conversation is, tell me. If you are looking for specific phrases, words, or remarks, tell me what they are. I will need to have as much information as possible BEFORE viewing the video for the first time. (see "Why context/content matters," below).
  • If you are sending a physical CD/DVD, and would like it returned to you, include a stamped self-addressed envelope with proper return postage.

Unlike listening to speech, where listeners are usually able to hear and identify single words fairly accurately, lip reading ALWAYS takes place in context. Lip readers are never salvaging individual phonemes and stringing them together into words, but rather we are comprehending words and their meaning in context, and every clue as to context matters.

Once you have decided to submit your footage for transcription, it will be to your advantage to give me as much information as possible about your footage before I view it for the first time. Far from prejudicing me, this information may be critical to the salvageability of your footage. Information such as where the video is taking place, what is happening, who the speakers are, any regional accents they may have, what their relationship is (to the camera operator, to each other, to others in the location), what they are (likely to be) talking about, any possible names or locations, any suspected or alleged words or phrases, any lists of interview questions, any deposition transcripts that accompany the video, etc. is requested.

As an experienced non-verbal communication expert trained in movement analysis, I can provide movement analysis notes on the video assessment form, when appropriate. Even if your footage seems unsuitable for lip reading transcription purposes, you may feel that movement analysis by a trained expert would be valuable. Please let me know of your interests or concerns when you contact me.

I am happy to provide the following documents if requested or necessary: a current one-page CV, a current fee schedule, a certified transcript (signed document attesting to the veracity of the transcript, to the best of my knowledge).  There is currently no certifying body in the United States for professional lip reading interpreting/translation/transcription. However, I am qualified to translate live in court (King County Superior Court), and I am happy to testify in court, if necessary.

In some cases, attorneys may be equally interested in knowing whether their submitted footage IS or IS NOT lipreadable. Even if you think your footage is NOT lipreadable, you may want to have an expert's opinion to verify this. This becomes important information in litigation when parties involved claim they can understand what is being said in a video. In this case, verification by a qualified third party that the video is NOT lip-readable becomes just as valuable as an actual transcript.

I am happy to accommodate same-day turn-around requests, if at all possible. In these cases, your payment option is limited to the use of my secure PayPal account. Contact me with any questions. I am happy to provide an email invoice/receipt if requested.