Sunday, September 25, 2016

Closed Captions and Amazon Prime

Earlier this month, I got an email from CreateSpace, the service through which we self-distributed "A Modest Suggestion" five years ago. They are owned by, and reported that Amazon was changing the way they handled streaming titles. If I wanted "A Modest Suggestion" to continue streaming on Amazon, I had to update a few things, including providing a new element that I had never provided before: closed caption titles!

It wasn't too hard to caption the film using open-source freeware that I found online (I used "MagPie" to do the captioning, but ultimately, only "Subtitle Edit" was capable of exporting a file that Amazon Video Direct was capable of interpreting). So, when I had the stuff ready for "A Modest Suggestion", I decided to try prepping "Man of Action!" and "End of the Story" for Amazon as well.

All three are now streaming on Amazon sites in the US, UK, Germany and Japan, and I'm considering adding "Johnny's Rocket" to the mix, as well.

It felt very empowering to tackle this process on my own. Most films hire captioning services to take this step (and I understand why! It's extremely tedious!). But that extra challenge of putting captions on a video makes the availability of my films on feel a little more special, a little more "elite". It's not YouTube, where anyone can upload anything, regardless of time or energy or effort or money put into its creation.


And in case you'd like to see them, here are my films on Amazon!

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