Captioned Classics TOC
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Captioning Guidelines from
The US Department of Education

Note: Are you tired of seeing words misspelled when you're watching a movie or, worse yet, a bunch of gobblygook on screen that makes absolutely no sense. Well, that never happens with our captioning. The US DOE's Guidelines guarantee it. Why we're not even allowed to break a sentence on a prepositional phrase (whatever that is :-). Please read the following to discover for yourself why our captioning is preferred for both HI individuals and by those studying English as a second language (and those seeking to improve literacy).

Overview: Below you will find excerpts from The Captioning Key: Guidelines and Preferred Styles. This is a 33 page book issued by The Captioned Media Program, of the The National Association of the Deaf in conjunction with the National Initiatives Team, Office of Special Education Program, United States Department of Education.

The Key

Captioning is the key... to opening up a world of information for persons with a hearing loss or literacy needs. There are 28 million deaf or hard of hearing individuals in America. Additionally: millions of people are learning to speak English as a second language in ESL classes and homes across the country, and millions more are learning to read and to improve their literacy skills. Being able to hear the words and see them written out at the same time helps.

The Guidelines are a key... for captioning agencies performing Open Captioning. However, much of the information is applicable to closed-captioning. Thus, it will also be useful to video producers/distributors and others who are considering captioning their products or learning about captioning. Some backround information is included.

About the Captioned Media Program

Sound was introduced to motion pictures in 1927. This made them inaccessible to deaf persons who enjoyed equal viewing participation with hearing persons during the silent film era. Efforts to overcome the problem of inaccessibility did not begin for two decades. In 1947 the first true captioning occurred as captions were placed between film frames. The Captioned Films for the Deaf (CFD) program was organized and incorporated in Connecticut with an office at the American School of the Deaf. In 1958 the CFD became federal Public Law 85-905.

Although the initial purpose of the CFD was to provide subtitled Hollywood films for deaf people, educators were quick to recognize the potential of captioned films and other visual media as tremendous untapped educational resources for mainstream students. Consequently, the Congress amended the original law to authorize acquistion, captioning, and the distribution of educational films.

In 1984 CFD introduced videocassettes and CFD became CFV - Captioned Films/Videos - and now called the Captioned Media Program. Today 4,000 captioned films/videos are available for free loan. Hearing impaired persons, teachers, parents, and others who work with HI people are eligible to borrow these materials.

sivideo.com sources programs from various producers for the Caption Media Program (CMP) to license, caption and make 250 copies of each. The CMP is required, by Act of Congress, to make them available to registered hearing impaired individuals as a free loaner. The CPM oversees the captioning of the programs which must meticulously follow the Guidelines imposed by the US DOE. Once the movies are captioned, sivideo.com has the responsibility of marketing the movies to Academic & Public Libraries; Consumers; Organizations; Retailers; Broadcasters and others.

The Guidelines have evolved over the 40-year history of the program. Captioning research and technology continually dictate changes and improvments in the process. The Captioned Media Program staff, with a combined near century of captioning experience, rely heavily on consumer input when incorporating these changes.

Captioning Philosophy

The Captioned Media Program captioning philosophy is that all videos should incorporate as much of the original language as possible: words or phrases, which may be unfamiliar to the audience should not be replaced with simple synonyms. Extreme rewritting of narration for captions develops problems of "watered-down" language and deleted concepts. Editing should only be done if required to meet the specified presentation rate.

Closed Captioning: Closed captions are all white uppercase (captial) letters encased in a black box. A decoder or television with a decoder chip is necessary to view them.

Open Captioning: (subtitling). The captions are "burned" onto the videotape and are always visble -- no decoder is needed. A wide variety of fonts is available for open-captioning allowing the use of upper and lowercase letters with descenders. The options for caption placement are great, permitting location anywhere on the screen. Open Captions are usually white letters with a black rim or drop shadow. The Captioned Media Program requires Open Captioning.

Captioned Movies Available Now

Please Note: Below you'll find a few examples of the Captioning Guidelines.

Line Division

When breaking a sentence into a two-line caption, the following guidelines should be followed:

Inappropriate                                            

Mark pushed his black
truck.

Appropriate

Mark pushed
his black truck.

Inappropriate                                            

Mary scampered under
the table.

Appropriate

Mary scampered
under the table.

Inappropriate                              

Bob and Mr.
Smythe are at the movies.

    Appropriate

    Bob and Mr Smythe are
    at the movies.

Inappropriate                      

In seconds she arrived and
he ordered a Pepsi.

    Appropriate

    In seconds she arrived
    and he ordered a Pepsi.

Inappropriate                                            

So I could
have eaten a cookie.

    Appropriate

    So I could have
    eaten a cookie.

Open Caption Line Placement

Inappropriate                                            

a. Holding at thirty yards...
      Fifty yards and closing!

b. I'm sorry Norman,
      I'd never
   Left if I had known.

Appropriate

a. Holding at thirty yards...
    Fifty yards and closing!

b. I'm sorry, Norman
    I'd never left if I had known

Inappropriate                                            

Where are you?
Where are you?

Appropriate

Where are you?
    Where are you?

Italics

    Italics should be used to indicate:

  1. A voice-over reading of a poem, book, play, journal, letter, etc. (as this is also quoted material, quotation marks are also used).
  2. When a person is dreaming, thinking, or reminiscing.
  3. When there is a background audio that is essential to the plot, such as a PA system, TV, and so forth;
  4. The first time a new word is being defined, but not thereafter.
  5. Offscreen dialogue, narrator, sound effects, or music.
  6. Speaker identification if the dialogue is in italics.
  7. Foreign words and phrases unless they are in English dictionaries. Some exceptions apply. For example: "passado" and "punto reverso", but not the "hay". For the sake of being consistant, leave all in italics.

    Inappropriate

    Ah, the immortal passadoa!
    The punta reverso! They hay!

      Appropriate

      Ah, the immortal passado
      The punta reverso! They hay!

  8. When a particular word is emphasized in speech. Example - You must go!

Foreign Language, Dialect & Slang

Inappropriate                                            

a. I am not going anywhere.
b. (cursing)
c. I'm going to get you.
d. Let's call them.
e. She's waiting.

Appropriate

a. I ain't going nowhere.
b. Damn.
c. I'm gonna getcha.
d. Let's call em.
e. She's waitin'.

Inappropriate                                            

If y'all want me to.

Appropriate

[southern accent]
If y'all want me to.


Inappropriate                                            

I just sort of held my knees
in water, and pulled him

across my kness and
examined him.

Appropriate

I just sort of held me knees
in water, and pulled him

across me knees
and examined him.

In Summary

The Captioning Key and Guidelines manual is 33 pages. The above represents approximately six (6) of those pages. Ergo, there's tons of info not covered. For example, Sound Effects which consist of either a Description or Onomatopoeia (the first time I read that one my eyes crossed) or both.

Anyway, I'm sure you get the idea. Open Captioning covers many nuances and subtleties. The Guidelines are the key to making knowledge, entertainment and information accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing, to those that are seeking to improve their reading and other literacy skills, and to those that are learning to speak English as a second language.

A rather high objective and daunting task. Personally, I'm honored to be part of it. Stan

99 Captioned Classic Movies
  1. Abilene Town - 1946 - Rhonda Fleming, Randolph Scott - Western, Romance - 2½ Stars
  2. Abraham Lincoln - 1930 - Francis Ford, Una Merkel - Biopic, Drama - 3 Stars
  3. Affair, The - 1973 - Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner - Drama, Romance - 2½ Stars
  4. Africa Screams - 1949 - Abbott & Costello - Adventure, Comedy - 3 Stars
  5. Algiers - 1938 - Charles Boyer, Hedy Lamarr - Romance Thriller - 3 Stars
  6. Angel on My Shoulder - 1946 - Anne Baxter, Paul Muni - Comedy Drama - 3 Stars
  7. Anna Karenina - 1948 - Vivien Leigh, Keiron Moore - Romance, Drama - 3 Stars
  8. Back Door to Heaven - 1939 - Wallace Ford , Van Heflin - Drama, Film Noir - 4½ Stars
  9. Beat the Devil - 1953 - Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre - Action Thriller - 3 Stars
  10. Big Trees, The - 1952 - Kirk Douglas, Alan Hale Jr. - Drama - 2½ Stars
  11. Bells of Rosarita - 1945 - Dale Evans, Gabby Hayes, Roy Rogers Western - 2½ Stars
  12. Blake of Scotland Yard - 1936 - Ralph Byrd, Herbert Rawlinson - Mystery - 3 Stars
  13. Black Fox, The - 1962 - Narrated by Marlene Dietrich - Documentary - 4 Stars
  14. Borrowers, The - 1973 - Eddie Albert, Tammy Grimes - Children's Fantasy - 4 Stars
  15. Brighton Rock - 1947 - Richard Attenborough, Carol Marsh - Film Noir - 4 Stars
  16. Call of the Wild - 1972 - Charlton Heston, Michele Mercier - Literary Adventure - 2 Stars
  17. Charade - 1963 - Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn - Thriller, Romance - 5 Stars
  18. Code of Scotland Yard - 1947 - Diana Dors, Oscar Homolka - Film Noir, Mystery - 4 Stars
  19. Cyrano De Bergerac - 1950 - José Ferrer, Elena Verdugo - Drama, Romance - 4½ Stars
  20. D.O.A. - 1949 - Pamela Britton, Edmund O'Brien - Film Noir, Romance - 4 Stars
  21. David Copperfield - 1970 - Laurence Olivier, Robin Phillips - Adventure, Drama - 2½ Stars
  22. Dear Mr. Wonderful - 1982 - Tony Martin, Joe Pesci - Comedy Drama - 4 Stars
  23. Demi Paradise, The - 1943 - Marjorie Fielding, Laurence Olivier - Comedy, Romance, War - 4 Stars
  24. Divorce His - 1973 - Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton - Drama, Romance - 2½ Stars
  25. Divorce Hers - 1973 - Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton - Drama, Romance - 2½ Stars
  26. Don Quixote - 1935 - Feodor Chaliapin, Renee Valliers - Romantic Adventure - 4½ Stars
  27. Entertainer, The - 1960 - Albert Finney, Laurence Olivier - Drama - 4½ Stars
  28. Farewell to Arms, A - 1932 - Gary Cooper, Helen Hayes - War Drama, Romance - 4 Stars
  29. Father's Little Dividend - 1951 - Elizabeth Taylor, Spencer Tracy - Comedy - 3 Stars
  30. Fear in the Night - 1947 - Paul Kelly, DeForest Kelley - Crime Thriller - 4 Stars
  31. Front Page, The - 1931 - Adolphe Menjou, Pat O'Brien - Comedy Drama - 4½ Stars
  32. Gaslight - 1940 - Anton Walbrook, Diana Wynyard - Literary Thriller - 4½ Stars
  33. Gold Rush - 1925 - Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain - Comedy Satire, Silent - 5 Stars
  34. Grand Illusion - 1937 - Jean Gabin, Pierre Fresnay - War Drama - 5 Stars
  35. He Walked by Night - 1948 - Richard Basehart, Scott Brady - Drama, Film Noir - 4 Stars
  36. His Girl Friday - 1940 - Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell - Comedy, Satire - 5 Stars
  37. Hue and Cry - 1947 - Harry Fowler, Alastair Sim - Comedy Drama - 4 Stars
  38. Hunchback Of Notre Dame - 1923 - Lon Chaney, Patsy Ruth Miller - Drama, Silent - 5 Stars
  39. Impact - 1949 - Brian Donlevy, Ella Raines - Drama, Film Noir - 3 Stars
  40. In Which We Serve - 1939 - Richard Attenborough, John Mills - War Drama - 4½ Stars
  41. Inspector General, The - 1949 - Danny Kaye, Elsa Lanchester - Musical Comedy - 3 Stars
  42. It's A Wonderful Life -1946 - Donna Reed, James Stewart - Comedy Drama - 5 Stars
  43. It's Good to Be Alive - 1974 - Ruby Dee, Paul Winfield - Docudrama - 3 Stars
  44. Jigsaw - 1949 - Marlene Dietrich, Henry Fonda - Franchot Tone - Film Noir - 3 Stars
  45. Jackie Robinson Story - 1950 - Ruby Dee, Jackie Robinson - Biopic, Docudrama - 4 Stars
  46. Judge Priest - 1934 - Will Rogers, Francis Ford, Stepin Fetchit, Margaret Mann - Comedy - 4 Stars
  47. Jungle Book, The - 1942 - Rosemary de Camp, Sabu - Adventure, Fantasy - 3 Stars
  48. Kansas City Confidential - 1952 - Preston Foster, John - Payne - Film Noir - 3 Stars
  49. King Solomon's Mines - 1937 - Cedric Hardwick, Paul Robeson - Action/Adventure - 4 Stars
  50. Les Miserables - 1957 - Bernard Blier, Jean Gabin - Drama - 3 Stars
  51. Life with Father - 1947 - Irene Dunne, William Powell - Comedy Drama - 4 Stars
  52. Little Princess, The - 1939 - Shirley Temple, Cesar Romero - Drama, Nostalgic - 3 Stars
  53. Little Shop of Horrors - 1960 - Johnathan Haze, Jack Nicholson - Horror Comedy - 4 Stars
  54. Little Lord Fauntleroy - 1936 - Freddie Bartholomew, Mickey Rooney - Drama - 3 Stars
  55. Look Out Sister - 1948 - Monte Hawley, Louis Jordan - Black Comedy - 3 Stars
  56. Love Affair - 1939 - Charles Boyer, Irene Dunne - Comedy, Romance - 4½ Stars
  57. Made for Each Other - 1939 - Carole Lombard, James Stewart - Comedy Romance - 3 Stars
  58. Man Who Knew Too Much - 1934 - Leslie Banks, Peter Lorre - Film Noir, Thriller - 4 Stars
  59. Mark of the Hawk, The - 1958 - Eartha Kitt, Sidney Poitier - Drama - 4 Stars
  60. Meet John Doe - 1941 - Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck - Comedy Drama - 5 Stars
  61. My Favorite Brunette - 1947 - Lon Chaney, Jr., Bing Crosby, Bob Hope - Comedy - 3 Stars
  62. My Man Godfrey - 1936 - Carole Lombard, William Powell - Comedy, Satire - 4½ Stars
  63. Of Human Bondage - 1934 - Bette Davis, Leslie Howard - Drama, Romance - 4 Stars
  64. One Eyed Jacks - 1961 - Marlon Brando, Karl Malden - Action, Western - 3 Stars
  65. One of Our Aircraft is Missing - 1941 - Lord Bernard Miles, Peter - Ustinov - War Epic - 3 Stars
  66. Overlanders, The - 1946 - Jean Blue, Chips Rafferty - Docudrama - 4 Stars
  67. Penny Serenade - 1941 - Cary Grant, Irene Dunne - Drama Romance - 3 Stars
  68. Phantom Empire, The [Radio Ranch] - 1935 - Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette - Western, Sci Fi - 4 Stars
  69. Phantom of the Opera - 1924 - Lon Chaney Sr., Mary Philbin - Drama Horror, Silent - 4½ Stars
  70. Rage of Paris, The - 1938 - Danielle Darrieux, Douglas - Fairbanks - Comedy - 4 Stars
  71. Reet, Petite and Gone - 1947 - Louis Jordan, June Richmond - Musical, Drama - 4 Stars
  72. Road to Bali, The - 1952 - Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Jane - Russell - Comedy - 3 Stars
  73. Rogue Male - 1976 - Peter O'Toole, Alastair Sim - Action Drama - 4 Stars
  74. Rules Of The Game - 1939 - Paulette Dubost, Jean Renoir - Comedy, Drama - 5 Stars
  75. Private Life of Henry VIII - 1933 - Charles Laughton, Merle Oberon - Drama - 4½ Stars
  76. Scarlet Pimpernel, The - 1934 - Leslie Howard, Raymond Massey - Action, Adventure - 4½ Stars
  77. Scarlet Street - 1945 - Joan Bennett, EG Robinson - Film Noir, Drama - 4 Stars
  78. Shooting Party, The - 1984 - John Gielgud, James Mason - Drama - 3 Stars
  79. Sherlock Holmes Secret Weapon - 1942 - Lionel Atwill, Basil Rathbone - Mystery - 3 Stars
  80. Snows Of Kilimanjaro - 1952 - Susan Hayward, Gregory Peck - Romance Adventure - 3 Stars
  81. Southerner, The - 1945 - J. Carrol Nash, Zachary Scott - Drama - 4½ Stars
  82. Spitfire - 1942 - Leslie Howard, David Niven, - War Drama - 3 Stars
  83. Star is Born, A - 1937 - Janet Gaynor, Fredric March - Drama - 5 Stars
  84. Stars Look Down - 1939 - Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave - Drama - 4 Stars
  85. Stranger, The - 1946 - EG. Robinson, Orson Welles - Crime Thriller, Film Noir - 4 Stars
  86. Suddenly - 1954 - Sterling Hayden, Frank Sinatra - Crime Thriller, Film Noir - 3 Stars
  87. They Made Me a Criminal - 1939 - John Garfield, The Bowery Boys - Drama - 3 Stars
  88. Three Came Home - 1950 - Sessue Hayakawa, Claudette - Colbert - War Drama - 4½ Stars
  89. Things to Come - 1936 - Cedric Hardwick, Raymond - Massey - Sci Fi Drama - 4 Stars
  90. Time of Your Life, The - 1948 - William Bendix, James Cagney - Drama - 4 Stars
  91. Tom, Dick and Harry - 1941 - Burgess Meredith, Ginger Rogers - Comedy, Romance - 4 Stars
  92. Topper Returns- 1941 - Joan Blondell, Roland Young - Comedy, Mystery - 3 Stars
  93. Two Women [La Ciociara] - 1961 - Jean-Paul Belmondo, Sophia Loren - Drama - 4 Stars
  94. Walk In The Sun, A - 1945 - Dana Andrews, Richard Conte - War Drama - 5 Stars
  95. War Game, The - 1965 - Michael Aspel, Peter Graham - Documentary - 4 Stars
  96. White Zombie - 1932 - 65 minutes - B&W - Madge Bellamy, Bela Lugosi - Horror - 3 Stars
  97. Winslow Boy, The - 1949 - Cedric Hardwicke, Neil North - Drama - 4 Stars
  98. Winterset - 1937 - Lucille Ball, John Carradine, Burgess Meredith - Literary Classic, Drama - 3 Stars
  99. Zorro - 1975 - Alain Delon, Stanley Baker - Action/Adventure - 3 Stars

$19.95 each or Any 6 - $99.95 ($16.66 each)
Any 12 or more - $14.99 each - - Any 24 or more - $13.99 each

Shipping & handling is $4.50 per order, not per tape.

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Stan Nicotera - E-mail: stann@sivideo.com
Special Interest Video Sales Group, PO Box 968, Englewood, FL 34295
Phone 941-473-2601 Fax 941-473-2701
© Copyright 1998/2000 Stan Nicotera. All rights reserved.
Copyright pertains to the Captioned Version of all these movies with the US DOE Guidelines.
© Copyright 1995/2000 Stan Nicotera. All rights reserved.
Copyright notice pertains to all documents, files, pages, processes and text contained herein.