British Sign Language and Media Production
A couple of months ago we were asked if we could add BSL to an existing student support animation. Although we hadn’t done this before, here at the Media Studio we are always trying to support all University staff, so we were encouraged to team up with The University BSL team and the Service Excellence Programme to produce the video in-house. It was an exciting opportunity for all.
We collaborated with Alison Hendry from the BSL team and her hearing dog Gerry. We had to make some adjustments as our teleprompter is voice-activated, so we played the audio of the video for the text to scroll as Alison interpreted. As the voice-over in the video is quite dense, we had to slow the video down to allow time for the BSL translation.
To superimpose the BSL interpreter on the final video, we used a green screen. It is critical that the fabric is evenly lit as any moving object could cast shadows in the background and complicate things when we layer everything up in post-production. As a result, we had to persuade Gerry to play ball in a different room while we filmed, but he took it so well that we gave him a treat afterwards.
After the recording, Alison helped us select the best take and review the rough cut once the BSL was integrated with the video. All we had to do after that was finish some adjustments such as audio and colour correction and export the video. It was an incredibly positive experience, and we certainly hope to record more BSL content in the future.
The production team and media studio are available to all University staff, and we love to see people from all campuses come around to ask for help and advice on their teaching and learning materials. We have a fully equipped studio as well as a soundproof booth for recording voice-overs, podcasts and screencasts. Please drop us an email, we are always looking for a good creative challenge!