Underrated aspect of Video Editing: Subtitling

This summer I have been working with UWP to look into efficient and cost-effective ways for subtitling University-owned videos.

About me

This internship has given me a chance to work with colleagues that have different levels of experience. It provides a good balance in the workplace. I, Sanchit Gupta, am the Video Subtitling and Transcription Intern in the Information Services department.

I just finished my third year of the undergraduate degree in Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering. My time at the University of Edinburgh has been nothing short of memorable and fruitful. I have been given a chance to study the foundations behind some of the best technologies in the current world. Personally, I am very intrigued by Machine Learning and that’s one of the areas I would love to explore in my further studies.

Experience with subtitling

I am halfway through my internship that started on 1st June’16. Until now, I am very content with the whole experience. I am working under Mr. Bruce Darby, who has been a great support. I am very thankful to him for his help in contract trouble and his instant constructive feedback on my work. The other stakeholders in the project, Viki Gant and Jessie Paterson, have also been appreciative of my work. All these factors have personally kept me motivated to do better every time and excel in my project.

Summary of project

My project involves compiling a research paper to recommend efficient and cost-effective ways to subtitle video content owned by the University.


Figure: Adding subtitles to official University videos.


The main motive behind the project is to make the video content more accessible to people with disabilities and aid their viewing experience. This is one of the main reasons that makes working on this paper even more satisfying. Initially, the task seemed straightforward but as I went deeper into the project, I realized that subtitling comes with its own set of challenges. These include factors like background noise, unfamiliar accents of speakers, grammatically incorrect sentences etc., problems that we don’t notice while speaking ourselves. In addition to the feedback from my manager, I validated my work by watching the videos from a disabled person’s point of view and further review that experience.Therefore, I was able to improve the timing of the subtitles and include additional sounds effects like clapping, cheering, laughing etc.

The first stage of my project involved using YouTube’s closed captioning features. This task was divided into editing YouTube’s automatic subtitles or uploading your own transcriptions.Furthermore,these transcriptions were created through applications like Microsoft Word, Audio Notetaker and Amara, which is an online subtitling software.

Future plans

The next stage of my project involves contacting various third-party companies that specialize in closed captioning services. I will be further sending 4-5 of them some video content to caption and monitor the turnaround time.This shall give me a chance to draw a comparison between the work done by an amateur and a professional. Finally, I hope I can continue to be on track with my project and achieve success.

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