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How Take 1 helps broadcasters and streaming services meet the demand for subtitled and localised content


TVBEurope talks to Take 1 CEO Louise Tapia about the companys work providing subtitle and localisation services to broadcasters and streaming services, as well as how it supports production companies in the creation and delivery of their content

By Jenny Priestley

Published: December 2, 2021 Updated: December 7, 2021

TVBEurope talks to Take 1 CEO Louise Tapia about the company's work providing subtitle and localisation services to broadcasters and streaming services, as well as how it supports production companies in the creation and delivery of their content

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A recent study by captioning charity Stagetext found that 80 per cent of 18 to 25 year olds in the UK use subtitles some or all of the time. Whether that's because subtitles help viewers understand dialogue more effectively, or they help audiences concentrate on the TV show or film they're watching, it seems subtitles are an important part of content from both broadcasters and streaming services.

Launched in 1998 by Dom Bourne, Take 1 is best known for providing transcription and translation services to media and entertainment companies including Discovery Inc, ITV Studios, BBC Studios, National Geographic Channel, A&E Networks and Peacock.

In the company's early days, video was shot on tape and the only way to log or view footage after the shoot was to either book expensive playback machines by the hour or transfer footage to VHS with burnt-in-time-code.

Take 1 offered an alternative - and more effective way for production companies to prepare for edit. Instead of spending hours viewing VHS dubs of their shoot footage, producers sent these tapes to Take 1 where Bourne and his team would transcribe the time codes, dialogue and action onto paper. These transcriptions were then posted or biked back to Soho and used to prepare paper edits.

Fast-forward to the present day, Take 1 continues to provide transcription, access and localisation services to the international media and entertainment industry under the leadership of CEO, Louise Tapia. With offices in the UK and US and a global workforce, the company leverages digital technology and data-driven workflows to provide high quality, artisan services at scale.

We support production companies in the production and delivery of their content; we help broadcasters, networks and streaming platforms ensure that their content is accessible to all audiences, and we help content distributors create global content for any platform, Tapia tells TVBEurope.

Take 1 transcribes and translates shoot rushes for production teams, journalists and documentary-makers so that they can prepare storylines, find soundbites and cut down the time spent wrangling high volumes of content and multilingual stories in the edit suite. We also create as broadcast' or post production scripts which include a timecoded transcription of all dialogue, captions, credits, music cues and other information based on each project's specific requirements. We provide these to production companies at either picture-lock or final edit stages for deliverable compliance and to networks to facilitate localisation.

data-src= alt= width=424 height=283 data-srcset= 726w, 353w, 768w, 1536w, 2048w data-sizes=(max-width: 424px) 100vw, 424px />Louise TapiaThe company's access services include video captions and audio descriptions to make content accessible to hard of hearing or visually impaired audiences. Our clients in this space include production companies, vendor partners and broadcasters, networks and streaming platforms, adds Tapia. Finally, we provide high-quality translations, subtitles, dubbing services and foreign language audio descriptions as part of our localisation services to help content producers, distributors, networks and streaming platforms reach international audiences with global content.

Take 1's workflows combine the company's multi-skilled teams alongside AI integrated technologies - some of which have been developed in-house while others are recognised and utilised across the industry.

Our proprietary metadata harvesting platform, Liberty, is integral to our data-driven approach it supports the production of XML-based post production scripts, TTML timed text for captioning, and the re-purposing of this data into the various documents, files and reports needed throughout the global content production workflow, explains Tapia.

The Take 1 cloud provides a secure-by-design web-based interface for our clients to transfer video assets to Take 1, add comments or instructions for specific projects or media files, monitor the status of work in progress and retrieve completed outputs.

The team also employs some third-party tools, including Xytech's MediaPulse to co-ordinate high volumes of content across the organisation, and products from Ooona and Starfish Technologies to support its access services. Using VoiceQ and ProTools, we can bring voice artists from home setups and partner studios anywhere in the world into one recording session for dubbing or audio description projects, she adds. These industry tools are componentised so that we can easily swap out technologies to always ensure we're using best of breed, accommodate changing requirements and work according to our customers' preferences.

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