5 votes

Why we all need subtitles now

15 comments

  1. [5]
    elcuello
    Link
    Being from a country where we've always used subtitles for foreign speaking movies and TV I find it so funny Americans are so horrified when they have to use them. It literally enhances the...

    Being from a country where we've always used subtitles for foreign speaking movies and TV I find it so funny Americans are so horrified when they have to use them. It literally enhances the experiences on so many levels once you learn not to feel distracted by them which honestly shouldn't take long. I couldn't watch LoTR og GoT without subs not because the sound was bad but because it helped me remember names and places by associating them with the written text. I'm talking non-CC subs here - I can see why they can be annoying sometimes with the sound descriptions and it's frustrating that this is the only option for English most of the time on streaming services.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      DrStone
      Link Parent
      I watch a lot of foreign language film and tv with subs and have for a decade or two. I can read quickly. In most cases, with some exceptions, I fully believe subs with original audio are better...

      I watch a lot of foreign language film and tv with subs and have for a decade or two. I can read quickly. In most cases, with some exceptions, I fully believe subs with original audio are better than dubs. I only watch native language content with subs if someone I’m with insists or I’m in a quiet environment without headphones.

      I could not disagree more that subs enhance the experience. They ruin delivery timing (particularly bad for comedy). For foreign-language subs, they require moving the eye away from the main focus, however briefly, to read (particularly bad for action, subtle visual cues, very detailed scenes, or a series of quick cuts). They mar the well crafted visuals with an overlay. Same-language subs can be distracting even when comfortable with subbed content and not consciously aware of or explicitly reading them.

      I loathe subs and only tolerate them out of necessity.

      8 votes
      1. elcuello
        Link Parent
        I was maybe a bit black/white in my previous statement and these are all fair points I knew when I think about it. To even question this is bonkers to me but again everyone has their preferences.

        I was maybe a bit black/white in my previous statement and these are all fair points I knew when I think about it.

        I fully believe subs with original audio are better than dubs

        To even question this is bonkers to me but again everyone has their preferences.

        2 votes
    2. Jedi
      Link Parent
      I agree with /u/DrStone, though I know someone who watches everything with subtitles, but heaven-forbid they have to watch a foreign film in sub, they don’t want to “read a movie.”

      I agree with /u/DrStone, though I know someone who watches everything with subtitles, but heaven-forbid they have to watch a foreign film in sub, they don’t want to “read a movie.”

      2 votes
    3. lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I've read subtitles all my life, but I didn't understand spoken English for much of that time. Nowadays, I understand English perfectly and use subtitles only for comfort. In that case, subs don't...

      I've read subtitles all my life, but I didn't understand spoken English for much of that time. Nowadays, I understand English perfectly and use subtitles only for comfort. In that case, subs don't bother me because I don't have my eyes glued to them. I only look down from time to time to confirm proper names, slang, technical term, terms I forgot, words I don't know, something is misheard, etc.

      I know zero Japanese and completely rely on subtitles to watch anime. The discomfort is intense and it takes a while to get used to after a period without watching anime.

      1 vote
  2. [5]
    bhrgunatha
    Link
    The video says it's a complex mix of factors but it seems there are only 2. Creators want massive dynamic range and there's no way to achieve that without stumping up money to mix the audio down...

    The video says it's a complex mix of factors but it seems there are only 2.

    I disagree vehemently with both points, but no-one pays attention to my opinion.

    4 votes
    1. mat
      Link Parent
      You were talking about motion pictures with your pals the other daaaay One of the reasons I prefer TV to movies is that movies so often try so hard to be artistic or dramatic and my enjoyment...

      Apparently whispering is more artistic or dramatic.

      You were talking about motion pictures with your pals the other daaaay

      One of the reasons I prefer TV to movies is that movies so often try so hard to be artistic or dramatic and my enjoyment usually suffers as a result. Actual arthouse films and actually good dramatic acting aren't the same thing.

      9 votes
    2. [3]
      AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      One of the Dialogue Editor's main points/examples was that if dialog was actually audible then you wouldn't feel as excited about an explosion, but... Most movies don't have explosions. Most...

      One of the Dialogue Editor's main points/examples was that if dialog was actually audible then you wouldn't feel as excited about an explosion, but...

      1. Most movies don't have explosions.
      2. Most movies that do have explosions don't have more of them than dialog (ignoring Michael Bay)
      3. I don't need my ears to bleed to understand that an explosion happened, but I do need to hear the dialog to understand why an explosion happened.

      Interestingly, she defends this practice but there's other medium that has constant sound effects, music, and dialog that I have never felt that I needed subtitles to enjoy: youtube and video games

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        babypuncher
        Link Parent
        I don't think filmmakers want to squash their audio just because their movie doesn't have explosions. I think it would be just as problematic if your average dialogue-heavy drama had a higher...

        I don't think filmmakers want to squash their audio just because their movie doesn't have explosions. I think it would be just as problematic if your average dialogue-heavy drama had a higher average loudness than an action movie, all because it was mixed so that the dialogue in the former is almost as loud as the explosions in the latter.

        Ideally, dialogue should have roughly the same volume across all films. And in my experience, this is generally the case when comparing movies with 5.1 or higher mixes. (Stereo mixes tend to have a lower dynamic range and therefore a higher average volume.)

        The problem, as explained later in the video, is that filmmakers mix their movies for the best possible listening environment. This is what you are getting when you listen to a Dolby Atmos track. This isn't a mistake on the filmmakers part. The problem does not manifest until viewers go to watch these films on "sub-standard" audio equipment. Flat panel TVs come with speakers capable of far less dynamic range than their enormous CRT ancestors. To make things worse, TV and home video formats used to almost exclusively be mixed in stereo. Whereas today your typical Blu-Ray or Netflix stream includes at least a 5.1 surround sound stream which your TV or smartphone has to downmix to stereo automatically, which will never sound as good as a stereo mix made by a professional.

        There are solutions to this problem that do not require filmmakers to butcher their surround mixes and upset home theater enthusiasts. But they would require some amount of user-education.

        The first one is already common, and that is features on your TV or soundbar that boost the center channel, automatically normalize the whole mix, or some combination of these and other processing to make dialogue more audible. The Apple TV includes a "reduce loud noises" feature that I think a lot of people would love if they knew about it.

        The second is for filmmakers to provide alternative low-dynamic range mixes as alternative audio tracks. I've been seeing this on some blu-rays, particularly action movies, in recent years. John Wick was the first place I saw this.

        3 votes
        1. DrStone
          Link Parent
          I don’t know. I have a 7.1.2 setup at home that supports Dolby Atmos, being fed 5.1+ mixes. Not always, but far more frequently than I’d like, I need to keep a hand on the volume control so we can...

          I don’t know. I have a 7.1.2 setup at home that supports Dolby Atmos, being fed 5.1+ mixes. Not always, but far more frequently than I’d like, I need to keep a hand on the volume control so we can have the dialogue at an intelligible level without shaking the building when the scene changes to action or the background music swells.

          4 votes
  3. [5]
    herson
    Link
    I call this bs. This only happens with the original mixes, this do not happen with dubbed movies to other languages or from other languages, maybe they can improve the sound mixing at the original...

    I call this bs.

    This only happens with the original mixes, this do not happen with dubbed movies to other languages or from other languages, maybe they can improve the sound mixing at the original but they just don't want to.

    1 vote
    1. lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I think the video is only about original mixes, even though they didn't explicitly state that.

      I think the video is only about original mixes, even though they didn't explicitly state that.

      2 votes
    2. [3]
      elcuello
      Link Parent
      But...aren't your examples completely different sound and voices recorded afterwards by foreign voice actors and therefore inherently always easier to hear because it's always done in a studio?

      But...aren't your examples completely different sound and voices recorded afterwards by foreign voice actors and therefore inherently always easier to hear because it's always done in a studio?

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        lou
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I wouldn't say it was always necessarily easier. Local dubs used to be very poor because local stations and dubbing companies didn't get the masters with all the channels, so sometimes they had to...

        I wouldn't say it was always necessarily easier. Local dubs used to be very poor because local stations and dubbing companies didn't get the masters with all the channels, so sometimes they had to either remove or recreate a lot of the sound effects and reinsert the music, with way fewer resources than the original production companies had. That is why, in my country, a lot of old cartoons had cheap generic or royalty-free music, and I only realized that as an adult when I watched some Disney or Hanna-Barbera cartoons online.

        After that, they essentially got a single channel with everything but the voice, so they simply put everything at a lower volume for the new dub to surface. So the music and sound effects would get dim and lifeless, with the voice on top.

        Nowadays it's much better, the new dub is professionally mastered along with everything on a dedicated channel, and it's well integrated with all the other sounds. So you'll get some of the same recourses the original had, as well as some of their demerits the video pointed out (but mitigated because the new dubs are made in-studio and with an understanding of what the final mix requires for the voice to come out on top).

        2 votes
        1. elcuello
          Link Parent
          Well I learned something new. Very interesting. I've always steered far away from anything related to dubs so I didn't know a lot of this.

          Well I learned something new. Very interesting. I've always steered far away from anything related to dubs so I didn't know a lot of this.

          2 votes