The so-called National Captioning Institute has been a reliable source of half-assed captioning since circa 1980. I can attest to the accuracy of that statement because I have been watching their mediocrity for the entire time.

Under the auspices of Joel Snyder, NCI pretends to offer audio description. It’s outsourced to freelancers, of course, and they explicitly offer to use non-union voice talent. What else would one expect from a company whose first president, the late John Ball, was reportedly the 14th candidate offered the position, and is in fact the same company that locked out its employees and shipped piracy-sensitive work overseas?

And their description is atrocious. For some reason no doubt related to undercutting WGBH on price, NCI describes a few movies for Paramount. One of them was Iron Man 2, whose description track somehow survived the transfer to DVD. Listen to a sample for 3½ minutes (MP3) and tell me you could put up with this bullshit for two straight hours. (Voice talent uncredited, but it’s obviously just some guy and not a real actor, and is probably the writer of the description, and is quite audibly gay.)

How could this be done better? By hiring WGBH. They even do a good job describing FUCK YOU.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2011.12.06 16:07. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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