Videos need to be closed captioned from the moment the first movie logo appears on the screen, particularly in cases where theme music or other important sounds are playing over the logos of movie studios such as Warner Bros Pictures. Moreover, captions often need to do more than simply indicate that “[music plays]” or “[phone rings].” When background music, environmental sounds, or even ring tones are connected in some way to the content of the film, those sounds need to be, whenever possible, identified by name — even when they are playing over logos. Captions should start, if needed, as soon as the movie studio’s logo appears on the screen.
Consider the opening of Yes Man (2008), starring Jim Carrey. Carrey’s ring tone plays over the Warner Bros logo at the start of the movie. But the movie’s first caption doesn’t appear until nearly 29 seconds into the film. Moreover, the first caption, “[PHONE RINGING],” hardly tells the full story of the ring tone in an equivalent text caption. Users who rely on captions need the same access to the name of the ring tone (from Journey’s “Separate Ways“) and need to be able to draw the same connection as hearing viewers between the name of the song and Carrey’s own desire to be left alone — i.e. to go his separate way.
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