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Ep. 106 – Three Blondes In His Life part 2

As Duke (Jock Mahoney) gets closer to each of the blondes, he learns the murder victim wasn’t the only man who knew them all.

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Associated links
Jock Mahoney @Brian’s Drive-In Theater
Greta Thyssen @Java’s Bachelor Pad

4 Responses to “Ep. 106 – Three Blondes In His Life part 2”

  1. BF Goodwill Says:

    Interestingly, we only learn that Helen is wearing a black negligee at the very end of the scene in which Duke interrogates her in her bedroom, but when he next interviews Martha, the narrator lets us know up front that Martha is wearing a fitted blouse and skirt. Describing a character’s dress and appearance as quickly as possible in a scene lets listeners paint a picture that they can use throughout the entire scene, as opposed to retro-imagining when a detail is given at the end of a scene. Here, there was time to let us know Helen was in a black negligee and to let us know whether it was low-cut so she showed some cleavage when she leaned towards Duke, and to let us know if it was long or short, or if she wore slippers or was barefoot. Later, we learn Helen lounges on a couch, but we only learn late in this scene that she wears a black cocktail dress (necessitating some retro-imagining)- but we don’t know if it’s short or long, or if she also wears strappy heels. But in the next scene, we learn up front that Helen is in a white gauzy negligee, so we can imagine what she looks like as the scene unfolds.

  2. Antony James Says:

    There have been a few comments from the above person which have criticised the lack of underwear description. I personally don’t need to know anything other than what was told to us on this audio soundtrack.

    “so we can imagine what she looks like as the scene unfolds.” I managed to imagine this using the narrators descriptive. It may have been just how it was in the movie….it may not have been. I don’t care. The story worked in my head…..

    ….it leaves me wondering how much descriptive narration about underwear you need?

  3. BF Goodwill Says:

    Consumers of audio description represent a spectrum of experiences, attitudes, and preferences – for some, minimal description is just fine; for others, more description is preferred. The main point here is that, when time permits, it might be a better practice to set up as much of the scene/costume/appearance up front so that audio-consumers can use this information as the scene unfolds – but, then again, this is admittedly a point of preference and reasonable audio-consumers can and will have differing opinions. Similarly, with respect to the issue of “underwear,” audio-consumers will have a variety of preferences when it comes to how much and of what should be described. Studies have shown that adventitiously blind individuals tend to prefer more description, while congenitally blind individuals tend to prefer less description – neither are wrong, but it could be argued that erring on the side of “over-description” (wherein those who wish less description can edit what description they don’t need/want) can address this preferential spectrum more comprehensively than erring on the side of “under-description” (where those who wish more description are not given a choice as to what they can edit and are, generally speaking, under-served by such an approach). As for the “underwear” in particular, I will continue to remark on such audio-description choices because they tend to reflect an historical anti-sexual attitude in the blind industry as a whole and in audio-description in particular. Finally, asking blind people to “just imagine it” has been the rallying cry for many who would deny visually impaired people access to all kinds of material and, in a wider sense, the right to experience what sighted people take for granted.

  4. admin Says:

    Thank you for the positive comments that have been posted, and for the intention of spurring debate. I am finally going to make three points which are long overdue.

    The title “Movies For the Blind” is not to be taken literally. It was just a catchy phrase that was a riff on the Queens of the Stone Age album “Songs for the Deaf”. In reality, the podcast should be called “Movies for Everybody”. That means for people entirely regardless of sight or the lack thereof. This podcast is audio only, so that everyone gets exactly the same content. Having audio only, everyone is, essentially, blind. Along with just pure entertainment (I hope), a major purpose of this podcast is to introduce sighted people to the idea of audio description – an idea which has been much too low profile for far too long. I believe a good way to do this is to put them in the place of someone without sight, and an easy way to do that is to just give them audio. (while, as the DCMP has shown, description can serve people even if they can see the video, assisting those learning to read or a new language.) Many of these comments have implied that sighted people are getting more in this podcast than those who aren’t. While there is a small amount of video available under the auspices of the podcast (to help show how description is done – and it is fair to call under-description in those cases), in terms of the weekly audio podcast, everyone is equal. Regarding sight, there are no groups to cater to or exclude – everyone is in it together. That is an aspect of accessibility I choose to highlight. I think it helps more people toward some sort of understanding.

    Even when I do description to be shown with video, my principles of description are not very different, as they were taught to me by Marc Rosen of AudioVision Canada a decade ago. Because so many details are subjective, because we cannot help but in some measure dictate to those who are visually-impaired what something looks like or what is worthy of their attention, we focus on what everyone has in common when consuming fictional/narrative media, regardless of sight level or experience (i.e. memories of images for someone not blind from birth): everyone wants to know the story, and everyone wants to be experience the story as synchronously as possible (i.e. a blind person watching with sighted friends). My job is to help tell the story. If I can do that without distracting someone from it with too much or not enough detail, I have succeeded. As you are clearly often distracted from the story by what you feel is lacking, in your case I have often failed. That’s the way it goes. But that unwavering priority of helping tell the story is something I will hang onto, sometimes at the expense of what some people may want. If I was being pretentious, I’d call it the typical push-pull between the artist/entertainer and the audience. One can only communicate the best one can under the circumstances. If one was afraid of the message being just right, nothing would ever get said. so here it is, such as it is.

    In this comment, I have laid out my motivations and intentions as completely as I can. That said, I find it disheartening when some of your comments imply an atmosphere of “us vs. them”: that sighted people are deliberately keeping things from those who are not fully sighted. We are all just people doing the best we can; we all have our “disabilities” we work around or circumvent. People who are vision-impaired whom I’ve worked with over the years are fully realized, flawed people just like me, and that’s great. At most, sighted people who do this description stuff badly (a matter if opinion how – I have my own opinions of some describers) are at worst just kind of ignorant, or like anyone else who rushes and half-asses to get something done because some broadcast regulator said they were required to do it. That would be the same for any other task that was added to some project, no matter what part of the audience is supposed to benefit. What about the broadcasters not fulfilling their requirements of providing certain percentages of description? What about the cable companies who don’t bother letting the description channel passthrough, so that when you hear a show will be on tv with description, you do all the right things to turn it on and it’s not there? What about the workers in cinemas who haven’t been told about those headphones beside the customer service desk and just shrug at a vision-impaired person who comes in hearing that description is available on a first-run film there? Are these people evil? No. Do they think they’re better than you? No. Are they trying to keep you down? No. They’re just ignorant and lazy like we all are about any number of different things, and must be held to account. But that’s all. No attitude of us vs. them has ever helped anyone. What does help is constructive education and respect for all people, even if they are burdened with abilities you don’t have.

    Lastly, as I speak of the specific purposes of Movies For the Blind and how by their nature they don’t match up with what purposes you think they should have, I find it strange that through all these comments, you have not mentioned the service which bears the domain of your email address. Wikiscribe It (http://wikiscribeit.com) is a terrific idea: a wiki of photographs of all manner of people, things and events with descriptions as detailed as possible. Every little element of an image can be described, to help people who cannot see that image (again, this would also have the potential to serve a purpose to those learning to read or learning a language). There is no linear narrative, audio or time limitation – just the limitation of a describer’s imagination and subjectivity, which again, cannot be avoided completely but is not enough to render the exercise useless. I think this is something everyone regardless of sight should know about, and if anyone else has gotten through this epic comment to this point, hopefully my mentioning it has helped.

    What I do will never come close to Wikiscribe It, but between what I do, what they do, and what all the other producers of accessible material do – especially if it is not kept in a ghetto, but rather shared with everyone – just maybe everyone can come closer to getting good and bad things out of media just like everyone else does. The more understanding goes both ways – or various ways – the better off we’ll all be.

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