News and Notes related to Digital Media Transcription, Analysis, and Captioning.
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  • Guest Blog: InqScribe Saves Time When Logging Hours of Footage

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 christina No comments

    Filmmakers like InqScribe for a multitude of reasons. In our latest guest blog, Charlie Samuels talks about how he’s using InqScribe on his first film project.


    I am working on a film documentary about my skateboard team. Even if I make many films after this, Virgin Blacktop will be my opus. I’ve been working on this project for decades but until recently, I didn’t realize how important it would be to transcribe all of the footage that’s been shot. That is, until I got to the post production stage and ran into a wall. I realized that I would need a writer, and was reminded of something my mentor once told me: “No self-respecting film writer will take on a project without complete transcriptions of the footage—how else can they find anything?”

    I needed a fast way of documenting all of the footage with timecodes and descriptions. I have party scenes, action footage and general mayhem that can’t possibly be transcribed by dictation software. And accuracy in detail is paramount. That’s where InqScribe comes in.

    I got an army of interns and set them loose with over 125 hours of footage and copies of InqScribe. I needed to make good use of their time and get the footage transcribed in the fastest way possible. InqScribe came in handy because it allowed my interns to transcribe much faster than if they were just viewing the footage and logging in Word. One of the interns told me: “Having the footage connected to the transcriptions makes all the difference in speed and ease. It’s simple and intuitive and makes typing and stopping and starting the footage much faster. InqScribe actually doubles the speed of my ability to transcribe footage.”

    My project is still in development, but my dream of finishing this film will be realized sooner because I used InqScribe.


    About the author

    Photographer/filmmaker Charlie Samuels is known as the “50-year-old skateboarder” activist who led a 1.5 year effort to unearth a skateboard pool in Saratoga Springs NY. Charlie has been a freelance contributor to The New York Times since 1990. His images of skate legends Harold Hunter, Andy Kessler, Joe Humeres, Tony Hawk and Tony Alva have appeared in Sports Illustrated, New York magazine, Transworld Skateboarding, ESPN, People, Thrasher, the seminal N.Y.C. and the skate book FULL BLEED, as well as on Burton snowboards and Vans sneakers. He skated to the altar on his hands, helped build the first of NYC’s skateparks and has been issued a ticket for skating in the subway. Charlie now teaches skateboarding and is in post production on a skate documentary called Virgin Blacktop.

  • Keyboard Shortcuts for Film Editors

    Posted on January 24th, 2012 ben No comments

    One of our customers, a professor at a film school, suggested this tip:

    For those of you used to using industry standard editting software like Final Cut and Avid, you can map “j”, “k”, and “l” with modifier keys to back/pause/forward.  Since you need the j/k/l keys for actually inputting text during transcription, you’ll need to use modifier keys (Ctrl, Command, etc.).

    On the Mac you would use the “Command” and “Option” keys to set up something like this:

    • Command-j => Play Backwards at Custom Rate 1.x
    • Command-Option-j => Play Backwards at Custom Rate 2.0x
    • Command-k => Pause
    • Command-l => Play at Custom Rate 1.x
    • Command-Option-l => Play at Custom Rate 2.0x

    In Windows you would use the “Ctrl” and “Shift” keys to set up something like this:

    • Ctrl-j => Play Backwards at Custom Rate 1.x
    • Ctrl-Shift-j => Play Backwards at Custom Rate 2.0x
    • Ctrl-k => Pause
    • Ctrl-l => Play at Custom Rate 1.x
    • Ctrl-Shift-l => Play at Custom Rate 2.0x

    You can obviously tweak these to suit your workflow.

    Note that by setting Command-l/Ctrl-l to “Play at Custom Rate 1.x” you can toggle back and forth between the fast speed and the slow speed.  If you set it to “Play” instead, hitting Command-l/Ctrl-l would only continue playing at the current play rate.  So if you’re already at 2.x, the play rate won’t change.

    An alternative approach would be to set Command-Option-l/Ctrl-Shift-l to “Change Play Rate” by 1.x.  Then every time you hit Command-Option-l/Ctrl-Shift-l the play rate would increase to 2.x, 3.x, etc..  And you can hit Command-l/Ctrl-l to get back to the 1.x rate.  This would more emulate the behavior of FCP.

    For instructions on how to set up shortcuts: http://www.inqscribe.com/docs/keyboardshortcuts.html

    Comments are turned off in this blog, but head on over to our Facebook page for to leave comments: http://www.facebook.com/InqScribe

  • Guest Blog: “This is definitely the fastest transcription we’ve ever done.”

    Posted on September 13th, 2011 ben No comments

    Filmmakers like InqScribe for a multitude of reasons. In this latest guest blog, part of our ongoing series highlighting how folks use InqScribe, Bongiorno Productions, an award-winning filmmaking duo, talk about how they’re using it with their latest project.

    Got an interesting story about how you’re using InqScribe? Please contact us at info@inquirium.net if you’d like to highlight your work.


    Screenshot from The Monks

    Monks in the Hood

    Emmy-nominated, award-winning, husband and wife filmmakers, Marylou and Jerome Bongiorno (http://www.bongiornoproductions.com), are in production on a new documentary called The Rule. It’s the story of Benedictine monks working in inner city Newark, NJ, as a successful model to combat the plight of urban America – to read more about the production, please see this news article.

    Filmmakers’ comments on InqScribe:

    Since we shoot a lot of footage when we’re creating a doc, including both vérité and lengthy interviews, there is no way to remember it all for editing. So, we log and transcribe the footage. We then read over the transcripts, highlight key sound bites, and edit the bites into a smooth story.

    This process requires InqScribe – an exceptional, flexible transcription software that allows you to:

    1. Customize controls on your keyboard to facilitate quick typing.

    2. Type directly into a user-friendly, neat looking console that plays back the video or audio file. Plus, the console is intuitive, meaning you can start transcribing almost immediately.

    3. Punch in timecode as you’re transcribing, without stopping the playback – a great feature. We used to transcribe by using an editing program (so that we can copy the timecode) and a word processing program. The time spent switching back and forth – copying and pasting timecodes – doubled the transcription time. Punching in timecode is now easy, and we do it frequently for a more efficient transcript.

    4. Start your timecode from zero, set a custom timecode, or the software can read the media timecode (essential for editing).

    5. Slow the audio or speed it up. InqScribe does both at custom rates.

    6. Export the user-friendly files to many different file types to facilitate reading or printing. Even if some footage doesn’t make the final cut, transcribing is essential in archiving everything into a searchable format for future use.

    Bottom Line:

    If you have some typing skills and your time is valuable, InqScribe is the “it” software. It makes transcribing fun and highly efficient. This is definitely the fastest transcription we’ve ever done.

  • Guest Blog: Using InqScribe for a Documentary on Native American Health

    Posted on March 4th, 2011 ben No comments

    We just love it when InqScribe is put to use for a worthy cause. As part of our ongoing series that highlights how our folks are using the tool, we’ve invited Kitty Farmer of Watersong Productions to tell us about her advocacy work for Native Americans, and how InqScribe helped streamline her workflow.

    Got an interesting story about how you’re using InqScribe? Please contact us at info@inquirum.net if you’d like to highlight your work.

    What’s In The Heart

    By Kitty Farmer, Watersong Productions, LLC

    I am an advocate/activist who is new to filmmaking. My first experience with transcribing was starting and stopping the DVD player on my computer! As anyone can imagine, this was laborious, tedious and took forever. Last summer, a colleague recommended Inquirum’s amazing software. After spending time with the product, I can say in all honesty, I love to transcribe! It’s truly a remarkable product. My director, Dustinn Craig, White Mountain Apache, who has had several films broadcast on PBS, was thrilled to learn about it when we spent time together filming this last weekend.

    Donald Warne, MD, MPH, Oglala Lakota (Chief collaborator with Kitty Farmer on film)
    Photo credit: Alejandro Lopez

    We use InqScribe to log our video footage, especially to transcribe interviews. The director uses these transcripts to make edit decisions. During editting, we use the timecodes embedded in the transcripts to be able to quickly jump to clips we want to review.

    Leonard Little Finger, great-great grandson of Chief Big Foot, Deanne Fitzmaurice
    Leonard Little Finger, Photo © Deanne Fitzmaurice

    We are producing a 20-minute trailer to Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT) for a grant to create a documentary film to educate the general public and policy makers about the history and reasons why American Indians, despite treaties with the U.S. government that mandate basic social services, have the worst health disparities of any population in the nation. In addition, we highlight some remarkable people who through their resiliency and ingenuity have created programs and initiatives that are healing their communities. The film is sponsored by the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board (formerly the Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board).

    Help see the film finished: contribute on Indie Go Go

    Film Web Site: What’s in the Heart

    What’s in the Heart from Kitty Farmer on Vimeo.

    Kitty Farmer, Producer & Co-Director, What's in the Heart
    Kitty Farmer