Monthly Archives: March 2013

Audio Description Brings “The Host” To Life For Blind Audiences

Our wonderful working relationship with the folks at Open Road Films continues this month with The Host (Official Site for the movie here) – An excellent science-fiction film that will be coming to movie theaters across North America on Friday, March 29, 2013.


If The Host sounds familiar to you it’s probably because the movie is an adaptation of the best-selling novel by Stephanie Meyer, the writer behind the smash-hit Twilight books which have also been turned into incredibly successful movies. We are very proud to have provided described video for the film making it accessible to more than 30 million blind and vision-impaired people across North America.

Writing video description is always a challenge but it is especially so when the TV show or feature film is of a fantasy or science-fiction nature. There are often strange gadgets and creatures to be described and sometimes even entire alien worlds that we must help our non-sighted viewers visualize. In painting vivid but succinct pictures through our descriptions we strive to transport our blind audience members to the world of the story in a way that is as close to the experience as it would be for a sighted audience member.

The Host is set in a near future Earth that has been invaded by a technologically advanced alien race that lives inside humans, turning us into host organisms. The alien parasites known as “souls” consume the memories and personalities of their host organisms but some humans manage to fight back – such is the case with the main character in the story, Melanie (Saoirse Ronan), who refuses to fade away and who survives as an inner voice within the alien soul inhabiting her body. From a video description standpoint this presented a unique challenge as we had to ensure that the distinction between human characters and the alien soul inside them remained clear throughout.


Central to The Host, much like the Twilight saga, is a teen love story and this meant the video description and the voicing of the description also needed to maintain a quality of sensitivity that was in-keeping with the central themes of the film. For those of you who might be put off by science-fiction or teen romance, we urge you to go and check out the film – directed by Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, The Truman Show, In Time), the film has a surprising level of depth and beauty to it.

We are very proud of our work describing The Host and whether you are a sighted or a non-sighted audience member, it is well worth your time and money. If you attend a screening of the film with the described audio track, do let us know what you think!

Watch the trailer:

Buy the book the film is adapted from here.


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Filed under Described Shows, Industry News, Uncategorized, Vision Impairment

DVW Brings Live Audio Description To The Canadian Screen Awards

Last night in Toronto, talent throughout the Canadian film and television industry came together to celebrate excellence at the 2013 Canadian Screen Awards. The show was broadcast live on CBC and the Descriptive Video Works team was there bringing Live Audio Description to the proceedings.


President and CEO of Descriptive Video Works, Diane Johnson, says “We were thrilled that CBC and AMI (Accessible Media Inc.) approached Descriptive Video Works exclusively to do the live description of such an important awards ceremony.  Making the show accessible to everyone, not just the sighted viewer, but everyone with vision impairment or vision loss was a challenge we were delighted to take on. We have worked for both companies for many years and it was an honour to be the company they reached out to.”

The Descriptive Video Works live audio description team have previously made the Royal Wedding accessible and provide live audio description to Discovery Channel Canada’s “Daily Planet” show. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for making us proud with their skilled description of events throughout the show.


The Canadian Screen Awards are the re-imagined Genie and Gemini awards complete with a brand new sleek and elegant statuette honouring Canada’s outstanding achievements on screens everywhere: in the cinema, on TV screens or on your laptop. The new statue, with both screens symbolizing arms up in victory, is a nod to both the Genie and Gemini images.

Hosting the awards show with typical panache, was comedy genius Martin Short. Check out his fantastic opening song here.

For a complete rundown of who won what at the 2013 Canadian Screen Awards click here.

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