Saturday, September 15, 2012

Show Us the Captions! Trial Run

Marcus Cinema

Tonight my husband and I went out to the movies. As I had never used one before, I wanted to try out the CaptiView closed captioning device in advance of the Show Us the Captions! event in November.
Appropriately enough, we went to see a film called, "The Words" starring Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Jeremy Irons, and Dennis Quaid.

When we got to the theater, I saw a sign advertising "Assisted Listening Devices" but not one for the CaptiView devices. Before we bought our tickets, I asked about the CC device to be sure it was available. The ticket seller contacted his manager by radio and the manager brought over the device. I was a little uncertain and asked to be shown how it worked. He reassured me that he would set it up for me. While my husband got in the concession line, he walked me over to theater 14 and showed me how the device needed to be set for the right auditorium number. But, for some reason, it wasn't picking up the wireless signal. To solve this, he went up to the booth and reset the transmitter there by unplugging it and then plugging it back in again. He returned in no time and the device now had green lines of text showing. He showed me how to turn the CaptiView on/off, to set the auditorium number, and to push connect. It was all very easy.

Doremi CaptiView ready message during the previews
Photo taken during previews

Once I set the CaptiView into my cup holder, I twisted the "neck" around to align the screen right where I wanted it. This part proved tricky for me as I couldn't get it to hold its position on its own. It kept swinging around toward me and I thought I was going to have to hold it in place for the duration of the movie. Luckily, I had a husband handy. He took the device, tightened a screw on the bottom, and set it into his cup holder and it held fine. We switched seats and my problem was solved.

Sarah with CaptiView device

The CaptiView device worked great. I wear bifocals and I had no trouble focusing back and forth between the words on the small screen and the picture on the big screen. The captions ran slightly ahead of the dialog which worked great for me. "The Words" captioning included background sounds and whispered commentary. It was wonderful to follow the movie the same way I do at home with closed captioning. Although I saw all the words, please don't ask me to explain the ending of "The Words" and whether the story within a story was fiction or truth. My husband and I are still puzzling that out!

I can't emphasize enough what a difference the captions made for me. Going to the movies was FUN for the first time in a long time. Thank you, Doremi* and thank you, Marcus Cinemas. I am more excited than ever to spread the word about accessibility at the theater through Show Us the Captions!

*Learn more about the Doremi CaptiView device at their website

P.S. I highly recommend "The Words" film too. In the movie, Jeremy Irons wears a visible hearing aid which was an unexpected bonus for me. His character is not shown as having any trouble communicating or understanding speech. He wears his hearing aid as casually as other actors wear eyeglasses. I doubt most viewers will even notice it.


Liz said...

Thats great hearing about your experiences with captions. Glad you enjoyed.

Cindy said...

Wow, this is exciting to me! I went Friday to see a different movie (Last Ounce of Courage) and noticed that a lot of the dialog was with the actors' backs to the screen or off screen - so I couldn't even read their lips - UGH! I will definately be bugging my local cinemas to get this!!

Frieda Loves Bread said...

Hooray! Glad you had a great time. My hubby and I go to more movies together now and it is fun. We check online to make sure the movie is captioned (some are not), ask for the CaptiView device at the counter, and make sure you ask them to hit the RESET button on the movie player. If they don't, your captions will not turn on. Captions are not available for the previews, so we are not sure if the reset button has been pushed until the movie starts.

Sarah Wegley said...

Thanks, Frieda. I did not know about the RESET button. I will pass the word along.
If you and your husband and some friends want to go out to a movie in November and participate in Show Us the Captions, that would be awesome. Informal groups are welcome. Just let me know if you plan to do it and I can add your theater to our map.