Vimeo brings us subtitles and a look at the much improved Vimeo Pro

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ETHICS STATEMENT: 

Vimeo have had a paid banner on my site for quite some time now, but I have recently become an affiliate of them with regards to the purchase of Vimeo Pro.  Each purchase of a Pro account through my banner gives me a small percentage which helps maintain this site and, along with the other site affiliates, make it just about possible to make the reviews and keep the content going alongside my real job… DP, Director, Cameraman, Filmmaker for hire!  So although it is in my financial interest to promote and plug Vimeo, I would never do it if I did not completely recommend it and find it indispensable. All my affiliates are only for companies whose products I use pretty much on every project. I don’t take affiliates or ads for products I do not use, like or recommend, despite the obvious financial benefit it would bring.  My ethics are essential to me and this site. Without them this site would not be what it was. A true, honest and unbiased place to get my opinion. If ever a product is mentioned, it will always be because I do fully recommend it and never because it is my financial interest.  There is further reading on my ethics here.carbon_ad_728x250-670x230-2

This post is really two in one.  The first part is about the new subtitle feature in Vimeo. Much needed and finally now added. The second is a belated look a the much improved Vimeo Pro service. Subtitles for films are really important, not just for deaf or hard of hearing people, but for any difficulty in understanding accents and of course, for foreign language films. Of course, someone needs to write these subtitles, and for long films this takes time, but the rewards are there as it means a whole new audience can enjoy your work. I have worked with Deaffest in the UK, and it was eye-opening for me, and I realised how frustrating it must be for deaf and hard of hearing filmmakers to watch my work. I now have four films that have been subtitled into English which can be viewed in my “Film subtitles” section. I aim to have all my documentary work done at some point, and of course I would have translations done too…that is the next step! My personal documentary made for the charity fundraiser Movember called “Papie” has a number of foreign languages, thanks to the generosity of some friends. You can see that below, as well as my latest piece to be subtitles, Portrait of a projectionist. papie

Different languages

 

Some words from Samuel Dore, who is a filmmaker who happens to be deaf.

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Being a Deaf film maker subtitles are a vital part of my career as well as my life so despite many advances in the internet where broadband is faster, more people show their films online and a wealth of information for film makers to learn skills it is like the dark ages when it comes to online subtitles – only a very small percentage of online content is subtitled.
In general subtitles provide Deaf and Hard of Hearing people access to filmed content but it’s not only them but also for Hearing people who use different languages or want to understand fully any dialogue spoken – anyone and everyone can benefit from subtitles.
It frustrates me because if film makers did subtitle their online content then the amount of viewers would increase, it is not difficult using text from scripts they filmed from and use them as subtitles, it takes a small amount of effort to get their content subtitled and gain more viewers.
There are lots of aspects of online content Deaf film makers or film enthusiasts could enjoy such as short films, music videos, TV programmes, web-only drama programmes, tutorial videos and so forth – there is a huge amount of films online we should have access to.
At present UK TV streaming platforms such as the BBC’s iPlayer, 4OD etc provide a fairly good amount of subtitles for their programmes, Netflix provide plenty of subtitled content but not as much as the US version, Amazon’s Love Film still refuse to subtitle their online films, SKY On Demand don’t even though their TV programming provides subtitles.
Apple’s iTunes sell a very limited selection of blockbusters with subtitles, BlinkBox doesn’t provide subtitles, as far as I can recollect only the BBC iPlayer and Netflix can show subtitles on smart phones, tablets, Smart TVs and consoles like the XBox- all this shows Deaf or Hard of Hearing people don’t get a wide choice of online content like Hearing people do.
A few years ago YouTube started including captions / subtitles which meant people like myself could  view more online content as well as not having to have two versions of my films online; one subtitled and one non-subtitled. There’s the bonus of being able to view subtitles on your smart phones or tablets via YouTube but their live automatic captions still have a long way to go!
Film | Photography | Design
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Some words from Adam Loretz who has subtitled many of my films

Adam Loretz
Adam Loretz

One of the key aspects to making a successful film, is maintaining the connection with your audience. Beyond captivating imagery, films are mostly carried by some sort of spoken narrative and it is here that audiences can sometimes become derailed.

You only have to watch a mini doc, like those Philip Bloom shot in South Africa or try to understand every word Philip Seymour Hoffman squeaks in Capote to realise that the diversity of spoken English make subtitle tracks very useful assets. Not forgetting the benefits subtitles offer to the deaf, hard of hearing and those for who are new to English/a films spoken language.
Subtitles should be a part of your production process
Let’s rewind a little. Ok, we are all excited about production gear –
Thinking about buying a GH4 are we, going all 4K?
Stop right there! because, in relative terms it is good to keep in mind that without making your film accessible and connecting with as wide an audience as possible, all that extra resolution and expense is not going to singularly translate into your film being a success. It may look pretty, but you still need the audience connected, most often through dialogue. The filmmaking process needs to be balanced, other parts of the process like subtitling should not be overlooked. Subtitling in your native language is not expensive – and as it is a fairly straightforward exercise it only seeks to add value to your product by growing the potential market for your film. In the last week or so, this potential market just got bigger too, with Vimeo, like YouTube opening up their service to include (soft) subtitling.
Before I get in to a little how to, just to be clear, subtitles come in basically two varieties. Hard or soft. Hard subtitles can be either created in your editing programme or permanently burned in to the video during encoding. Soft subtitles are more versatile, they are switch on and offable and your films can contain numerous languages. Soft subtitles can either be uploaded to Vimeo or YouTube or compiled in to a QuickTime movie.
Using the latter, soft subtitles does make distributing your content a lot easier for many reasons. Firstly, if you make a mistake with a soft subtitle, corrections are fast and updating a tiny subtitle file is way quicker than changing a mistake in a hard subtitled version where re-rendering video, exporting, encoding and uploading it can take a long time – phew! (Don’t go there unless you have to)
So, how do you make subtitles?
First off, transcribe your dialogue, you can do this in your subtitle editor, personally I use Jubler which is a free cross platform app – http://www.jubler.org
(There are half a dozen other Mac apps that can help you perform this task too.)
Listen and type, creating blocks of text timed to the dialogue. Shorter sentences are better.
If you have a new iPhone, you have an alternative to typing – just dictate the speech to text, email it to yourself and copy and paste it in to your subtitle editor.
Once the subtitling is complete, you can export the file – .srt are most common and either upload it to YouTube or Vimeo or you may need to go to another app to compile your subtitles to your film. To compile my videos, I choose iSubtitle http://www.bitfield.se/isubtitle/
Within the iSubtitle – choose your film, add your .srt subtitle track and save it. If you have multiple subtitle tracks, you can just keep adding .srt files. In the saved film, you can then select whichever subtitles you need.
For hard subtitling, you can take this saved file from iSubtitle and compress it, during which process the selected text track is burned in to the final video.
As filmmakers we are increasingly using the internet to distribute our films and our aim is to tell our stories with as wide and diverse an audience as possible. Imagine being given an extra chance to reach out and connect your film with more people. Would you take it? Subtitling, not to be underestimated.
Adam Loretz filmmaker
@abjectboy
Adam is available for any subtitling work and be contacting through his website above. 
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Portrait of a projectionist from Philip Bloom on Vimeo. Papie: A personal story that affects us all from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

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A LOOK AT THE NEW IMPROVED VIMEO PRO

Until recently, I believed Vimeo Pro was too restrictive with paid HD embeds and limited storage space compared to Plus, and I couldn’t recommend it to anyone, but people who needed to host commercial work had to be on Pro due to their terms and conditions. But now with its relaunch, suddenly it has become something way better and much more attractive to many people, including myself, and something I truly can recommend. With the old Pro, you had 50gb of storage. Now you have, 1tB of storage a year. A massive jump! You now get 20gb of upload a week! That’s a lot of space! Here is a rundown of the differences between the free account, the plus account which costs $9.95 a month and the Pro account which costs $80 more a year. Is it worth it? That’s up to you. It depends on what your needs are. I share a lot of my edits with clients privately via Vimeo Pro. I love the video review feature for this. It’s neat, and clients love it. Here is example of one such page I sent to Facebook for approval of their film. This is ONLY available on Vimeo Pro. For $80 more, this is amazing. Clients don’t want to download new versions, they want to stream, and this is a clean and uncluttered away from your normal page way of doing so.

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  • 500MB per week of storage space
  • 1 HD video upload per week
  • The ability to upload up to 10 videos per day
  • The ability to create 1 Channel, 1 Group, and 3 Albums
  • The ability to download converted video files
  • Basic-yet-robust privacy controls
  • Basic embedding features

Vimeo Plus  members receive over Vimeo basic:

  • 5gb  per week of storage space
  • Up to 5gb of HD videos a week
  • No ads
  • Priority conversion
  • HD embedding
  • The ability to upload up to 10 videos per day
  • The ability to create 1 Channel, 1 Group, and 3 Albums
  • The ability to download converted video files
  • Basic-yet-robust privacy controls
  • Basic embedding features
  • Mobile device support.
  • Source file download (as long as you click to save source file)
  • Tip Jar
  • Customisable embedding

Vimeo Pro additional features over Vimeo Plus:

  • Upload up to 20GB a week (1040GB each year)
  • Priority video conversion to get your videos online faster
  • Unlimited HD plays on any device
  • Private, unlisted video review pages
  • No banner ads for you or your viewers on Vimeo.com whether they are logged in or not
  • Unlimited customizable video Portfolio sites
  • Unlimited Groups/Channels/Albums
  • Advanced Stats dashboard
  • VIP Support: 1-hour email responses around the clock on business days with 1-day email support on holidays and weekends, Eastern Time
  • Mobile-ready videos
  • Customizable and brandable video player
  • Third-party player support
  • Optional source file storage
  • Full mobile, tablet, and connected TV compatibility
  • Sell your work, your way with Vimeo On Demand

Is Vimeo PRO better than Vimeo Plus?

Yes of course but it’s not for everyone! It depends on your needs. Vimeo PRO is made for creative pros and businesses who want to showcase their work how they want to and on any device. Vimeo PRO is perfect for so many people, the old version of Vimeo PRO, less so. But the new one is a whole new beast! I love it, and that is not because it’s in my interest to say so. I swear on the lives of my cats….you gotta love what the Vimeo art dept did for the banners, not at my suggestion. Am I really viewed as a mad cat lady?!?
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PhilipBloomAd_800x80_v1-1   I have four…yes four Pro accounts. Now in full disclosure mode, as they sponsor me, these accounts are complimentary. Out of the four if I paid for them, I’d have my main account, my reviews and tutorials, and my global stock account too. Just my “extras” account wouldn’t need to be. Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 16.00.49 Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 16.01.20 Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 16.01.10 Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 16.01.00   Four corners, my latest Pro account, is very important to me. I travel the word and film wherever I go, even if it’s holiday, workshops or between shooting gigs. There is so much beauty to capture, and I realised I may as well start putting these together as edits and make them available for potential stock use. I am represented by Stalkr for stock for all my work, not just the stuff on “Four corners”. My aim of “Four Corners” is to showcase 4K “travel postcards”. Now this is the next step for Vimeo. 4K support. You can upload in 4K and when transcoded it looks gorgeous, but you need the PRO storage to do so, and it doesn’t show 4K. Although I do opt to keep the original file, and I make it available for users to download for personal viewing only. I trust you. Don’t steal it! 🙂 I do have a 4K dedicated YouTube channel. Whilst this is a sponsored post for Vimeo, it would be dishonest of me to not mention the fact I am also on YT. I strongly advocate being on both platforms. Generally YT gives you quantity of viewers, Vimeo gives you quality! 🙂 I would love Vimeo to go 4K….when, I don’t know. All I do know is the place most people will be able to watch 4K will be on their computers, with the cost of displays coming rapidly down. 4K TVs in the home are still incredible rare. I have a 65″ 4K TV at home with an amazing amount of content: Tom Lowe’s Timescapes, and my work. That was sarcasm by the way! But with 2014 looking like it’s the year of affordable 4K cameras, we could start seeing more and more content. You can check out my 3 most recent ones below. Innsbruck and Chania being my favourite!! PhilipBloomAd_640x50_v1-1 Four Corners: Postcard from Chania from Philip Bloom: Four Corners on Vimeo.    

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