Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Detailed Dialogue Action Continuity Script

As part of deliverables, there is a very innocuous-looking requirement: the Detailed Dialogue Action Continuity Script. It lurks around on your deliverable list taunting you with the idea that it will be a simple requirement. And then you go to do it and you are suddenly filled with immense dread: Basically it's a line by line, word by word breakdown of all the dialogue and action and even song lyrics according to time code and duration in seconds and frames. 

Ah, you think, no problem. I can do that. And then you do. And it sucks! It literally takes about 2 weeks full time to complete it. Your fingers will ache. Your back will hurt. Your butt will be flattened and your eyes will tear. Even the glass of wine after a hard day's work will take on a new meaning. 

Abbreviated at DDACS, this document is used by foreign buyers to create their subtitles and dubs. In post production, it has to be one of the most mind-numbing projects to tackle, if you decide to do it yourself. 

If you go to a company to have it completed, expect to drop around $2k (give or take) depending on the company. 

Now if you decide to do it yourself, good luck. There's practically no information available out there regarding the DDACS. There's a few random Web sites who have brief samples but that's about it. So unless you know someone who has a sample or you are friends with someone at a company who handles the DDACS, you will be hard-pressed to figure it out on your own. 

But don't give up. If you want to do it, you can. It's basically transcription work and while it's incredibly tedious, I believe it is something that anyone can do who has the patience for it. And it will save you a couple thousand and for an indie filmmaker that's the budget for your next short!

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