Audio introductions are supplemental accessibility material, common in audio described theatre, that is consumed before the production commences, and typically describes the characters, settings, props and context in greater detail than could be achieved with interstitial audio description. These are sometimes referred to as ‘pre-show notes’ and ‘pre-show audio description’.
There is a paucity of material on this topic, especially in regards to film and television, suggesting more work needs to be done in this field to produce and promote these resources.
Articles / Papers
- Audio introduction meets audio description: an Italian experiment by Elena Di Giovanni (University of Macerata, Italy).
- Pictures painted in words: ADLAB Audio Description guidelines (PDF file) edited by Aline Remael, Nina Reviers, Gert Vercauteren. Section 3.2 covers Audio Introductions.
- Blind Centered Audio Description Chat: AD 101 for Content Creators touches on the subject of pre-show notes for film and television.
- Describing race, skin color, ethnicity, gender and disability in todays audio description - A panel recorded during the ACB National Convention has some discussion of Audio Introductions.
Education and Training
- Creating Audio Description: Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Royal Holloway, University of London. Explore how to design and create audio descriptions and audio introductions that fully represent a film, play, or TV programme.
- AD Lab - Module 3. Unit 9. Audio introductions
- Introductions - a brief guide by Vocaleyes.
- Pronunciation Guide - Phonetic Respelling by Vocaleyes.
Examples of Audio Introductions
Film and Television
- Meet the Characters - Trigger Point character descriptions from ITV (Youtube) Warning: region locked to the UK. I haven't been able to access these.
- Audio Introduction for Slumdog Millionaire (document in embedded PDF viewer).
- Pictures painted in words: ADLAB Audio Description guidelines (PDF File): the appendix 4.2 contains an audio introduction script for Inglourious Basterds (2009) by Louise Fryer and Pablo Romero Fresco.
- Audio Introduction scripts (various films) by Brett Coulstock.
- The Lord of the Flies - Audio Description Introduction Notes (Soundcloud) from the Leeds Playhouse.
- One of Them Ones - Character and Set Descriptions (Soundcloud) from the Pentabus Theatre Company (UK).
- The Luminous Pearl Pre-Show Notes - Classic Stories from Around the World (Soundcloud) - example of an audio introduction aimed at younger children, from the Singapore Repertory Theatre.
- Cloud Street Pre-Show Notes (Soundcloud) from Malthouse Theatre (Australia). Good example of warnings of expected effects on stage.
- Wake in Fright (Soundcloud) from Beckett Theatre (Australia)
- Audio-described introduction to Hamilton on Disney+
Opera / Musical
- Rigoletto (Soundcloud) from Opera Philadelphia (US).
- Sweeney Todd (Soundcloud) from the Singapore Repertory Theatre.
Posted in: Accessibility, Articles / Essays