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I so need your guidance. I'm waiting to hear back from the videographer on this one, but in the meantime . ..
I took a video depo where the agency told me the transc. will be synced with the video. I'm not sure what this means. Will it look like captioning?
anyway -- in the middle of the video depo, my computer froze. I had to ask for a break (camera still rolling) and shut down and reconnect. when I'm just about ready to start up again, (not quite ready yet, and camera still filming) atty. starts asking all these questions of me. (can you find the last question? On my screen the last word I have is blah blah blah. ) i'm answering her as quietly as I can so the mic doesn't pick me up (but it does!).
so my question is, do i put my little exchange with the atty. into the transcript? Im hoping no, since I don't actually have notes on that part, but since the video picks it up . . . whaddya think?
Jane, you'll get a differing opinion, I'm sure, but I've never worried about putting my chitchat w/attys on the record. When I'm marking an exhibit, I'm marking an exhibit and not writing, so if chitchat is going on around me, even with tape rolling, it's not on my record. You can sweat that small stuff, or not. I choose not!
When I do put myself in the record, it's usually just a one-line blurb [Reporter clarification] or something similar.
If you asked for the break, I'd put that part in. The part about which question, etc., I'd put that as (Discussion off the record.)
And to answer your question about what is a video sync'd depo, it's when they merge the transcript and the video. As they play the video, the transcript scrolls on the side of the picture. Or if they're reading and click on a section, it'll go right to that section of the video. They attorneys are then able to take clips and throw them into whatever program they use for use in trial.
Some people think it's absolutely necessary to have every um in a sync'd transcript (but I will say, if you want to torture an attorney, ask a transcriber-in-a-previous-life to scope your transcript and it will include all of the half words and um's). Me, not so much. I've done the actual syncing process and I do believe the software is cognizant of a change in speaker, but am not under the belief that it knows what the words are and couldn't care less if there's a missing "um" or if they said "the -- the" and you have "the," or "con- -- contract" vs. "contract." I personally think that sort of "attention to minutia" is more of the agency's preference, not whether it's video or not.
Judy, what happens in the syncing process, when there's "talk" but no text or vice versa? I guess what I'm wondering is -- I'm not going to put my chit chat with the attorny into my transcript, but it's on the video, will that seem "funky"?
Or on the flip side, if they video says "on that day" and the text says "on the day" or whatever.
I'm going over it with the cassettes, but this is a pain in the ****
Question 1. If the software isn't sure to a certain percentage (the user controls the %), it will mark it for the technician to manually manipulate. I haven't processed one in many months, so if somebody wants to come in and correct me, please do.
The ASCII and the video/audio are loaded into the software. It does whatever it does. When it's complete, it will give you a report on "errors" in the transcript. An error is where that line falls short of the % the user chooses for syncing purposes. The higher the %, the more lines that have to be checked. It may be off a half a word or or word or two, rarely is it ever off a whole line.
As the user goes through and okays/checks the errors, there's a tool you can use to manipulate the audio in fractions of a second to go forward/reverse so it syncs up exactly. The user uses that tool to readjust the audio line by line, word by word if necessary.
So if there's chit-chat that's not on the transcript but you can hear on the audio, yes, the audio will pick that up, but the user uses that tool to readjust the lines to start syncing up again. That's going to be one of those times it's off a whole line or more. But it can be adjusted.
Does that make any sense? As I tell most of the people that have ever worked with me, it's a good thing I didn't have a burning desire to become a teacher because I don't explain things well.
Question 2. Don't beat yourself up over "on that day" vs. "on the day." Yes, either you or your scopist will have to go through the transcript with the audio and everybody should do their absolute best to ensure it matches up (figure out how to have the videographer hook his audio into your computer to get the best audio). But nothing's ever perfect. Sorry to burst anybody's bubble, but I'm too much of a perfectionist to think that anything ever goes out the door "perfect."
And as far as those firms that Trisha and Marge are talking about, I seriously think there should be an Agency Quirks thread somewhere so reporters have a place to go to view strange and unusual requests to see if it's an agency that's a good fit for a reporter. And I'm not talking about a trash-talk thread, just a "these are the facts" thread. I think if an agency is going to throw unusual "requests" at the reporter or videographer, we have a right to know about them beforehand, even though the agency might not be willing to share that tidbit before we accept the job. A videographer was telling me the other day that an agency requires the reporters to actually bake cookies (I think they give the reporter the cookie dough) the morning of the job. If I knew that, I wouldn't even answer the phone/e-mail if they came to me. That's something I'd like to know beforehand.
Thank you explaining the videosynching process, Judy, very informative!
Having a reporter bake and deliver cookies is demeaning to our profession.
Not even considering whether agency is paying reporter for the two hours to prep, bake, and clean up, plus the ag of carrying another item to the deposition, that is demeaning to the reporter and to our profession.
Reporters provide reporting services, not Martha Stewart services - and Martha does not deliver. She pays delivery people.
Do the "straight" men, if any, who work for that agency also bake and deliver cookies?
I've seen this "baking cookies" comment before on forums. Sure, let us know who requires this!
It's probably Barkley. I know I've been asked multiple times from them to stop by a bakery and pick up pastries to take to my depo. "This isn't a catering service. I don't think so."
I'm drawing a blank on the name right now, but I know it's not Barkley. It's a female, reporter-owned, short black hair, Los Angeles-based (possibly Pasadena?) firm. She's been around forever and I just cannot remember the name.
I've neer been asked to bring goodies to a depo before. although in court (and usually when there's an open position with a judge) the "auditioning" reporters bring goodies for the judge. hmmmm, guess that's why they never hired me?
but one time, an agency informed me that if the depo was taking place at our offices, I had to make the coffee. though that was a little odd
Judy, I meant to thank you for this post and also the one where you explained about the synching. It helps a lot! Thanks!
You're welcome, Tricia & Deanna.