I had the most amazing experience last week.
NHK is developing some Super Hi-Vision (High Definition) cameras and monitors and recently produced a program which will be screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival later this month. They wanted to make sure-sure-sure there were no mistakes in the English subtitles.
The NHK Broadcasting Center is a rabbit warren anyway, but the studio was unmarked and hidden so well that I had to take notes to find my way back from the bathroom. There were machines in there that I had never seen before, and I’ve been in a lot of studios.
The system handles such massive amounts of data that it takes five computers to run it, so it wasn’t surprising when it crashed. The tech guy said it would take an hour to re-boot, so I got to spend some quality time with the director, and it was an education. He told me about the process of set construction and filming and set destruction and the video and audio editing that followed.
It was just the director, producer, tech guy and me in the studio. We all knew our roles and everything clicked into place. The producer organizes everything, nobody but the tech guy touches the equipment, the director gets the final say on everything. I was responsible for the English. I had done my homework and was ready to make suggestions for subtitle improvements which they respected.
Here’s the cool thing. At the TIFF, the program will be projected using a high def camera but onto a standard movie screen. I got to see it on an ultra high resolution studio monitor nearly the size of my living room, front and center, no less. And for the final check, they gave me a pair of sound reduction headphones so I could really hear it.
All I can say is, “Wow.”
If you ever get a chance to see a program called “The Chorus”, especially in some high tech situation, do it.