Documentary Transcription Services

Documentary transcription services

Documentary Transcription Services

Raw Interview Footage? Get a Grip on Your Footage!

“You are a lifesaver!!!! Seriously. You are absolutely wonderful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
Andrew – Documentary Film Maker


Are you looking for fast documentary transcription services? Get written transcripts of all your documentary footage; it’s the easiest and most efficient way to get a handle on a large block of raw interview footage material.

Congratulations! You have overcome the greatest challenge in shooting documentaries and reality-based projects by capturing engaging conversation and shooting it in a way that is visually interesting and complimentary.

However your next biggest challenge, you’ll soon discover, is how to sort through all the material you have captured. An average short video project features conversations with anywhere from 4 to 8 people, the end of it, it is not unusual to end up with 2 to 4 hours of raw video footage when the final video project will the 3-10. You are likely to easily have dozens of hours of footage material that you need to sort, locate, label and arrange if you’re talking about a full-length television series or feature-length documentary.

The easiest and most efficient way to get a handle on a large block of interview footage material, particularly if you have a tight deadline, is to get written transcripts of all your interview footage. You’ll then use those transcripts to quickly identify sound bites and make a paper edit. A paper edit helps you lay down the essential “script” of the documentary project or reality based project.

There are 2 ways to go about getting transcripts: the hard way and the easy way. The hard way is for you to put on a pair of headphones and just play listen, rewind, and type what your hear through each interview until you have every word down on paper. The problem with this is that it’s very tedious – if you aren’t already a fast typist or a professional transcriber who can undertake this task efficiently. Doing your own transcript does have 2 advantages. 1), you will get intimately familiar with an interview by the time you complete the transcript yourself and 2), it costs you no money (just your time).

Of course the easiest way to get a transcript is to pay a professional transcription service to give you a full transcript of the documentary interview contents and timecodes of each and every interview. The advantages of this route is that it saves you time and energy. And starting at $0.75 per video minute our transcription rates are very affordable.

Prices vary by 1) how soon you’ll need the transcript turned around; our turnaround times range from 12 hours to 1 week: and 2) how detailed and accurate the transcripts needs to be. For example, if you want us to include every umm, ah, and background noise in the transcript, it will take longer and cost you more.

An important addition to all of our transcripts is that we mark the timecode or a timestamp after a specific duration or every change of speaker. This does not cost you extra, but it makes the transcripts a much easier tool in the edit room.

In order for us to transcribe your documentary video footage, you’re going to need to give us a video or audio copy of your interview. The easiest way to get the file to us it to use a  file transfer service like Dropbox, Box.com, Google Drive, or WeTransfer where you can upload a digital file of your interview footage. We recommend you export and send an audio file instead of a video file when practical, because it’s a smaller file and it’s always wise for you to keep a tight rein on digital copies of your raw footage. Having said that, we do sign Non Disclosure Agreements and would never share your footage with anyone.

Whenever you do send us a video file for transcription, and you need timecodes noted in the transcript,  you should export it with the timecode burned in. This will make it much easier for us to note the exact timecode in the transcripts.  

With our transcript in hand, you now have an accurate roadmap to easily find, tag, and arrange, and rearrange your footage in a precise and logical manner. The bottom line is that our transcripts are an invaluable tool to help you get a handle on your video interview project.