Text and Subtitles

So, I’ve been looking for some inspiration for my use of text in the video and I came upon this little paragraph on wikipedia about “Subtitles (Captioning)” which I found very interesting:

In some Asian television programming, captioning is considered a part of the genre, and has evolved beyond simply capturing what is being said. The captions are used artistically; it is common to see the words appear one by one as they are spoken, in a multitude of fonts, colors, and sizes that capture the spirit of what is being said. Languages like Japanese also have a rich vocabulary of onomatopoeia which is used in captioning.

Instead of the usual standard font and size this might be an interesting way of giving the text that appears on the screen a more creative look. After many hours of looking for examples (and watching some very strange Japanese television programmes) I couldn’t find anything that quite resembled what I imagined it to look like. I found a TV show that certainly used different colours and made the words appear one by one, but (maybe because of my lack of understanding Japanese) this didn’t seem very fitting. Another video focused on the onomatopoetic nature of the language, a small animation/stop motion video in which the words appear one after another but really it focuses more on the content than the appearance of the text.



I also looked into another way of using text, which is called “Kinetic Typography”.

Kinetic typography—the technical name for “moving text”—is an animation technique mixing motion and text to express ideas using video animation. This text is presented over time in a manner intended to convey or evoke a particular idea or emotion.

This technique has been used in advertising quite a lot and I watched a very comprehensive tutorial about it.

Yet, what it does is repeating what is said in written form on the screen, you follow the words not just by listening but also by watching them appear and disappear on the screen and as they are differently animated they often underline the meaning of the word (for example in the intro to the tutorial you can see the word “blank” slowly fading).

I don’t want to repeat what is said and after watching a few more tutorials it also became clear that the animation side of it is quite advanced, especially when you want to make it look really good by applying different effects.

Researching the ‘text’ side of the project has helped me in the way that I am reflecting now in which way I can use the text and also whether I want to use it at all. The idea of a black screen seems more and more ‘daunting’ to me, only filling the project with sound and text makes me question how much of a ‘video’ it is and I will be thinking of alternative ways as it is always good to not be too stuck with one ‘vision’ of the project.


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