Transcription software of my dreams.

Oh my word! After having spent hours upon hours transcribing the massive number of interviews that we’ve had coming in at KTQ (4 docs currently in production!), the discovery of MacSpeech’s new release is music to my ears.


MacSpeech Scribe will turn your digital audio file into text! I’ve known about speech-to-text softwares out there, but even those would need us to listen to our interview clips and repeat each sentence for it to be transcribed. And because I’m poor, I’ve been using InqScribe, which allows you to play your clip in the same window as where you type your text. Doing it manually typically takes me an hour to transcribe 15 minutes of interview. I’m pretty sure that MacSpeech Scribe will enable my work to get done at least 4 times as fast!

Good things do cost money though. MacSpeech Scribe is available for purchase at $150 and requires that your Mac be running Snow Leopard. Certainly a worthwhile investment for all documentary production companies, in my opinion! :)

Added on Mar 31: Mmm, upon further research, it looks like the early adopters of the software have been complaining about the poor post-purchase customer support. Looks like MacSpeech still has some bugs to clean out. Probably a wise idea to wait till they release an update!

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Media Impact Spotlight Ep2: Erik Proulx on Lemonade

So if you read my previous entry on the short documentary Lemonade, which features the inspiring stories of 16 people who turn their lives around after getting laid off, you’ll know that I’m a fan. That’s why when I heard news of the movie coming to a screen in Chicago, I grabbed the opportunity to go.

A huge crowd showed up at both screenings in the beautiful Chopin Theatre. I caught up with Erik Proulx, the Creator & Executive Producer of Lemonade. He shared with me what its like to receive so much support from cast, crew and viewers alike, and how he’s utilizing the power of film to inspire others.

[Vimeo 10130844]

If you’re in the US, I encourage you to catch it for free on Hulu. If you’re outside of the US, Erik’s arranged to make it available for viewing online privately, but only until this Sunday. Simply sign up for the film’s mailing list to learn how. He’s also currently still seeking stories for his follow-up film… Lemonade, Detroit. Click here to learn more.

Media Impact Spotlight is a web video series featuring professionals utilizing various forms of media for positive social change. Click here to subscribe to it on Vimeo.

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Talking Pictures Festival – on the road there…

I’m honoured that The Talking Picures Festival co-director Ines Sommer invited me to join her programming team yesterday to review some of the hundreds of entries received from all over the world. And many thanks to Tim for putting the idea in my head in the first place. Sitting in a theatre with other very experienced filmmakers and film enthusiasts discussing each short we viewed was a great learning experience, and tremendous fun.

We saw everything from music videos to animations to experimental shorts from places like Australia, Spain and even Estonia. It’s amazing how being a part of a festival programming committee will bring you the chance to watch thousands of films. And it’s up to us to make sure that what makes it to the big screen is top notch quality.

Definitely not an experience you get from going to film school. Loved having my eyes opened to what goes on behind the scenes when I submit my work to festivals. What a great way to spend 3 hours on a Saturday! Look forward to bringing you more updates on how things are going. If you’re in and around Evanston/Chicago, do swing by! :)

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Watching Lemonade was one of the most uplifting 35 minutes I’ve spent in a while. It’s an example of how media can truly be used to bring hope into our lives and be a shining beacon in life’s darkest moments. A timely movie for the current state of the economy and a great tool to help us see obstacles in our lives in a completely different light. The story was engaging and the shots looked beautiful. It’s definitely going to have an influence on the movies I make in the future.

I’m excited that filmmaker Eric Proulx will be talking to us and answering our questions at a free Chicago screening this Tuesday. Join me for the 6pm session or rsvp for the 8pm session. Otherwise, catch the movie on Hulu. :)


Thanks to Seth Godin for the recommendation!

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