Cheap Ass Filmmakers

(This edition of “What Pissed Me Off Today” has been written for the Hearing Impaired)

Here’s the thing; I’m a writer. If you’ve been to my site before or read my work, you already know that. As a writer, I am also a reader. I also enjoy watching movies. Don’t worry, this is going somewhere.

The are strange people in the world like myself that enjoy having the subtitles on when watching their movies, even when they’re not in a foreign language. Is the reason for having the subtitles on just because I enjoy reading as I watch? No, not entirely. The problem is that many filmmakers have difficulty understanding the ratio between soundtrack/special FX volume and speech volume. It almost seems as if they don’t want you to hear how crappy the dialogue is (ex. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen). However, it isn’t only the films with all action and no substance that fall prey to this affliction, there are great films that suffer from this ignorance as well. Add onto all of that, the “actor factor” – some actors mumble/stumble over their lines worse that Bob Dylan singing a song.

This is why I enjoy subtitles.

The second problem comes when lines in the movie don’t match the script. This can lead to hysterical results, like in the Asian monster movie “Host”. I was busting a gut hearing and reading how different the dubbing vs subtitles were. Seriously, that is a movie that has to have the subtitles enabled to truly enjoy it. Other times it can be incredibly annoying and come off as unprofessional. How hard can it be to listen to the movie, compare the lines to the script and transcribe the words into well-timed portions that pop up on the movie screen? Maybe it can be hard, but take some pride in your work if someone is paying you to do it. And Filmmakers, take the goddamned time to make sure you’re getting you money’s worth. Fuck the commentary, fuck the deleted scenes that are normally the same scene that’s already in the damned movie but the character added a cough or scratched their head in the cut version, fuck all of that because when you cheap out on the subtitles you’re giving a big FUCK YOU to a portion of your viewing audience that paid good money to see your “masterpiece”. I’m talking about the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing audience, which – in case you didn’t realize – is a large group of people. The aging baby-boomers have a lot of time on their hands, you know and quite a few are becoming hard-of-hearing. I’m not Deaf or Hard-of-hearing, but every time I watch a movie that either doesn’t have subtitles or screws them up, I think what a jackass these people are. They’ve just snubbed a whole potential consumer base because they wanted to save a little money they could put in their own and their over-priced actors’ pockets.

I see Leo DiCrapo (it’s misspelled on purpose folks) fighting to save the environment. I see Branjell-o saving kids in 3rd world countries by bringing them home. I see quite a few actors fighting for literacy in the youth of today because the schools are failing our kids. How many of them are taking a few thousand dollars out of their pay to make sure the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing are represented and shown consideration when their films are made? I can sort of understand independent and small budget films having a hard time finding the cash to put in subtitles, but movies with multi-million dollar budgets have no excuse. I believe that Gov. Of California, Arnold Swarzen-rip-off made $1M a line or something of the like when he appeared in a Batman movie as Mr. Freeze, has he created or helped to fund a grant for independent filmmakers include SDH (Subtitles for the Deaf & Hard-of-hearing) in their films? I’d really like to know, if anyone has.

Hollywood filmmakers get off your ass and stop being so cheap. Spend a bit of money to get a bit of self-respect. Failing to provide SDH in your movies is a form of discrimination. There’s no pride in making a film that excludes a significant portion of the public. These people you’re ignoring are sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, and maybe your grandmother or grandfather.

I hope you read this, you inconsiderate assholes.


2 Responses to “Cheap Ass Filmmakers”

  1. I count myself lucky to have seen The Host with subtitles rather than an English dub. Excellent film, and one of my favorites of the last decade.

    As for celebrities and their causes, I always look at the uber-rich and think: The world would be a bit better if they spent more time preventing kids from starving to death and less time regaling fans with their “favorite things.”

  2. I saw the movie with English dubbing plus subtitles and that’s where it got funny. The dubbing and subtitles don’t match up at all in most places. The English dub would say something like “Don’t jump off of that bridge” and the subtitle would read “He’s going to jump of the bridge” for the same part of the script. It was one of the few times that screwing up the subtitles actually made the movie better.

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