January 17, 2010

Rear Window Captioning at the Movies. Part Two.

(Continued from Part One)

I finally got to the theater where they were playing The Devil Wears Prada, and quickly sat down towards the front of the theater where the least amount of people were sitting. That was a mistake, as I will find out later. I was tired of lugging the thing around and frankly I was embarrassed, so I sat where I thought I would not bother many people with the ugly captioning device.

I reluctantly began fiddling with the thing, putting it in the cup holder and adjusting it so the plastic window was within my view.

It was so tall. It was as if I had put a sign in front of me that said, "Look at me!"

I bent it, straightened it, and moved it around trying to get it right. I knocked it over a few times. A couple sat down near me in the same row and then I sensed that other people sat down behind me. I looked around to see if perhaps I should move somewhere else. And there was Keanu Reeves, again. He was sitting right behind me, with a friend. I did a double take. He was staring at me, probably wondering what the heck I was doing. The couple next to me were staring. I tried to explained to them what I was doing and then asked if it was bothering them. They said no, but clearly I was being distracting.

Then the movie started. I decided to stay put and see if the damn thing works. I adjusted it some more, and as I was pulling down the window part, it somehow snapped back and hit me in the nose! I cursed at it loudly and proceeded to strangle it. The couple looked at me again and I looked around to see if there are any others sitting near by. No, just Mr. Reeves and his friend. They were trying not to stare. I wanted to crawl under my seat and hide.

Of course, the device did not work.

I gave up and put the stupid thing under my seat. I thought about moving to the back, but I was done.

The movie was great. I loved it. But, there were several times where Meryl Streep's character said something that made the other people in the theater laughed and I wondered what was so funny.

Why did it not work? Because, I was supposed to sit in the back where it works best. Also, it is best to sit in the back where many people would not be distracted, because not many people usually sit in the back. But, it happens to be that on the day I used it, a lot of people sat in the back, and I did not want to bother them. Otherwise, I am sure it would have worked fine and maybe I would have liked it.

From this experience, I have concluded that movies with subtitles or captions on the screen is the best way to experience movies in the theater if you need captions. You can sit anywhere you want and you don't have to be bothered with a device that you have to carry around and use. Now, all there has to be are more movies with subtitles or open captions offered. But, as we know, to see a movie with captions, usually it is at a theater far from where I live and I would have to choose from only two movies that are captioned, and only at certain times. Usually, they are movies I do not want to see. It is frustrating.

Is there anyone who have used the rear window captioning device in a movie theater? If so, what was it like? Did it work well? Did you like it?

(e


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13 comments:

  1. I used to work for a theater that provided RWC and audio description, so I went to "Mamma Mia" and switched off with my daughter with the reflector, and the descriptive audio headset.

    I was able to get the captions easily, I was on the edge of the center. I did dislike the changing focus distance, and there are some reflectors that are better than others (newer ones are lighter, with a better "snake").

    It's easy to see why someone would prefer open captions, and why DVD rentals are more popular in my area. I imagine you could get used to it, but I am looking forward to better reading devices....

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  2. Thanks for your comment. I am glad you had a good experience with a RWC. I will have to try it again. I was wondering what to call the bendable metal part. "Snake" is a good way to decribe it.

    (e

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  3. Gooseneck? for the "snakey" part...could you post a picture of it or a link to a picture? I agree, however, that open captions are far better and luckily, are all that is available in my area.

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  4. 'Gooseneck'. Like that one. Yeah, I'll post a drawing of it. Also, if you click on the Rear Window Caption link from Part One, it will have a picture of it.

    Thanks,

    (e

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  5. I have tried it twice. Both times, I hated it. One time, the thing was somewhat worn out, and kept tilting, so I had to keep re-adjusting it. The captions always appear too small, and I end up watching them more than the screen, and I want to be able to see the screen. Plus, the reflector has a slightly tinted color, and that distracts me from the screen background, but when I adjust the reflector so it is below the screen, the captions end up too far below the screen for me to really see both comfortably. Worst of all, both times, the captions cut out for significant portions of the movie.

    I will never go to RWC again.

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  6. How annoying. That is too bad that the captions cut out for parts of the movie!

    (e

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  7. I've used rear-window captioning on three occasions. The first time, the device was crooked and wouldn't stand straight in the cup holder. The second time, I developed a crick in my neck from straining to read the captions. The third time, everyone in my family fell asleep during the movie except me because I was too busy squinting at the glowing words on the tinted glass.

    The best movie experience ever was an open-captioned version of "Mamma Mia!" Being able to watch Meryl Streep sing and dance while reading the lyrics on the screen was a revelation. (But don't get me started on Pierce Brosnan's corny singing bits.)

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  8. I found your blog from Shanna's! :-) I tried RWC once... my first AND last time. I went to see Big Fish (so this was several years ago). It was awkward, embarrassing, etc. You know the drill! Anyway, the worst part was the thing kept leaning one way so I had to hold it the whole movie through to keep it in place. My arm was so sore the next day. I like open captions better as well and usually just wait for those.

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  9. i use the RWC to go see the movies and i like it. i find it works best when i sit in about the 3rd or 4th row from the back right in the center. that means i have to get to the movie early though. also i adjust it so the words show up below the screen because usually its hard to read them when there's a light background. i get embarassed carrying it around too but its a lot better going to the movie early to avoid seeing that many people. last night i saw shutter island and the device was a little worn out and i kept having to adjust it as it would slide.

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  10. I went to the movies (Toy Story 3, awesome film!), and it was my first time wanting to try out my new HA's. I went to the Customer Service desk, pointed to my HA's, and asked for a loop. A guy brought me a rather conspicuous flagpole-looking device with a plastic 'flag' attached. I've asked on other HoH Boards, and have been informed that apparently I was given a "captions reflector"...?! (No wonder it didn't work when I switched my HAs to 'T'!) Well, not realising what it was, and as it didn't fit in the cupholder either, I left it on the floor for the movie, and tried my best to be comfortable just using my HAs. Disappointed, I just quietly dropped it off at Customer Services afterward. I wish they would've had a neckloop instead, as I really wanted to use my new HAs.

    Peace,
    ~Justin

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  11. I'm a little late on this blog but I enjoyed the RWC because I'm deaf but I've spent my whole life around hearing people, never had a deaf friend, and never been to a captioned movie before. I've always went to see movies with hearing friends and struggled to understand what was going on. I never took the effort to go to captioned movies because I never had anyone to go with - being deaf and growing up around hearing people. I loved the RWC because it allowed me to interact with my hearing fiancee and children while viewing the movie. Some hearing people find captioning to be annoying -- but I felt that RWC worked great for someone like me who likes the best of both worlds. I'm sorry to hear you all had horrible experiences with the RWC. I had to get used to the device of course but once I did - it was great for me! Maybe one of these days I'll try a captioned movie and see what difference it makes but I've noticed that alot of captioned movies come out late whereas RWC can be used the day the movie is released -- nothing worse than seeing an old movie that everybody's talked about for weeks before you get to see it! What do you guys think about timing of captioning movies being shown so late?

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  12. Ok, I'm really late to this blog. I love the thing. I've seen about 6 movies with it and never had a problem with it. Most people at the show thought is was a cool idea, and it never seemed to bother anyone. The problem I've had was with staff having no idea what the thing was, and I always have to explain what it was and what it was for. The only other problem was that it was only available to certain shows and to certain theatres. And worst of all, I lost my cup holder.. Ha Ha

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  13. Never too late for new comments! Thanks for sharing, Anonymous @ 12:51 a.m. :)

    How did you manage to lose the cup holder thingie? LOL

    (e

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Keep it civil.