RE: [Videolib] closed captioning on videos

Jill Baker (
Wed, 26 May 2004 21:35:48 -0700

Dennis and Jessica (and the rest of the listserv),
I want to thank both of you for responding. I guess I was thinking more of
the educational market than the theatrical market. When we buy a video to
caption, we have to buy it in VHS, not DVD, so I don't know the pricing for
going the DVD route. I understand your profit and loss margin, and I don't
begrudge your need to stay profitable. Also, regarding Braille books, there
is assistive technology that will read the book to a blind student.
I also want to thank the other vendors who sent links; I will definitely
visit them. In fact I am working a project right now, and I am hoping I
will hit paydirt tomorrow with all of these leads!
Thanks again,

-----Original Message-----
Sent: 5/26/04 11:37 AM
Subject: Re: [Videolib] closed captioning on videos

In a message dated 5/26/04 1:59:37 PM, writes:

What about passing the cost on to the customer? If it costs $500 for
you to
caption a video, then raise the price by $2 or $3 or even $10 per video
recoup it that way. I would gladly pay extra to get a captioned video.
think that others would be willing to do this too. I know it would be
added burden for the distributors, but more and more of us are being
required to purchase only captioned videos, and your consumer pool will
Jill Baker
AV Librarian
San Diego Mesa College

Like Kino, we only have 24 titles out of about 100 that would need
closed-captioning, but those 24 are lacking them not because we are
heartless fiends or unaware of the current legal requirements (and I
know Jill, that you're not suggesting this, of course). I'm sure Jessica
feels just as guilty about it as I do.

It's very, very hard to add extra retail cost for a feature film to what
already is a very small market. It's an extremely competitive business
NIGHT AT THE OPERA for as little as $10. For Kino and Milestone, where
many of our films are $24.95 and $29.95, we have to price them even at
this "high" price because a sale of 2000 DVDs of a silent or "obscure"
classic title is considered a huge success and costs of production are
higher because of preservation and production costs (a score for a
silent film alone can cost anywhere from $500 to $20,000). Many of them
sell in the only 500 to 1000 range.

In some ways, the very cheap pricing for video has been a boon for the
consumer and the educational market, but less so for the independent
for-profit distributor. In regards to closed-captioning, lost sales
versus higher price presents a Catch-22.

And I'm not sure I've mentioned this before (I'm sure I have) but a
surprisingly low percentage of our DVD sales are to schools and
libraries. It's almost 60 to 70% to individual buyers. Jessica and I
should talk amongst ourselves about it, but I'd be curious to know what
the percentage of schools and libraries bought her early women
filmmakers series, because ours was fairly small for our Equal Time

Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Phone: (800) 603-1104 or (201) 767-3117
Fax: (201) 767-3035

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