Audio Describing 'King Richard'

Audio Describing 'King Richard'

Since starting in Audio description in November 2021 I’ve been able to work across the many different genres of entertainment that Sky provides. Including sports, real life documentaries and dramas however films are fast becoming my favourite as I get to guide the audience from the beginning of a story all the way to the end.

King Richards intriguing characters, eye catching settings and emotional storyline allowed for scenes that didn’t have any dialogue to tell the story. It’s in those sections when an audio describer can help to bring the audience in by describing facial expressions, actions, and settings.

Being a film about tennis champions there were a lot of tennis match scenes that I was describing, AD was specifically useful in one scene where Venus falls during her match with Vicario and the crowd says ‘oooooo’ and then silence. Within those 8 seconds of silence my cue was “Venus falls forward and rolls onto the floor. She lays on her back looking up at the sky for a moment. Her family witness it from the front row. Richard rocks from side to side then pushes a door and walks through.” As you’ll probably realise that was an important moment in the film and without AD it would have been lost.

There are only a limited number of opportunities to insert AD but when it does come up it is so useful in creating a fuller picture for those who are blind or partially sighted. Sometimes this means deciding to leave something out and if possible, including it elsewhere.

Before starting a title, I always do some research on the film and on any real characters represented with in it. For this film it’s the infamous Williams sisters. As this wasn’t a factual documentary, I didn’t have to do anything extensive, but it’s always helpful to have an idea of the story that is being told especially if based on real life.

207 cues later and the entire film is now more accessible than it was before. As it stands, AD isn’t thought of during the preproduction stages of film and TV but it is in sports arenas and theatres… who knows what the future holds but let’s just hope it’s a more accessible one for everybody.

King Richard premieres on Friday 1st July, 10am on Sky Cinema Premiere

By Naomi Paul, Audio Describer