Earlier this month, Thomas Reid released the latest episode of his Reid My Mind Radio podcast, “On Black Panther Audio Description — Race, Selection & Time.” He offers a thorough, multifaceted critique of audio description in the blockbuster Black Panther and mainstream cinema as a whole. As an audio description freelancer, I have a lot of thoughts about this episode—the majority of which can roughly be summed up as, “Yes, yes, good, good, thumbs up emoji.” I’ll try to be more articulate in the post below.
But before I even attempt that, I encourage you all to head over to Reid My Mind and give the episode a listen or a read. It’s about a 13 and ½ minute listen or a near 2000 word read.
This episode pushes forward discussions about audio description from “is it included?” to “is it quality work?” This is something I am quite passionate about as a freelancer who regularly works herself into fits of anxiety about the quality of my own audio description work. As my mother, the recipient of many of my harried phone calls, can attest.
While said phone calls revolve largely around my own ability as an audio describer, Reid goes beyond thinking about individual audio description professionals. He broadens the conversation to critique the audio description industry as a whole. Although we approach audio description from two different perspectives, I found we share many of the same concerns about the field.