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Closed captions (CC) are lines of text that appear on a video to describe its audio content. While subtitles only describe the speech, CC describes everything in the audio content that is relevant, including dialogue, sound effects, and even music. It is a more inclusive way of expressing your video through text. However, multiple types of closed captions are available, and sometimes, it is hard to know which is which. Let’s see more about those types to understand them better.

  • Closed Captions

CC is the most used type of captioning, and it is even called “subtitling” in the U.K, so it can be confusing to understand that it is different from subtitles. You can switch the captions on or off, but it is usually off most of the time. The [CC] symbol shows that the content you’re watching has a closed caption you can turn on.

It can appear anywhere on the screen but usually stays at the bottom. However, if something important is showing at the bottom – like an object in the movie – the CC will change its position. It can also change its position to show which character is speaking.

  • Open Captions

Open captions are the same as closed captions, except they have a permanent fixture on a video. They are also known as “hardcoded” or “burned in” captioning. Therefore, you cannot alter its position. They’ll always stay at the same place in the video, and their symbol is [OC].

Subtitled foreign films with a description of the entire audio content, including the sound effects, are a great example of open captioning. For example, if you watched Parasites in the Cinema when it was released, you most likely watched it with OC.

  • Live Captioning

Live captioning is a significant type of closed caption since it is transmitted for live TV programs and events, like the news, soccer matches, concerts, and more. It is also available for educational and corporate purposes, such as speeches and lectures, for example.

As its name suggests, live captions are created at the exact time of broadcast, so they can have some errors and usually aren’t synchronized with the speech since it appears seconds after someone speaks.

  • DL

The dialogue list (DL) is a time-coded post-production script. It is an essential document, and the producers must be cautious since most distributors, networks, and production companies need it. It is used for translation purposes, and it can include sound effects, music descriptions, voiceovers, chyrons, verbatim dialogue, and more.

  • CCSL

Combined Continuity and Spotting List (CCSL) is, actually, two documents in one. They are legal document that needs to be delivered to the distributors and networks, like the DL. However, it contains all the movie’s content. All of it. Each line of dialogue, every single action, everything is included. Therefore, CCSL is a very long document, often having more than 300 pages.

Doing a CCSL script is very hard for that reason. Any error that you make affects the whole document. Luckily, several companies offer closed captioning services that may help you with your post-production needs. Back to the Paper is one of the oldest and most experienced companies in the current market, having almost 20 years of experience. With highly-skilled writers, you can be sure that your CCSL script is in good hands with them. Check their website and request a quote right now.


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