Most filmmakers and video producers don't understand the importance of adding captions and subtitles to their work. The good news is that it's far easier and more affordable than they'd imagine.

The Indie Filmmaker's Guide to Captions & Subtitles is a 90-minute workshop I take to film festivals designed to explain why captions are so important and what they can do to expand a film's audience. It can be presented to a small audience or large theater and includes a keynote presentation with video examples, a live captioning demo, and Q&A to give attendees the full experience.


Reasons to Add Captions & Subtitles:

  1. Make your films and videos accessible to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. If the sound is half the experience of your work, skipping captions means about 15% of American adults can't enjoy your project. Beyond that, Facebook, YouTube, and Amazon are all reporting massive increases in the use of captions regardless of the users hearing ability. Not to mention the fact that most websites auto-play videos on mute.

  2. Translate your subtitles into other languages to expand your film's borders beyond its language of origin. With very little effort or cost, you can make your work truly international.

  3. Improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by using your captions and subtitles as a transcript that allows Google to index every word in your film instead of just the title and description.


Matt Longmire teaching the class at Seattle Web Fest 2017

Matt Longmire teaching the class at Seattle Web Fest 2017


  • Introduction: 50% of your movie

  • The three big reasons your film needs captions

  • Difference between "captions" & "subtitles"

  • "Open" vs. "Closed" captions

  • DIY or oursource?

  • DIY tools & software

  • Publishing platforms

  • Captioning guidelines: color, placement, style guide, SFX, FCC compliance

  • Foreign language subtitles: easy, fast, cheap, but still good

  • Captioning advocacy

  • Much, much more. (plus door prizes)


By the end of the class, filmmakers have a better understanding of how they can, and why they should incorporate captions into their post-production workflow. People leave feeling inspired to caption their work as well as advocate this process to their colleagues.



Booking Information

Indie filmmakers are my target audience and film festivals are my favorite venues. If you are a film festival or know of one that might be interested in hosting this class, or just have any questions about the material, please email me.