Tips on Successful Documentary Interview Transcription

Documentary interview transcription is common in TV reality shows, discovery storytelling and expert opinion interviews carried out by the broadcast houses. These are considered as major projects that require full transcription process preferably done by a professional. This process requires keen listening in order to capture the exact words said by each speaker in the documentary without misquoting or omitting any information. In order to successfully transcribe a documentary interview it is important to follow the following tips.

Listen/and watch the documentary

To ensure that the transcription process for the documentary interview is successful, it is important to listen to the recorded audio and watching the audiovisual record. This should be done without writing anything down. This is the initial stage that helps the transcriptionist to familiarize with the entire recorded documentary and make the important preparation for the transcription process. In this case, one should identify the number of speakers involved, the possible number of sections and the subject matter covered in the documentary. If a single wrap is not enough, a second one should be done for the entire file or in specific portions of interest.

Have a duplicate of recorded file

When transcribing a documentary interview it is advisable to ensure that a duplicate of the recorded file is available before starting the process. It should be remembered that it would be difficult to repeat the interview due to short time limit between the recording and broadcasting of the interview. The duplication comes in handy in case some parts of the original file is destroyed when running the tape back and forth with the aim of capturing the exact words uttered by the speakers. This provides an alternative file to work on in order to capture the spoilt parts of the original file of the documentary.

Include time coding

Time coding is important in the documentary interview transcription. This is because the time code marks the beginning of the answer or explanation provided by the speakers in the interview hence defining the duration taken by specific answer. However, time coding requires skills and experience in transcription process. Time coding makes the interview transcription to be of high quality as required in the international media.

Thumb-nail pictures

When transcribing the documentary interview, it is important to include the thumb nail pictures in the final transcript. The thumb nail pictures make the documentary interview transcript to stand out in the entire field of international media houses. This is a difficult task for the do it yourself journalists. Therefore, hiring professional documentary interview transcription services from a renowned transcription provider is highly recommended.

Thus, get in touch with us at for documentary interview transcription services that stand the tests of time in the global broadcasting platform!

Jessica Miller, Marketing Head in Transcriptionwave, General Transcription Services Company in the US.

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