Audio describing for Sky Kids

Audio describing for Sky Kids

Creating audio description (AD) for the Sky Kids Channel has been both fun and challenging! The language needs to be age-appropriate, while also helping parents who may rely on AD to enjoy a show with their little ones. I try to use vocabulary that’s found in the script where possible, and if the target audience is very young, I repeat important words to reinforce them. To describe the Mechanicals in Gecko’s Garage, I looked on the creator’s YouTube channel, where I found them referred to as ‘Baby Robots’ – this was a useful shorthand to quickly describe these cute characters who are constantly present but communicate only through flashing lights and bleeping!

Kids’ shows are endlessly imaginative and sometimes demand creative description. In Pip and Posy, a group of playful critters become detectives, using translucent lollipops as ‘magnifying glasses’, but I only had time for one word to explain this! Here’s what I did:

Pip: ‘Detectives need…’

AD: ‘Lollipops?’ [delivered with a questioning tone!] –

Posy: ‘Magnifying glasses!’

Audio description for children comes with an increased sense of responsibility as it may contribute to their understanding of the world around them. I try to avoid making assumptions that might reinforce stereotypes – for example, where a show makes no reference to a character’s gender (often the case when characters are animals or vehicles!), I’ll avoiding using ‘he’ or ‘she’ and stick to the character’s name.

Sometimes it’s tricky to prioritise information - is it more important to say that Pip’s wearing clothes, or that he’s a rabbit?! Other times, a name like ‘Gecko’ or ‘Weasel’ does much of the description by itself! As there’s often a busy and exciting soundtrack, I aim to let this come through as much as possible, adding AD only where it feels essential, and adjusting the tone and pace of my delivery to make sure it doesn’t drag down the mood of a high-energy show.

Whatever it is, we’ve got it covered, so you and your kids don’t have to miss a thing!

Enjoy our brand-new ad-free channel Sky Kids with Subtitles and AD on channel 609.