The reasons to transcribe your video content are numerous.

A transcript of your video can improve SEO rankings, increase web accessibility, help with subtitle creation and encourage social media sharing.

By now, you should be convinced of the importance of transcribing your video and are probably transcribing regularly.

But are you transcribing correctly?

Today, we look at some of the most common mistakes video editors make in transcribing video audio to text.

Transcribing video to text in-house

Manually transcribing video to text and then creating subtitles can take up to 5 hours for every hour of video.  In contrast, an automatic transcription service provider can convert the same hour of video to text in a matter of a few minutes for less than $15.

Today’s post production teams are already working to tight deadlines and budgets. Many are unable to cope with adding the monotonous task of transcription to their workload. By outsourcing video to text transcription, you can ensure a quicker turnaround and more accurate transcriptions.

Moreover, using an external provider makes more economic sense in the long term, as an external provider doesn’t need to be paid a year round salary, benefits, or overhead like a full-time employee.

Only transcribing the finished video

If you only transcribe the final cut of your video, you are missing the opportunity to save time and money during the editing process.

Consider these shooting ratios:

Shooting Ratios of Feature Films as analysed by Vashi Visuals.com

With the accolade of the highest shooting ratio going to Deadpool:

Shooting Ratio of Deadpool. Source: Vishi Visuals.com

As Vashi Nedomanksy, an editor of over 11 feature films including editorial consultant on Deadpool, calculates:

‘It would take you 14 weeks watching 40 hours a week to watch all of the Deadpool raw footage.’

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

There is an easier way to scroll through your raw footage to find the best quote or scene to include in your final cut:  transcripts!

So how does getting transcripts of all of your raw video footage helps speed up the video editing process?

First, if you are looking for a specific keyword or quote, you can find it quickly in your video content by doing a CTRL + F keyword search of your transcript text. This makes finding perfect sections in your video in minutes, helping you to produce your final cut faster.

Second, the eye can read faster than the ear can hear.  Which means if you have a lot of raw footage, it will be quicker for producers, editors and directors to scroll through a text version of the footage than watch all the footage.  Scanning the footage in this way can also help a video editing team get familiarised with the content and choose the best footage for the video.

Additionally, it is much easier for video editors to make comments on transcription text about the footage they wish to use. It is easier to share this information with a team too, making it quicker for the video editor to execute.

Using different workflows for transcribing and subtitling

If you are currently downloading your video files from one hosting platform to be uploaded into an automatic transcription service provider's platform, then you’re duplicating work.

However, if you use an automatic service provider like Happy Scribe, you can directly import your video file from your Zoom, YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia account for transcription, creating subtitles wherever your files are. Great for streamlining your workflow.

From the Happy Scribe platform select ‘Upload New File’, then choose where you want to import the file from using the drop down menu.

Happy Scribe integrates with Vimeo, Zoom, YouTube and Wistia

Translating directly from video.

If you plan to translate your video into different languages, then a transcript of your video audio is a must.  

Without the transcript, a translator must first transcribe and then translate your video.  Try doing that for multiple languages and you have an inefficient process.  

However, if you provide a translator a transcript of the final cut of your video, you give them the foundation to quickly and easily translate the audio into multiple languages: Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Germany, Hindi, Arabic or whatever you desire.

Not using timecodes and timestamps

A timecode ensures that all the audio and video of your raw footage lines up.  

It looks a little something like this:

02:01:59:29

Hours:Minutes:Seconds:Frames

2 Hours:1 Minute:59 Seconds:29 Frames

Quality transcripts include timecodes/and or timestamps which video editors can use as a reference point for video editing.  By noting a timecode range in the editing process, you can quickly find and grab the clip during the cutting phase. Using timecode and timestamps in transcripts can help editors work more quickly and efficiently. It also helps save time in switching between viewing and editing footage.


Transcripts can help the post production process in numerous ways if you avoid the common mistakes listed above.  

For a quick and cost-effective way to get an audio to text transcript of your video, just drop your video file into Happy Scribe’s automatic transcription tool. We will get your video transcript back to you in minutes.

Do you use transcripts in other ways?  Drop us a line to let us know.