The Mood
Flip This On and “Read” a Movie Tonight

Flip This On and “Read” a Movie Tonight

You May Never Watch TV The Same Again…

What if you could read a screenplay while watching the actual movie?

What if I told you every TV out there can do something like this, for free?

I discovered the full power of this vastly underused feature after years of playing the drums began to affect my hearing.

Yeah, I probably should have worn headphones. But as a teenager, with the juices of adolescence flowing through me, I wanted to absorb every bumping beat and cymbal clash. It was a great release.

I still play the drums, just a little more quietly, and I can still hear OK but there are times while watching TV that I have to turn the volume up to understand everything. That led me to discover this obvious yet hidden feature.

I’m talking about the often-ignored closed captions. They allow hearing-impaired to read every line the actors say, hear descriptions of atmospheric noises, and even follow the lyrics of music.

As a writer, I fell in love with reading words as they were spoken.

It became the ultimate writer’s hack for me.

Imagine firing up a classic film that won best screenplay and reading as the action unfolds. (What seems nerdy to some can be a delight to a wordsmith, haha.)

All it takes it activating closed captions on your TV.

Here’s my favorite part of using closed captions:

  • You can read any movie like a screenplay
  • You can see what extras say in the background.
  • You can fully understand whispers, mumbles, even decipher load roars.
  • You can read lyrics of songs playing in the background, and the captions often identify the artist.
  • You can brush up on spelling skills while watching your favorite shows.
  • You can see how produced professionals write, line by line.

The only drawbacks are sometimes you can see lines faster than they are acted out (or even gameshow answers) which can get in the way of the suspense (but can also be fun in its own way). Also, something on rare occasions the words can get in the way of faces or scenery.

But I find it’s worth it, and I’m hooked on “reading” my favorite shows and movies.

Just think, the thing many criticize as a waste of brain power can be transformed into a language and writing tutor. Cool.