How do you watch a movie if you can't see? Blind people answer

Movie visuals aren't as important as you think, at least according to these blind people who say films are for everyone.

Tommy Edison
Blind Film Critic Tommy Edison Video screenshot by Rusty Blazenhoff/CNET

For its new "Academy Originals" video series, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences created a documentary short called "'Not Much To See': How the Blind Enjoy Movies" that explores how the visually impaired "watch" movies without seeing a thing.

For the short, three notable blind people were interviewed: Blind Film Critic's Tommy Edison, Blind Girl Blog's Melissa Hudson, and Mario Garcia, winner of the 2013 Braille Institute "Cinema Without Sight" award.

Good storytelling and descriptive audio is important, but what really assists them is a free narration service called Audio Description. In selected theaters, moviegoers can put on a pair of special headphones and get clued in on what sighted folks take for granted.

Remember the scene from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" where a giant stone ball is about to crush Indiana Jones? Wait until you HEAR it described with zero visuals in this mini-doc. Very cool.

About the author

Rusty Blazenhoff has been deeply involved in cyberculture for more than 20 years, and immersed in pop culture since getting her first copy of Dynamite magazine. She loves kitsch, quirky artifacts of Americana, and enjoying island life in Alameda, Calif., with her daughter. She makes a mean Fluffernutter.

 

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