Felix Egon Jacques Cognard

Abstract

Subtitles, as audiovisual translation method, present contradictions, and flaws. These are forcing translators and viewers to a reductive compromise. The objective of this study is to reassess the objectives of subtitling and deconstruct the concept of invisibility that define them. Existing since the early ages of cinema, subtitles essentially remained limited to a practical use and their other characteristics and components remained ignored to the point of being forgotten. Through emerging new practices triggered by democratization of access, digitalization, and the rise of text in the contemporary screen, some theorists defended a newly found creative turn for subtitles. They investigated the aesthetical and discursive potential of subtitles and opened them to new disciplines. This concept of creative subtitling examined and illustrated, this thesis will introduce an exploratory and artistic research involving the feature film project Firedamp. The result will be a proof of concept using creative subtitles projected to be attached to Firedamp. Design criteria and still frames prototype compose this proof of concept. This is meant to act as foundation for further artistic research and the upcoming development of Firedamp from project to film. A discussion about creative subtitling, using interviews of industry professionals, will permit me to further evaluate the relevance of this concept in the reality of the European film industry.

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