A video camera pointed at a man's hands while he uses a computer


If you’re anything of a movie fan, you probably have at least some respect for the original Indiana Jones movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was nominated for best picture at the Oscars, it launched a movie franchise, and it featured a young Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Harrison Ford, and (a relatively young) John Williams all at their best.

And early on it was utter garbage.

How do we know that? Because of a transcription service!

Lawrence Kasdan, the writer of The Empire Strikes Back (and co-writer of this year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens) was pulled in to spitball the script to Raiders of the Lost Ark with Spielberg and Lucas. For three days in 1978 they hashed it out, throwing out ideas left and right. And they recorded it and had a transcription service put it to paper.

So if you’re breaking down a script, you might think about pulling out your phone and hitting record. But after you record it, what then?

We’re not going to mind your bad ideas: As great as Raiders of the Lost Ark became, there were some truly bad ideas that were suggested. Like Indy knowing Kung Fu, for instance. When you use an audio transcription service, you can talk for hours about the worst ideas possible and we’ll transcribe them. And we won’t mind. Of course, using an audio transcription service prevents you from having to listen to those horrible ideas again, because…

You don’t have to transcribe it yourself: Transcribing is a specialized skill, and takes more time than most people realize. When you use PressPlay to transcribe audio to text, it will be done quickly (as opposed to “probably never getting done at all” if you’re honest with yourself). You also never have to listen to all of those horrible ideas you tossed out on a whim.

What if you said the perfect thing…: If you did record your brainstorming, great! You’ll probably also be taking notes to highlight the most important things said. So what happens if your write “Steps!!!!!!” as if it’s the most important idea, knowing that there’s no way you’ll ever forget something so important…and then you forget it, of course. So, just to find that one reference to “steps” you have to listen through hours of audio, wincing at all of the bad ideas that were thrown around. Wouldn’t it be easier to just do a find in a Word file for the word “steps”? That’s exactly what you can do when you use an audio transcription service like PressPlay.

And what about posterity?: It’s unlikely those three Hollywood chums knew exactly what they were launching when they met for the Raiders brainstorming session back in 1978. But film historians are certainly glad they did. And here’s the thing that gives us chills as transcriptionists…no one can seem to find the original tapes. Good thing they sent the tape to a transcriptionist when they did!

Thanks to an audio transcription service of long ago, this piece of history was preserved and shows us the transformation from random ideas to the billion-dollar franchise. Has this article piqued your interest in reading more? Here’s a good New Yorker article on the subject, and here’s the full transcript of that three-day meeting. There’s even a dramatic reading of it performed by some hardcore fans if you want to listen to it in your car (audio to text and back to audio!)

Don’t let the future of your movie get delayed because no one want’s to deal with the notes from the brainstorming. Contact PressPlay for the best in audio transcription service and get you movie moving!