I Attended My First Red Carpet Audio Described Event with Netflix

28th July 2022

I was invited to attend the first ever Audio Described movie premiere hosted by Netflix. Find out what it was all about as I walked the red carpet.

Greetings Readers!

So last week on what was officially named by the Met Office as the hottest day on record in British recorded history. I went to London with my friend Stef to walk the red carpet as I attended what was to be the first ever Audio Described movie premiere of The Gray Man.

A photo of Emily Davison and friend Stef on the red carpet at Netflix's The Gray Man
On the red carpet

Netflix are one of the biggest streaming services and they are also one of the best providers in Audio Described films and series for people living with sight loss.

Netflix released their latest action film The Gray Man, starring Ryan Gosling, Chris Evens, Ana de Adams and Regé-Jean Page.

The film contains audio description and so to celebrate this Netflix collaborated with the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) to host their first ever Audio Described movie premiere.

What Is Audio Description?

Audio Description is a service provided in services like TV, film, theatre and the visual arts for people with limited vision. Whereby an additional audio track is played with a narrator describing visual elements of what’s on screen.

These will include things like the setting, what the actors are doing, what characters look like, things in the foreground and so on.

Essentially Audio Description enables people with limited sight to be able to have a full understanding of what’s happening so that they can enjoy their experience like any other sighted person.

But there’s still not enough Audio Description

Even now still not enough broadcasters provide Audio Description for all of their programmes. Still not enough cinemas offer enough Audio Described film showings and still Audio Description isn’t available across all content on streaming platforms.

A close up photo of Emily and friend Stef on the red carpet at Netflix's The Gray Man
Emily and Stef on the red carpet

So this red carpet event hosted by Netflix aims to help change that

This event saw a number of influencers and press in attendance as well as disabled activists and educators.

The aim of the event was to showcase to people the need for more services providing TV, film and visual arts to ensure they provide Audio Description for their visually impaired audience.

The event had guest appearances from the Russo Brothers and starring cast members made a guest appearance.

The Audio Described showing took place at the same time as the main showing and people from Netflix were there to talk more about their Audio Description service.

The event highlighted the RNIB Audio Description Campaign

The other really great thing about this event was that the RNIB provided all of their sighted guests with specially made glasses. Each colour represented a different eye condition and were made to simulate what different eye conditions can look like. To give sighted audio members an idea of what it can be like watching a film with sight loss and just how vital Audio Description is.

A photo of Emily on the red carpet
Emily on the red carpet

The event was a great collaborative effort between Netflix and the RNIB to highlight the importance of this valuable service.

As a visually impaired person myself, I know how hard it can be not to have Audio Description

I’ve lived with sight loss all my life due to a congenital condition called Septo Optic Dysplasia.

Because of this I rely on Audio Description to be able to follow along with elements of a play or film that I would otherwise miss due to my poor sight.

A photo of Emily posing in front of the Netflix Gray Man board
A photo of Emily

For example, without Audio Description I wouldn’t be able to know when an actors facial expression has changed, when they are holding something, when someone is in the background.

So Audio Description can really elevate my viewing experience and help me to follow along with the plot without having to constantly ask a sighted person “what’s happening now?”

It’s a really liberating resource and I’m glad it exists.

How you can help make more Audio Described services available

If you want to do something to help check out the RNIB Audio Description: Why it matters Campaign to find out what the charity are doing to encourage more broadcasters to make sure their material has Audio Description.

Recently RNIB handed in a petition to the UK Government with over 25,000 signatures from supporters who want more broadcaster to provide Audio Description.

All in all, it was such a great event and it was such a surreal moment to be walking down the red carpet with my Selkie dress and to have my photo taken whilst people waited to get a glimpse of the actors.

I had a wonderful evening, despite the scorching heat. I was honoured to be invited to celebrate Audio Description which is such a vital resource in my community.

Disclaimer: PR Gifted Event

One response to “I Attended My First Red Carpet Audio Described Event with Netflix”

  1. Nakesha says:

    That’s awesome!

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