Using writing skills to adapt TV and movie content

Sheffield graduate Tom Buckland
Tom Buckland
Subtitling Editor, Zoo Digital
BA Journalism and MA Creative Writing
Tom studied a BA in Journalism Studies, and an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Sheffield and after graduating in 2020 now works for Zoo Digital.

I work for Zoo Digital, who say that their expertise is in adapting original TV and movie content for a variety of different languages, regions and cultures. Within my role, I create and check the quality of subtitles for either a foreign audience or I will create subtitles for hard-of-hearing audiences. 

Both my degrees benefitted me massively in a lot of ways. Journalism studies helped me ensure that I kept concise and accurate. However, creative writing also granted me the flexibility to add flavour in. On top of that, when it comes to creating subtitles from a foreign show that has been translated to English, we have to adjust what the translator has given us, which sometimes means thinking outside the box to creatively manipulate the sentence to retain the same meaning, but read well.

I chose to work in Sheffield because, opposed to where I'm from (a small commuter town on the outskirts of London) I truly felt a sense of belonging up here. I found a group of friends that I'd (despite it sounding cheesy) call my tribe, and I discovered a confidence in me whilst studying up here that I wished to latch onto. I've constantly fought the notion that ‘better career prospects are in London’ with both myself, and others. Now I've fallen into this job at Zoo I'm happy that I ignored those voices. Sheffield holds a modesty in its essence that keeps me positive and uplifts me whenever I need it. Even if I do eventually venture elsewhere my time here is something I'd always treasure!

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