VITAC Behind the Scenes: Offline Captioner Zack Tolles


Senior Offline Captioners Zack Tolles (left) and Cory Meiser hard at work captioning in our Offline department

What goes on at VITAC behind the scenes? We continue our series focusing on the people that keep the captions on the screen and the business up and running! Our last post focused on Realtime Production Coordinator Nick Caldwell.

Today, we turn attention to Senior Offline Captioner Zack Tolles. Our offline captioners are responsible for the transcription and captioning of over 47,000 offline and prerecorded video assets each year, confirming every unique spelling. Zack answered a few questions for us so we can get a feel for a day-in-the-life of one of our offline captioning team members.

Q: You are a valuable member of our offline captioning team. Walk us through a typical day for you in the office.

Zack: Every day starts with clocking in and then checking my email to make sure nothing important was sent during the hours that I wasn’t here. Then I check the scheduler to see what I’m going to be working on for the day. After that, it’s time to get to work on whichever shoes I’m assigned to for the day.

Q: What are your favorite parts about working in Offline?

Zack: …I like [working on] cooking shows and being able to [learn and] take mental notes on what professional chefs are doing with food…

Q: What are some of the most challenging parts about your job?

Zack: Some days the workflow and due times feel like it’s down to the wire, and that can be challenging when you’re making sure that the captions you send out are 100% accurate while completing the assignment in the time we have to get it to the client. There are also days, especially with reality TV, where some shows will inevitably grind on your gears! When four people are in a room fighting and you have to listen to it over and over to hear what one person is actually saying, the drama gets old very quickly.

Q: What do you like most about working at VITAC?

Zack: I’ve found that a lot of coworkers that I interact with on a daily basis have the same interests as me. There are a lot of people here with backgrounds in literature and history, and everyone seems to be able to find some common ground with each other’s interests.

Q: What do you do in your spare time not spent at VITAC?

Zack: My fiancee and I love to cook a lot of food, so every weekend we try to make enough food to bring to work for lunches the next week, as well as delicious dinners. I also play guitar and started making wire-crafted jewelry this year.

By Brittany Bender