Our 3rd business series – an interview with Sheena Irving AV

In the third series of our business blog posts, we speak to Sheena Irving from Sheena Irving AV.

Sheena is a highly experienced audio-visual producer, working mainly within the heritage and visitor attraction sectors. With huge expertise in content production, including multi-lingual media, Sheena brought together all the various component parts required on our language device into a structured package that Tonwelt (the manufacturer of our audio guide) could work with.

We caught up with Sheena to ask her some questions with regarding our British and American Sign language provision and the multitude of languages now on offer through our audio guide.

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When we spoke to Sheena she said that; “As a professional heritage AV producer it is satisfying to be able to support The Scotch Whisky Experience to consistently push the boundaries in providing new experiences for their visitors.

Often it is something that has not been tackled before and the challenge is there to make it painless for the staff and something unique and exciting to attract new and returning audiences.”

Q1: As part of the new language device, The Scotch Whisky Experience wished to have the provision of both British and American Sign Language available to visitors. As the first attraction in Scotland to offer American Sign Language, was this your first encounter of BSL/ASL on a multi-lingual device?

  • If so, as this language also required filming of an actor conducting the tour in sign language, how different was this to working with just an audio language?

My role on this project was co-ordinating all the audio and video file production between the translators and the voice over company and then provision of all the material to the digital device company in a tabulated form which would enable them to load the devices correctly for each area and its operation, whilst also producing some of the new languages.

It was more of a technical role than production delivery this time.

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Q2: Working with 20 different languages, I am sure this must have had its challenges. What was the biggest challenge that you faced when working with delivery of a device with a multitude of languages?

The sheer number. This device has a varied selection of operational modes all combined in the one tour – describing that was a challenge to explain to the tour guide company that it could not run all the tracks simply using one method. Some tracks are automatically triggered, some are guide triggered and some are selected by the visitor.

The staff are very well-trained and foreigners can also enjoy the tour thanks to the audio guides (no extra charge) provided in a range of different languages. Tripadvisor review, July 2017

The price was great for what you experience, even get equipment if you speak other languages. Tripadvisor review, November 2017

Q3: What did you enjoy most about working on this project? / What were you most proud of in the project delivery?

It seems to be working well! And we don’t appear to be missing any of the audio or video files. Delivering sign language is always a challenge but to have managed to incorporate it into a device which is the same as all the other visitors use, in such a complex production is very satisfying.

Q4: How do you ensure the highest attention to detail – what’s your secret to success?!

An absolutely massive spreadsheet, concentration in the edit suite to get the files in the right place the first time and I am a bit of an anorak about being methodical. There is always a budget to fit and over-runs in studio time by not being well prepared are expensive.

Q5: Did you learn anything new from the experience?

Always something to learn when producing for new equipment – even after 30 years in the business.



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