SAM Williams says there is ‘more to come’ after what he claims was a World’s first on March 27th when he teamed up with Odeon in Llanelli to show the film Tomb Raider without pictures.
Sam’s idea was to give people the same sort of experience he goes through when watching films as he is registered as blind. Most large studios provide an audio description of what is going on on screen for partially sighted and blind people so in effect what you are hearing is the soundtrack of the film at the same time as someone describing what is going on on the screen. This is often the case for the deaf or hard of hearing when subtitles are used.
Over 2 million people in the U.K. live with sight loss with 9 million people living with a hearing loss. That is a whopping great big audience for film producers..
Sam came up with the idea to raise awareness but also to raise money for the Llanelli Visually Impaired Bowls Club of which, he is a member. Sam had previously said that the film company Warner Bros had shown an interest in what he was doing and that the Odeon in Llanelli could not have been more helpful.
The screening was held in one of the smaller rooms holding 82 people.
Speaking after the event, Sam said: “The night went well. Everyone enjoyed and liked the fact it let their imagination run wild.
“We had one small issue which can easily be fixed if I do another in the future. Yes, there might be another. I would love to do another, but let’s wait and see.
“It was like being visually impaired and I’ve been told that it’s an experience that would be brilliant for others.
“They like the fact that they had to focus using they’re ears and understood how difficult it can be. This will improve their understanding of what being visually impaired is like.
“For those who didn’t order tickets they missed out as imagination is the key to most creative ideas even if it’s not a film. Having the screen turned off gives you a different prospective.
“When you close your eyes and walk you can actually see light coming in your eyes, it is similar when blindfolded.
“A friend of mine Steve told me he didn’t know about audio description and thought that was just actor’s voices. I told him that it is a separate track. He couldn’t believe it and believes it will be useful in the future as his eyesight is slowly deteriorating.”