IFC Films acquired audio description files back in 2017 for a film called Dealt. In our catalog of over one thousand titles, this was the very first film to be delivered to us with accompanying AD. Frankly, we had very little idea what to do with it at the time. However, we were lucky enough to be contacted by the narrator of this audio description, Michele Spitz. Michele took the time to come into our office and walk us through a history of audio description, the technical workflows, and provide insight into its distribution potential. Over the next number of years, we remained in regular contact with Michele as our involvement in AD greatly increased. Michele continues to voice a number of AD projects for us, including recent titles Dear Santa and Blithe Spirit. She is a pleasure to work with and one of the most passionate individuals you will ever meet. IFC Films will always be thankful to Michele for her role in opening up a new world of accessibility for our films.
Manager, Post Production
I had the pleasure of working with Michele Spitz on the occasion of the first virtual
Media Access Awards in 2020. The Media Access Awards, an organization created
by Norman Lear advocates and celebrates the greater inclusion of disabilities in media.
Having Michele of Woman of the Word sponsor, narrate and produce the audio description of the show was a game changer. The Media Access Awards prides
itself in being all inclusive and Michele is a intrinsic part of that.
Media Access Awards
In the world of Audio Description, you won’t find someone more devoted to the
craft than Michele Spitz. She works harder than anyone I know, and she’s been instrumental in bringing AD to the forefront of conversations involving accessibility. Michele’s commitment to ensure media is available to everyone makes her a uniquely powerful ally to the community she serves. I’ve had the opportunity to partner with Michele on several projects and it’s been a privilege each time to watch her work. She is a generous mentor and a fierce advocate. If Audio Description were a sport, Michele Spitz would be my first pick.
VP, Business Development and Sales
Michele did the voicing and production of the audio description for our three films;
Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, Pavarotti, andThe Beatles: Eight Days a Week. Because of Michele, I have become educated in accessible media, and she is also educating and encouraging other filmmakers to have audio description in their post-production for cinematic, streaming, broadcast and DVD releases, and thus making their work more inclusive. Moreover, it gives our films a wider audience which in turn opens them up to a wider marketplace and a greater potential to earn more revenues. The added benefit for us is great! Michele’s audio description has indeed made these films inclusive for all. Thank you Michele Spitz, Woman of Her Word!
Jeanne Elfant Festa
White Horse Pictures
We loved working with Michele Spitz and the Woman of Her Word team on our documentary "Oliver Sacks: His Own Life". We were extremely grateful that the film could be made accessible to the visually impaired. Because of Michele, we were able to include Audio Description across all distribution platforms, including the film broadcast on PBS. We hope to work together again to bring more of Ric Burns' films to the visually impaired community.
Through the Woman of Her Word Philanthropy program, Michele Spitz generously provided the audio description track for our documentary "The Great 14th: Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama In His Own Words". Her inimitable voiceover skills and rich, smooth delivery make listening to the film a joy for the vision impaired. It was a pleasure working with Michele and her team, and we look forward to working with her again should another opportunity arise.
Director, Writer, Producer
Frame of Mind Films, Inc.
Michele did a wonderful job of Audio Description on my documentary Driven to Abstraction. From start to finish she offered her very special experience and attention and made the process seamless. She was a joy to work with. She employed an experienced writer, a terrific sound recordist, and most of all her own absolutely lovely and expressive voice to narrate the film. I cannot recommend her more highly. She is a rare find, and her advocacy for Audio Description is most admirable.
Under The Sign LLC
It was a pleasure to work with Michele Spitz on the exhibition The Senses: Design Beyond Vision at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (April 13–October 28, 2018). In order to make our exhibition accessible to all visitors, the museum sought to incorporate open video description in the designated theater area and audio described exhibition tablets. We also created a comprehensive narrated audio gallery guide. This award-winning digital app is coordinated with braille numbers
in the gallery. Michele's wonderful voice and her expert knowledge of accessible communication practices guided us throughout our process. Her voice is an elegant beacon unifying our exhibition for the public. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is grateful for the generous support and expertise of Woman of Her Word.
Senior Curator, Contemporary Design
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
DRA is grateful to Michele for lending her unique audio description expertise and voiceover talents to create compelling fundraising videos for our 2018, 2019 and 2020 galas. Michele worked closely with DRA and our film-making team to ensure a truly accessible, informative, and moving end product. In 2019, she presented the video onstage and did an excellent job of succinctly preparing our audience of supporters for their video experience. Michele's talent and passion for disability rights work runs deep and we're glad to have her on our team.
Disability Rights Advocates
Working with Michele was amazing. My film, Lives Well Lived, deals with aging and, therefore, it was especially important to me to have the film be accessible to everyone. I had figured out captioning but had no idea about audio description. I am so thankful
to Michele for educating me and for providing the audio description for the film. The audio description of the film has added another dimension and has made it possible for everyone to enjoy the film. I am forever grateful to Michele for all that she is doing to educate people about the need for audio description. She is truly a pleasure to work with and I hope to continue our work together in future projects.
Lives Well Lived
Michele Spitz voiced the audio descriptions for the documentary film, Dealt of which
I am the subject. Beginning to lose my sight at age nine, for over fifty years I have listened to thousands of talking books with hundreds of different professional readers, and I must say Michele has a voice and a way that beautifully fills in the visual scenes. Her voice is calm, articulate and she does not over-power the scene, yet holds you close and intimate like warm whispers from your mother or wife. Michele turns a
film where (for years) a blind person could only hear into a full sensory and 'visual'
Michele did a fantastic job on our film, Dealt. Her enthusiasm for audio descriptions is second to none and vibrantly shines through in her excellent work. Michele's attention to detail and joyful attitude made for a wonderful experience, and I look forward to working with her again on my next project!
It was a wonderful experience working with Michele Spitz on the audio description for
my documentary feature, How Sweet the Sound - The Blind Boys of Alabama, the first film about this legendary gospel group. Michele’s clear, direct, nuanced and sensitive audio description is a terrific addition to this ten-years in the making project, and her commitment to making film available to blind and visually impaired audiences is unparalleled. One of the most compelling moments in this process came when two members of the Blind Boys of Alabama attended the closing night screening of the
film at the ReelAbilities New York Disability Film Festival and were able to actually
listen to the audio description using headsets with a very enthusiastic live audience, experiencing the film as they would not have otherwise. Now the Blind Boys of
Alabama will have this gift of the audio description track permanently as part of
their personal film collections!
How Sweet the Sound - The Blind Boys of Alabama
I have 25 years as a professional audio engineer/producer, and of all the professionals I have encountered, Michele Spitz consistently exceeds all expectations in her commitment to perform excellent voiceover for projects
that have a positive impact on society. Her passion for making a difference through her work is infectious. Always generous, kind, flexible, and solution oriented, she is an asset to any production. The natural timber of her voice brings an inviting tone to the listener and credibility to the subject matter. Michele’s work does not end when she leaves the booth, as she commonly devotes her personal time to finding ways to ensure a project’s success via networking and creative problem solving to increase exposure and more opportunities for producers. Michele is a unique commodity; she continues to make media, the arts, and information accessible for people
with disabilities through her work.
Producer, Audio Engineer, Disability Rights Advocate
It was a huge pleasure working with Michele on Looking at the Stars. She not
only is an incredible voiceover artist with a soothing voice, but she is also very passionate and cares deeply about every project that she works on. Meeting
her was probably one of the best things that happened to our film. Our film
about the only ballet school for the Blind in the world offered many challenges, such as the need to capture and describe the energy and the beauty of dance, and Michele was able to shine and express this through her voice. Because of
her commitment, professionalism, and her talent, our audio description became
a more poetic and artistic journey for the various audiences we are hoping to inspire.
Looking at the Stars
Listening to Michele's audio description for our film, Perfectly Normal for Me was an
"ear opening" way of "seeing" our work anew. Having screened the film hundreds
of times in the editing process, we were newly moved by the power of Michele’s
lovely voice, pitched perfectly to what was happening onscreen. Combine this with
her evocative descriptions so beautifully woven into the film, as she seamlessly
blends and enhances the storytelling and – well, we saw everything in a new light.
The real gift is not the gift Michele gave to us of the audio description, but rather the gift she has been given - her beautiful voice and the spirit it expresses. We will listen again and again and never make another film without Michele’s audio description.
We are delighted that we can now reach a whole new audience.
Perfectly Normal for Me
Michele Spitz is one of the most dynamic, creative, and generous people I have ever met; she is truly a force of nature. Michele approached Guide Dogs for the Blind with an offer we couldn’t refuse, donated voicing of our materials. She began with lending her unique talents to voice our donor recognition display for our newly constructed Student Residence. She then produced the first-ever audio version of our Puppy Raising Training Manual, and continues to record our quarterly audio newsletters
for our blind clients since 2014. Her talent for the work is genuine, her voice is very
clear and precise while remaining warm and welcoming. It is truly rare to encounter
a person who is so dedicated to a goal that they offer their services without being solicited, Michele is one of these rare women, a real Woman of Her Word.
Vice President of Outreach and Alumni Services
Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB)
As a producer and distributor of independent theatrical content, I seek to bring the fullest experience possible to audiences and my filmmaker clients. In keeping with that commitment, I am so proud and honored to have been blessed to have an ongoing creative relationship with Michele Spitz of Woman of Her Word. In the
past three years, Michele and her magnificent heart and voice have made a
global impact by providing powerful imagery to those who benefit from the
artistry of audio description.
For the last three years, Michele Spitz has been a generous supporter of
Superfest International Disability Film Festival in San Francisco. We insist
on having all of our films audio described and captioned, but for many
filmmakers this would not have been possible had it not been for her
support and talent as a voice actor. Michele’s volunteer role as an award announcer, as well as her annual sponsorship to support our additional
access costs and filmmaker’s travel, have been instrumental to our festival’s success. She brings the highest standards to every project and gives audio description the respect it deserves.
Emily Smith Beitiks, PhD
Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability
ReelAbilities Disability Film Festival New York has had the pleasure of working
with Michele Spitz. She is a gifted audio describer who has described a number
of outstanding films that have been screened at our festival. Michele selectively sponsors and voices opening and/or closing night films annually. Michele’s work
is enabling a growing number of visually impaired and blind individuals to fully enjoy the experience of movie going.
ReelAbilities Film Festival
Working with Michele of Woman of Her Word was not only simple and easy, but
a genuine pleasure. I met Michele at a screening of my film Becoming Bulletproof, a film about disabled actors making a movie. Michele Spitz truly illuminated us to the world of audio description and the importance of making this film accessible to all communities. At the time, we had no idea what audio description was. I
can honestly say, if it wasn’t for her, we would never have had the film audio described. She guided us through the process of getting audio description
made for my film. I have recommended her to many of my filmmaking peers
and would be lucky to work with her again.
Michele Spitz is not just a highly talented and committed voiceover artist, but an extraordinarily generous and lovely human being to boot. She educated me about audio description and was utterly true to the spirit of my film in her work without any direction or input from me. She just gets it! I never thought I would enjoy listening
to my film being described through voiceover. Michele’s voice made me feel the
spirit of my own film in a whole new way. I look forward to collaborating with her
in the future.
Margarita With A Straw
Woman of Her Word made a huge contribution to our film Do You Dream in Color. Michele Spitz generously stepped in when we most needed support and enabled
our film to be fully accessible to blind and deaf audiences prior to our hitting the festival circuit. She was personally very invested in the highest quality of description for the film. Our audiences have been incredibly happy with the audio description experience provided by Woman of Her Word. Michele is also incredibly dedicated to the expansion of services and equality for individuals who are blind. She is a much needed voice; a very important advocate for accessibility in film and media.
Do You Dream In Color?
Michele Spitz’s audio description for my film The Case of the Three Sided Dream was invaluable. Not only did her work make my film accessible to a wider audience,
it also heightened my awareness of the millions of people with disabilities and the value in serving them. Michele is a high-energy and proactive person. Her work
both woke me up and opened doors for me to wake up others about the subject
of my film.
The Case of the Three Sided Dream
Michele Spitz led the production of the audio description for my feature-length documentary, Terminal Device. I found that her knowledge of the process, experience and generous professionalism were invaluable and perhaps most importantly, that the warm, neutral timbre of her voice fits extraordinarily well with the film. Michele was instrumental in creating an excellent audio description for a film that frankly
was very challenging to so describe. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her for audio description work of any sort, and I look forward to working with Michele again in the future.
Michele Spitz has recorded an amazing Descriptive Audio track for my new feature documentary, Hearing is Believing, about the astonishingly talented young musician and composer Rachel Flowers. Rachel being blind since birth, it is particularly important to have a quality descriptive track for this movie. Michele has provided
one that will make experiencing the movie a visceral experience for blind and vision-impaired audiences. Thanks, Michele, for all that you do.
Hearing is Believing
It was a great experience working with Michele on our documentary States of Grace. Although I’ve been making documentaries for over 30 years, I was completely unfamiliar with audio description and she guided us through the process with great professionalism and enthusiasm. The quality of her voiceover is second to none and I was surprised to experience my own film in an entirely new way that was quite beautiful and moving.
States of Grace