Court Reporting Meets The Film Industry: News from our San Francisco Court Reporting Company

With decades of experience in the court reporting industry, our San Francisco court reporting company is very excited to hear about an upcoming film, For the Record.This documentary about court reporting has had three packed screenings at the South by Southwest festival, and many other private screenings around the country.

Director and producer Marc Greenberg has decades of experience in the film and court reporting industry, and is marrying his two passions, drawing attention to our fascinating but often unrecognized profession. The premise of For the Record is simple: the film follows three competitors attempting to break the Guinness World Record for fastest court reporter. A qualified court reporter– like our court reporters in San Francisco— is required to write at a rate of 225 words per minute. However, these “steno-lebrities” (a nickname given to renowned court reporters) are aiming to transcribe 400 words in a single minute. Regular conversational speech averages 160 words per minute, so the reporters competing in this event must take their dictation from a sped-up voice recording.

In a recent South by Southwest interview, Greenberg and two of his documentary subjects, Richard and Michael Scire, described what makes court reporting such a fascinating profession. For instance, Greenberg notes that during a State of the Union address, the court reporter is the person sitting closest to the president, albeit very quietly. “It’s such an important profession,” Greenberg says. “And yet no one knows about it.” We at Capital Reporting Company may disagree with that statement, seeing as we serve over 10,000 clients around the world!

The Scires, twin brothers and court reporters in Florida, discuss the many interesting facets of the court reporting industry. Court reporters act as a sort of fly on the proverbial wall, and every professional is, at some point, witness to some court room or deposition drama. However, as the Scire twins explain, a good court reporter is discreet. “It is public record. But it is not our record to make public.” Court reporters spend much of their days around high-stakes, high emotion situations, and there are times when the job can be emotionally difficult. For the Record appears to focus on the human element behind the machines. This is understandable, as it may be decades or even longer before people are removed from the court reporting process.

As long as court reporters are needed, there will be records to break and more for us to learn. Our court reporters in San Francisco are always looking for new insights into our profession, and we certainly cannot wait to see what this documentary has to show us!