What Are The Prerequisites For Dubbing A Project?


The DubbingKing Software - A Comprehensive Audio-Visual Translation (AVT) Software For Windows

The Dubbing King software caters for various Audio-Visual Translation (AVT) modes. It is used for subtitling, translation and the dubbing processes.


What Does Dubbing Involve And How Do You Prepare For It?

Do you intend to dub your film but you do not know how to start and what is required of you? Maybe it is your first time and you do not know how to go about it. If this is the case, then you are in the right place. In this article, I will walk you through all the prerequisites that you need to start dubbing your project. However, let us first have a brief overview of what exactly dubbing is.

  • We all know that dubbing is essentially the replacement of the original language of a film or TV show with another language. It sounds fairly simple, but good dubbing should always look like the content was recorded in the language the viewer hears. For this to happen, the timing of sentence length and the number of syllables used is of paramount importance so that the dialogue matches the on-screen lip movements. Not an easy task when no two languages are the same!
  • When dubbing animations, the task is much more complicated and requires talented voice actors who have creative minds and very clear and flexible voices.
  • The requirements are many. Sometimes the same actor might be requested to dub more than one character in the same title. S/he may be asked to sing children’s songs in a childlike voice or to simply portray the wind by making all the sounds that the wind makes.
  • The vast majority of titles are produced with little to no consideration of nascent international versions. As a result, when the language is changed it is the responsibility of the dubbing company to create the revised script and perfect text, and then have the voice actors read it in a rhythm that coincides with the lip
The Art of Voice Recording

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What Materials And Paperwork Do you Need To Prepare Beforehand, Before You Start Dubbing?

If you are preparing your content for dubbing it is always a good idea to prepare the following materials:

What Audio-Visual Materials Do You Needed, To Provide Prior To The Dubbing Process?

  • video in the original language
  • music and effects (M&E) clean track, i.e. does not contain any sounds that need to be dubbed
  • video without M&E and original dialogues if you also need a video mix
  • technical guide – (kHz, bit, db, etc)

Consider the amount of signage and text you will include in your movie. If you decide to include those, then you will need to prepare textless titles as well. Each title card needs to be shot (recreated) blank and provided to the dubbing company with your source files.

What Happens If You Do Not Have All The Required Material To Start Dubbing?

  • What happens if you do not have all the above material? Then work hand in hand with your dubbing partner to create the source package step by step. They are usually your best adviser and partner in this process. Make sure to choose a reliable dubbing partner who will help you move forward with your project within your desired time-frames. When planning your production, always schedule and reserve enough time for professional quality and unrushed content localization.
  • Being culturally aware is a must in dubbing. A good dub is based on accurate translation, creative and efficient adaptation, a solid team comprising of a good director, sound engineer, mixer and actors. A good facility with newer equipment is a definite plus. Dubbing is an art. It is as close as it gets to produce the movie all over again. The voice actors’ performance should match the character, the image on the screen and the adapted script (read it as re-written) to make sense in the target language.

What Should You Expect During Each Phase Of The Dubbing Process, What Will Be Your Input on Each Stage?

There are, in fact, several phases that need to be undertaken for the foreign language versioning of the original title before it reaches the target regions in their native tongue.

  1. File Preparation Phase
    • Prior to reaching out to a dubbing company, you must first prepare the source package and the media materials in detail. This includes character profiles, voice casting recommendations, video files in the original language, and M&E clean tracks, for example.
  2. Translation Phase
    • Once you have supplied the materials as outlined above to your dubbing partner, the translation teams will begin by translating the original story-line, text, and messages into the foreign language. It is important to understand that this procedure is far from a simple word to word translation. It requires skilled and native translators who are not only familiar with the target language, region, values, and customs but who also possess a creative and artistic mind. In fact, a dubbing project is essentially the recreation of the original title into a brand new foreign version. At times, scenes will be cut, or sections of the script changed so that the dubbed version matches exactly the customs, values and religious beliefs in the target region.
  3. Adaptation Phase
    • When the translation is complete, it is time for the director and the team to commence adapting the translated materials for recording. This may include matching the labials to editing the translated script for optimum text length.
  4. Casting Phase
  5. Directing and Recording Phase
    • This is when the real fun begins! However, before recording can commence, the chosen voice actors will have to repeatedly view segments of the title while voicing their lines from the prepared script. This will allow them to find the right rhythm to coincide with the on-screen lip movements. The role of the director and sound engineer in spotting any issue is vital at this stage as it helps to avoid multiple editions and recording calls. Once happy, the voice actors will then recreate their character under the guidance of the director and will record their lines. Truly this is a very laborious and difficult process, as apart from acting, they must be extremely familiar with lip-syncing techniques. Depending on the country this can be rhythm band, sound sections, beeps, and so on.
  6. Mixing Phase
    • This is the final step of the dubbing process. Depending on the requirements of the client, the studio may need to do full video, M&E and audio mix, including graphics edition or M&E and audio mix. This is where the skills of the sound engineers working on the project are put to test.
    • As you can see, dubbing is an art that requires skill, talent, creativity, and passion. The voice actors who play a key role in bringing movies, dramas, and other audio-video titles, to a worldwide audience, are very rarely recognized for their talents. Without these talented people who ensure that we get the best of international entertainment delivered to us in our native language, TV and cinema wouldn’t be as enjoyable and popular as it is today.

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