How To Get The Best Voice-Actors For Dubbing


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.


Preparation Steps For Casting A Voice Actor

Voice actors from a critical part of film production. For the longest time they have been existing but behind the scenes and they are the ones who work on some Indy films and animations that we seem to love and interact with greatly.

Below are some steps you should take in preparation to cast a voice actor:

1. Be sure of the specific emotion you are looking to evoke in your audience.

This is one thing that casting directors need to take super seriously. You notice that in all the points there will be a relation to the audience of the film you are looking to dub or the voice recording you want to produce. Just like how when looking for actors for a film you always look for the ones who will bring out the facial expressions with the emotions you plan for different scenes is the same way you do it when looking for voice actors. Since in voice acting, the voice determines the emotions; it is very important to get a character whose voice evokes the exact emotion you are going for. One thing you need to know is that working with only the voice usually becomes hard to evoke certain emotions, so definitely as a casting director you must be very keen not to end up misinterpreting a particular voice.

  • Voice acting is very tricky because if a character cannot evoke the exact emotion, the audience won’t feel anything and this only means that your film was a fail. Whether the emotion you are trying to evoke is that of joy, peace, anger, sadness or assurance you must get a voice actor who’s able to evoke all these different emotions through their voice.
  • If you are trying to evoke a depressed emotion and your character’s voice has no depth to depict that, then your scene will not make sense to the audience. As the casting director before you go casting for voice actors make sure you know exactly what you are looking for and this will help you in auditioning all the different voices.

2. Define the core attributes of your Character’s voice.

Planning is very important when casting for a voice actor. Normally you will find casting directors getting into an auditioning room with a lot of voice actors who have different voices and eventually end up not getting the voice actor they were looking for. I refuse to accept that out of a room with over 20 voice actors, you can miss what you are looking for. The reason this happens is that some casting directors never plan, they either don’t know how to depict a certain voice and how it would align with a specific character if changed a bit and also rarely know the attributes of the voice they are looking for.

  • The normal planning process is depicting what gender the voice you are after is. Is the voice you are in search of female or male, is it for an elderly person or a young person? The reality about voice acting is that a woman with a deeper voice can perfectly do a scene for a man and the audience will not even know because all they need in voice acting is the voice. Another attribute to look at is the pitch of the voice. Whether the character has a low or a deep pitch or whether they have a light-camp pitch. When you have determined what the pitch the voice you are looking for has, you are a step closer in determining the attributes of the voice you are looking for. The final attribute you must be sure of is the tonal variation of the voice. This is the manner in which a character speaks. They might be authoritative, enticing, nurturing or conversational. Be sure to get all these attributes in check before you call for a voice acting audition. With these attributes, getting the best voice actor will be so easy for any casting director. 

3. Be specific about the regional accent or dialect you are looking for.

This might not sound like something that casting directors should look at but it is very important to plan and be sure of the accents and dialects that you are looking for in your voice actors. You cannot be looking for a voice actor with an American accent and not mention it on your audition advertisement. When you don’t make it clear for voice actors, you are looking for a specific accent for a particular character you will end up having people with different accents showing up for the auditions and with this, you will end up wasting so much time auditioning all these people with French and Spanish accents when all you needed was the English language. If you specifically mention you are looking for someone with an American accent, you will only get voice actors with American accents auditioning and from there you can now pick the best one who has all the other attributes that you are looking for.

  • Also in voice acting an accent showcases immersion and context essential in film. A particular accent conjures social class and origin within seconds of the audience listening to it. If you end up with a pathetic accent, you cannot keep your audience tuning in for a long while unless they really love your work and they want to support you. If you are working on a World War 2 project using a classic High German dialect for your soldier is on par with casting Kevin Costner as Robin Hood. Be sure to not do that. Also, for an epic space project try to use transatlantic English or Euro neutral variants because using any deep country accents will end up killing the original feel of the film. The dialect and accent point also go in line with being sure of your target country. When you have a target country in mind when deciding on the dialect and accent will not be a hard thing.

4. Budgeting–you get what you pay for.

This should have been the first point, because when you are planning for any project, you must have a budget to cater to all the work that will take place. When casting for a voice actor it is important to have a specific budget so you can determine what kind of voice actor you are looking for that will fit your budget. Voice actors are very expensive, they usually get paid as much as actors if not slightly lower, but when looking to hire one or two or even five, you must have enough in your budget to pay them.

  • Professional voice actors usually have a specific price for their services and if you approach them directly to work with you, make sure you can pay them. An experienced voice actor can control the subtleties of their vocal characteristics. A slight shift in the intonation or pitch can give the character a different feel altogether. Professional voice actors know exactly how to work with their voices to bring the best out of a character, and that is why investing more on your budget to get the best voice actors is the best route to take. One thing I can tell you for sure is that having a low budget will have you working with an amateur voice actor and there is nothing as annoying as trying to work around an inexperienced actor who doesn’t know how to control their voice to get the best out of it. It is really frustrating and you Will end up wasting a lot of time on a project just because you wanted to go the cheaper route. Amateur voice actors often appear flat, unconvincing and lacking in personality. You wouldn’t want that for a project you are trying to present to your trusted audience.

How To Get The Best Foreign Cast For Your Project

Dubbing is one of the most exciting forms of film production introduced in recent years and as much as I say it is the most exciting, it really is one of the most hectic forms of localization in a film that needs a lot of concentration and accuracy for it to be a success. Synchronization of the lips really makes it tricky but once dealt with then the rest of the work is a breeze if I may say so myself.

When you see a dubbed TV show or a web series being showcased to audiences who speak a foreign language across the globe, then it is good to know and understand all the steps that took place for it to be such a success.

In this section, we will look at some steps that production managers have to take, to ensure that localization is perfect with no errors. The main step that we will look at is how to get the perfect foreign language cast to carry through a film production exactly as its original film is without losing context and meaning.

If you didn’t know, then I will inform you that the hardest part of localizing a film for dubbing is selecting the team of casts that will interpret the film and make it their own in a whole new language. Most times than not getting a perfect fit foreign cast team is not the problem, a production manager might even get the best team and further get one that has the exact voice in comparison with the original film actors but somewhere along the way it so happens that the cast cannot deliver as expected and thus making the production manager go back to the drawing board which means wastage of time.

We will look at the different things you need to note that will provide feedback to your voice-over & post-production studio and as a production manager, you can ensure that your talent notes help lead to a dubbed show that engages your local audience.

Tips To Selecting The Perfect Voice Talent For Dubbing

  1. Did you ever know that certain characters’ personas are usually portrayed differently in different cultures? Characteristics like Innocence, aggressiveness, charming, and sneakiness are all characteristics that carry different associations from one culture to another.
    • What this means is that the sound of a certain emotion in the English language might sound totally off for another language like Portuguese and might lose context of the original meaning when dubbed.
    • This is true both of the actual voice profile its pitch, timbre and any other physical attributes and the speaker’s tone and performance. In grammar, we were all taught how tonal variation in the pronunciation of words can bring a different meaning and this also applies in localization where different languages have a highly pitched tonal sound while others have a low pitched tonal sound. When you have to localize a film from a higher tonal pitch to a lower tonal pitch, it brings about a contrast in the information’s context you are trying to pass. It is good to note that local cultural expectations affect the voice, profile, tone, and performance in how a character communicates. As much as the English language dominant, it is practically very different from other foreign languages.
  2. If the voice fits the way the original actor looks and how they portray themselves, then you have nothing to worry about because the audience would not have heard the original language voice for them to compare with that one of the foreign language voice cast.
    • One thing production managers need to know is that the target audience rarely has access to the original film before in dubbing to a different language and what this does is that it doesn’t give the audience anything to compare with, most times if not all the time they usually conclude that the voice of the dubbed film is and was the original voice used in the film from the get-go.
    • So if you get a perfect fit voice from a voice cast, then you should use it without thinking twice. When a character has a certain tonal variation and can emulate a certain level of charisma as your original film actor, fits right within the cultural context of the film., and to make things even better they are professional in what they do then you have yourself a voice cast that will provide you with the level of dubbed material that you didn’t expect. Just because you don’t think they are the best for that role doesn’t mean that they are not best suited for that specific role.
  3. A lot of film production companies usually outsource dubbing services or usually get an in house studio and directors. If you are outsourcing studios and directors, then it means that the people you work with are professionals who know exactly what they are doing and all times they really know and have the expertise to handle what you task them with doing.
    • It is always good to trust the team you work within your localization works. A professional veteran director knows how to choose cast talents for a specific role according to the cultural locale. They know how to get cast members able to bring out the entertainment and original context of the film that is being dubbed.
    • Whether it’s a comedic take for animation or broad comedies or a more natural one for dramatic or live-action content, it is always good to trust that your studio and studio directors will offer exactly what you are looking for. Be hands-on and ask questions during the whole process of selecting talents and any other choice that has to deal directly with production.
  4. When all Is said and done, do not hesitate or hold back your feedback on how good and amazing a cast member is and how not so good they were.
    • The reality that is film production is that more times than not characters usually change their character and adapt to a certain scene depending on how it should be depicted, the same should be able to be showcased by a casting talent. Most time you get a cast member who syncs perfectly with a character from episode one to episode five then the main character changes their characteristics in episode six and suddenly the cast talent cannot depict that particular characteristic perfectly. This always becomes a problem because it usually means that another cast talent has to be asked to interpret that change of character, but one who doesn’t share the exact voice as the cast talent who has been interpreting the original character for several episodes. You might think the audience doesn’t notice, but it notices when different voices they are used to on a character.
    • It is very important to do the adaptation for a whole character before you get a specific cast talent to localize it, this will make everything a smooth sailing because all the episodes with that character will have one cast talent able to carry through all the voice transitions across the board. This is usually important for TV shows, and movie franchises, which run for a long period. It is good to note though that if you are outsourcing these services; it is good for the service provider to understand and fully know everything about your content. From the emotions depicted by a certain character in all episodes, to how their character bios changes in different episodes and also performance notes.
    • Before you start on your production process, it is always good to make sure you have everything covered and allow for a full talent selection timeline prior to everything.
    • It is also good to hold auditions in order for you to have an array of talent casts with specific characteristics that you are looking for, so you have a couple to choose from.
    • This means that you should be able to do everything in your power before any recording ensures that everything will run as smoothly as possible. It is difficult to get a perfectly localized and dubbed film but if one can ensure that all the steps mentioned above are followed to the letter then getting a perfectly synchronized film is easy. The success of your localized film only means that the target audience will receive it well and enjoy it as expected.

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