Perfecting the Art of Voice Dubbing: The Director's Role

Many of us in the U.S. who watch foreign films enjoy the subtitle text on the screen as a way to understand the film, however, many films or other types of programming also include dubbing, which is where a different language is recorded and is either played over or instead of the original actor’s speech. That way, the viewer can understand the film without having to read the subtitle text. This method is preferred over subtitles in many countries and by many viewers. Our clients are often dubbing their programming that is originally in English to many other lagnuages to gain a broader, global audience.

I am often asked about who is involved to make the whole voice dubbing process happen and many questions arise in regard to what role the director plays. The voice-over dubbing team usually consists of a director, talent, engineer, producer, and oftentimes, the client.  Before the session, the native director usually goes through the material and marks places on the script that could be an issue and points them out before recording. The producer is briefed on the project and expectations and he "runs" the session with the director. The talent is the person who is performing the voice-over. The director is in charge of the script, makes sure that the brief is clear to the talent and engineer, and translates the interaction between producer and/or client and the talent, in case the talent doesn't speak or understand English. The director makes sure that the talent reads properly, with correct intonation, pronunciation, articulation of certain words and proper names, and maintains the style of the original language. The director will also suggest copy changes, correct the talent if they make a mistake, and make suggestions on how to re-read a section in case the producer or client wants a different read. The director is there to guarantee quality of the voice-over, as he or she is familiar with the original language. The group works together as a team to produce the high-quality dubbing whether that be for feature films, corporate training videos, promotional materials, educational series, etc...

Looking for voice dubbing services, captioning, or file delivery services?  Click here to send us a note as to how AberLingo, Aberdeen Broadcast Services' Languages department,  might be able to help you.