Friday, 13 July 2012

Don’t get stuck for Voiceovers during the Olympics

During the busiest days of the Olympics, the number of journeys in London could more than double with up to three million more travellers on the busiest days of the Games.

This could make it very difficult for voice artists and broadcasters to attend London studios during this period.  Luckily for you Matinée are just outside the black spot area, and only 25 minutes from London:



With three Pro-Tools equipped studios and a database of thousands of voice artists in over 80 languages to choose from – Matinée are ideally placed to help you.

Please take a moment to listen to voice samples on our website: http://www.matinee.co.uk/languages.asp






Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Doctor's Caring Documentary Goes Global

Dr Ranen Sarma, a medical practitioner of more than 30 years, asked Matinée for help in translating his documentary film "From London with love, a doctor's message home" from English into Assamese and Hindi.

The documentary focuses on true stories that reveal the sufferings of millions of schizophrenics in India and also demonstrates effective 'shared care' treatments to help cope with the challenge of schizophrenia.

The 'shared care' policy put forward by Dr Sarma in Assam is on the lines of a policy by the same name implemented by the British government in England.  Dr Sarma is hopeful that the new approach to treat the mentally-ill by a general medical practitioner and a psychiatrist in India will heal millions of schizophrenics in a country where the Government simply can’t cope.

For Matinée, it was a pleasure to be a part of such a worthwhile project we took extra care in selecting the most suitable voice artists and translators.  Very precise lip-sync recording and audio editing was required to ensure the voiceover was matched perfectly to the 25 minute video, we’ve provided a short clip below.


In this short example you can hear the Hindi voiceover.  The finished DVD contains a language selection menu so you can hear it in English, Hindi or Assamese.

The documentary has since been garnering support across the globe, and has already been selected for screening at this year's New York Independent Film Festival.


 

Monday, 12 March 2012

Why you may need a bespoke Subtitling solution.

With budgets constrained by the economic climate, many businesses are turning to subtitles instead of voice over to make their video ready for an international audience. But marketing video still has to look the part, and standard closed caption subtitles may actually turn off discerning viewers - particularly if a brand's audience places an importance on aesthetics.


This was a hurdle faced by Sony Europe. Sony's Pro camera website is viewed by tens of thousands of visitors every month. Indeed, many of the visitors are professional camera operators with a keen eye for detail, so the infomercials featured on the site needed subtitles with flare in; French, Italian, German and Spanish.
In close consultation with Sony's marketing agency, Matinée produced a bespoke subtitling solution following strict brand guidelines. Please take a look...



I think you'll agree that the subtitles are clean, elegant and non-obtrusive.
Matinée delivered the subtitles burnt-in to various digital formats including MPEG-4 and QuickTime MOV.
Subtitling is a good way of reducing the costs of translating video, but with a subtitling provider like Matinée it needn't reduce the quality.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Why should video producers and animators give any thought to translation?

Q&A by Alistair Langfield, a Senior Producer at Matinée Sound & Vision Ltd for Imagine Magazine

Why should animators or video producers give any thought to translation?
For your animation to achieve any kind of impact overseas,it’s important to communicate with your audience in their language. Always ask your client where the animation will be shown, because if you can offer translation, and plan for it at the very start, you will be able to produce a better global product. And if you use the right supplier, you can also make a good margin on this work and save your customer a large chunk of budget further down the line.

How can animators offer translation services if they don’t speak another language?
If you don’t offer to translate the animation then your client will go to their favoured translation vendor and your labour of love probably won’t get the attention it deserves. Most translation
agencies don’t understand how to translate video, and will sub-contract the voice over,
subtitling and on-screen text work to a specialist studio like Matinée.

It makes more sense to plan for translation right from the start, And with the support of a studio like Matinée, it will be very straightforward. We have a dedicated project management team who completely understand the process involved in translating video projects and we can translate video in over 80 languages.

How can you best prepare video for translations?
English is one of the shortest spoken and written languages, so text expansion will be your number one concern when preparing for translation. For example, German can be as much as 40% longer than the same text in English. This will play havoc with your beautifully timed animation or edit, so it’s important to allow enough time on screen for these expanded languages whether as subtitles or voiceover.
We work for a lot of translation companies who simply don’t understand this process, and they often provide us with translations that have not been timed to the existing time constraints. But you can’t fit a quart into a pint pot! So we have to speed up the voiceover which is unnatural, or have the subtitles flying across the screen at an unreadable speed. All this can be avoided with a bit of pre-planning and by using a studio that understands the process from start to finish.

Key considerations:

VOICE OVER
  • DON’T NARRATE / PRESENT QUICKLY
  • ALLOW FOR EXPANSION – A DIFFERENT EDIT WOULD BE IDEAL IF THE VIDEO IS FAST PACED
  • PREPARE AND ENCODE VIDEO’S SPECIFICALLY FOR STUDIO RECORDING (LOW-RES QUICKTIME MOV)

ON-SCREEN TEXT AND CAPTIONS
  • USE EDITABLE TEXTUSE POPULAR VIDEO EDITING SOFTWARE
  • ALLOW FOR TEXT EXPANSION
  • DON’T USE BIG CAPTIONS IN THE LOWER HALF OF THE SCREEN

SUBTITLING

  • ALWAYS SUPPLY A TIME-CODED ENGLISH TRANSCRIPT FOR REFERENCE
  • DON’T NARRATE / PRESENT QUICKLY
  • DON’T PUT IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN THE LOWER HALF OF THE SCREEN

Monday, 23 January 2012

Happy Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year everyone and welcome to the the year of the Dragon!


Matinée will still be offering Chinese Translation, Voice Over and Subtitling services during this time, but they may take a little longer to turn-around than usual. 

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4710 begins on Jan. 23, 2012.

Chinese months follow the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

How are you enjoying the celebrations?  The Glasgow based Matinée sales office are enjoying the annual Takeaway China film festival: http://www.takeawaychina.com



Friday, 6 January 2012

11 things you need to know for a video translation quote.

The cost of translating video depends, not only on the method of translation chosen, but other factors, including:
1. The number of video files.
2. The length of the video.
3. The number of voices required.
4. The language used in the original video.
5. The language(s) required for translation.
6. The method of translation preferred.
7. If the transcript is available, and if it has been time-coded.
8. The format the video is being supplied in.
9. If the video source files are available.
10. If any on-screen text or captions are being translated.
11. The format the translated video is to be delivered back in.

What method of translating video is best?

There are four standard methods of localizing video and which method you choose is a matter of budget, taste, the objectives of your video and your audience’s preference.

Lip-syncing
What is it? The actor’s voices are replaced (dubbed) with foreign actors. Commonly used in video games, animations, film.
ConsiderationsLip Syncing requires extensive preparatory work to adapt the translated scripts, not only to fit within the original audio’s time constraints, but also to ensure the translated audio mimics the actors lip movements as closely as possible.
Producing lip-synced recordings is a very time consuming process and the final result can be questionable - you never get a perfect lip-sync. Modern cinema goers generally prefer to hear the original audio with subtitles/captions, but lip-syncing could be the best option if the audience aren’t likely to read.
Cost? Lip-syncing is generally the most expensive method, due to the studio time and acting it requires.
Voice Over

What is it? The original narrator (off-screen voice), is replaced with a translated voice over.
Commonly used in documentaries, and corporate video.

ConsiderationsWhen translating the voice over script it’s very important that the translators reference the video time constraints, so that the translated voice over isn’t longer than the original voice over.

Voice Over is often used in conjunction with subtitles, UN style voice over, and/or localising on-screen text and graphics.

Cost? It can be a cost-effective option, but will primarily depend on the voice talent selected.

UN Style Voice Over

What is it? The original voices can still be heard in the background and the translated voice over acts as an interpreter. Commonly used in documentaries, talking heads, and interviews.

ConsiderationsA UN Style voice over, is a perfect fit for films with a serious subject matter, which is why it’s often used in documentaries and in news broadcast. The translation summarises what is being said, without altering the meaning. As with voice over translation, it’s important that the scripts have been translated referencing the time constraints in the original audio.

Cost? The cost will depend on the number of voices required, but a UN style voice over is generally less expensive than lip-syncing.

Subtitling / Closed Captioning

What is it? A written rendering of the dialog, typically placed in the bottom-centre of the screen. Commonly used in broadcast, films, news and corporate video.

Considerations Subtitling is the most cost-effective way of translating video, and is often a preferred alternative to Lip-Syncing, or UN Style voice over i.e. it’s ideal use is where you have actors/presenters talking direct to the camera (Talking Heads). However subtitles require a commitment from the viewer, and aren’t always the best option if your audience is passive e.g.TV Commercials, promotional corporate video etc.

Cost? Subtitling is generally the most cost-effective way to translate video.

Matinée are expert in translating audio, video and multimedia projects. Contact us for a FREE QUOTE NOW.