Titles in films

July 16, 2013 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

This article is only available in the Spanish version

I apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused.

Some useful tips for voiceovers

July 12, 2013 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

If your work tool is the voice, for instance if you are a voiceover, you should keep in mind that thanks to it you will generate incomes at the end of the month. If you do not take care of this, not only you are harming and undermining its quality but you will also lose money. And we don´t want that happens.

Here are some points to consider:

1. Cigarettes and Alcohol:

These substances are harmful to the voice, but consuming them in moderation there won´t be any impact on the quality of it. However it is important to avoid very cold drinks or served with lots of ice cubes, also avoid smoky environments as they dry mucous membranes and may cause temporary loss of voice.

2. Colds and flu:

The great enemies of the voice! Here’s how to avoid them:

- Taking a cold shower (without excess) will help to prevent catching colds.

- Practicing aerobics sports will help to strengthen our body and our defenses.

- Follow a balanced diet, paying attention to fruits and vegetables. It is recommended to chew slowly to avoid gastrointestinal problems.

3. Air conditioning and heating:

It is essential to protect the voice from hot and very cold environments due to they can damage the vocal apparatus. Are recommended heaters which maintain proper humidity indices.

4. Sleep properly:

Rest is essential. You have to sleep at least eight hours so as the body functions properly.  Sleeping less than seven hours or excessively will produce bad voice modulation which is very notorious when waking up. To have a peaceful sleep is advisable to eat slightly and avoid as much stress as possible.

Dubbing in silent movies

July 10, 2013 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

I have written in previous posts some interesting news about the origin of dubbing in Spain.

Now I would like to go back a little further in time (until the late nineteenth century, early twentieth century) to highlight some peculiar aspects of the silent cinema, or maybe not so mute …

In fact the word “silent” does not define exactly what the public at the time witnessed with delight. And far from being literally “mute”, this type of cinema was almost a multidisciplinary show with elements of circus, music hall and of course theater.

The cinema was a popular show, screened in theaters with occasional dance numbers and other varieties that complemented the movies such as performances by dancers and comedians. People used to see the movies while having dinner (this has not changed nowadays), smoking or having some drinks with friends. The most showy of all this is that usually the films were accompanied by an orchestra, special effects and occasionally a synchronized phonograph recording (in part) with the images, to give the impression of seeing a real sound film. It was a big show watching films like The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance as its special effects were amazing (thunders, explosions, fire, neighing of horses …)

The explainers “dubbed” in live the characters on the screen, also read the labels (captions) to tell what was going on (remember that many people were illiterate) so as to give a dramatic charge to the development of the film (with Gothic print letter subtitles in horror films, etc).

Also noteworthy is the coloration of the films of this era as using from hand-colored photographic to toning up, was obtained the desired effect for each dramatic situation, e.g. pink for romantic scenes, reds for violent, blue for sea evocations, etc..

So in spite of the fact that how “silent” the cinema in those years was, there is no doubt that attending to these projections was a very voiced show.

Some notes about the origin of dubbing in Spain

July 9, 2013 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

Dubbing is a post-production process used in filmmaking and video production, in which dialogue occurs subsequent to the original recording stage.

The term refers to the substitution of the voices of the actors shown on the screen by another performers speaking a different language.

This definition is nearly applicable to what we understand as the prehistory of dubbing.

Its origins are linked to the figure of the rather unknown explainer.

We can find since the early twentieth century  some news about these people who were characterized by their great ease of speech and loquacity. Their main task was to entertain the public who came to the theaters (paradoxically movies were still silent) and to read the captions of the projections because the vast majority of people were illiterate.

There was already  someone who reading texts and talking, made understandable something which a priori was difficult to decode.

A few years later, in 1932, was set up the first Spanish´s dubbing studio (T.R.E.C.E. in Barcelona) which held that happens to be the first film dubbed in Spain: Rasputín.

But it wasn´t until 1947 when excellence was achieved in this area with the famous movie “Gone With the Wind”, which yielded an excellent result in terms of the credibility of the performances. So it is from this point that the dubbing starts its golden age.

Although it should be noted that not all films after this year had a sublime quality referred to Spanish dubbing, watch (or better not) “The guardian” by William Friedkin or “The Shining” by Stanley Kubrick, as examples of comic movies instead of terrifying, its original purpose, by the way.

Special reference deserve Spanish postwar years because from this time (about 1941) was virtually impossible to watch a film in its original version. Many viewers would think that Clark Gable was apolitical, would never use bad language and, of course … his native language would be Castilian.

One of the most popular examples in terms of censorship is found in the movie “Mogambo” in which the censor, in a display of quick wit with changes in the screenplay, transformed a infidelity relationship into a simple fraternal relationship; Clearly, with this clever twist of script an adultery became a clear and obvious incest.

Some typical notes on different scripts made by the censor:

Replace in dubbing the words: shit, ass, goddammit, queer, etc..

-Roll 4. º Replace “to come a little” for can move a little.

 

It was very common and an everyday task making use of euphemisms to ensure the hygiene of the Castilian vocabulary.

Nintendo’s Philosophy

July 8, 2013 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

It has been a long time since the gaming industry  was an old gold mine, as it used to be. With the crisis, many companies have had to make massive layoffs or even close their doors permanently, though. Sega, Sonic´s mother, the mythical and powerful Rare or even Sony have had to make major restructuring in its organization.

Much worse it has been to LucasArts or THQ, companies which have had to leave audiovisual creation, at least for now. But there it is Nintendo, which despite getting discrete financial results in recent months, if not bad, stays faithful to its philosophy of keeping on staff all of their workers.

This was explained by Satoru Iwata, CEO, at a recent meeting of shareholders:

 

“If we reduce the number of employees for better short-term financial results, however, employee morale will decrease, and I sincerely doubt employees who fear that they may be laid off will be able to develop software titles that could impress people around the world.

I also know that some employers publicize their restructuring plan to improve their financial performance by letting a number of their employees go, but at Nintendo, employees make valuable contributions in their respective fields, so I believe that laying off a group of employees will not help to strengthen Nintendo’s business in the long run”.

 

A brave if somewhat reckless decision. Only the time will tell if the big N has been wrong with this movement or, on the other hand, it is a smooth move. Let´s hope that its future will be as strong as Donkey Kong.

Reality is not a binary system

July 3, 2013 in [:en]Voiceover[:es]Locución

One of the most relevant features of science fiction is the introduction of developed technologies, which were impossible to set up in the time when certain films and novels of this genre were published. Nevertheless time has gone by, and we have been able to make reality these technologies, and what is more we are using them in our everyday life.

Fans of Star Trek were impressed with such a curious devices which were capable of simultaneous translation. Of course when the series was broadcast, a few decades ago, somebody  would stopped to consider whether such a marvel of technology would see the light of day. Unthinkable would say many.

But no. Once again reality overcomes the fiction when Microsoft  engineers presented to the world a few months ago an innovative system capable of demolishing any language barrier.

This invention is a simultaneous translation software among different languages​​, which on the one hand turns your voice into text, then translate it into another language and finally converts it to speech, but what is really surprising is that this particular voice sounds like the original speaker, creating a “copy” of your own voice in another language.

Until now it is just a prototype as it still needs to improve the effectiveness of the translations (I do not want to imagine a peace process between two countries using the half-finished invention). What is undeniable is the range of possibilities that it will be able to offer, although a priori interpreters and translation and localization companies may see this software like a threat, I sincerely believe that the opposite will just happen due to a machine is just only that, millions and millions of cold hard data which cannot enter into the field of the nuances and uses of language, which only a human being is able to interpret. So the more you use these systems, the greater the needing to require the services of a human being to ensure that the machine has not been wrong.

The technology complements and helps the human being, but it should never replace us.

 

Video (about 6:30)