NOTES ON VIDEO, DIGITAL MOVIES, COMMERCIALS, T.V. TRANSLATION:
For all voice over projects, 1 compressed, lower quality MP3 of the master audio is requested to serve as guide track. The original audio will be heard in the right ear of the foreign language voice talent, and their own voice will play in their left ear. During the translation process, the talent literally speaks at the same time as the English, and times the reading according to the guidetrack heard in the right ear.
Digital movies are optional for narration or documentary style recording. However, they are quite important for lip sync projects. It is quite a good idea to provide a digital movie for the translation process, to avoid any confusion questions from the translators. But for translation of the script, a digital movie is actually optional, unless there is terminology or technology that is new and therefore unfamiliar. It is generally obvious from the original script when and where action occurs on-screen to which the foreign script must concur.
For lip sync, producers are requested to provide 1 compressed DIGITAL MOVIE of certain compression. For long productions, please burn in time code into the movie. IMPORTANT: Be sure that the time code is the same time code as the master. If @I.S. is providing screen text, and if there is screen text on the lower third of the screen that is hidden by the time codes, be sure to include 1 DIGITAL MOVIE without time codes, and clearly marked it as "NO TIMECODES" in the file name. If your project is for narration v.o. voice recording only, has only 1 or 2 characters and @I.S. is not creating graphic text for the project, then time codes are not needed.
BETA SP, DIGIBETA, DVD MASTER OR OTHER MASTERS:
If @IS is to perform some kind of audio mix, such as incorporating localized music, then 1 Master is necessary, with normal time code feature. @IS can handle most masters, from newer formats to older formats. Because Betas and other masters may be expensive, if your master is Beta, then you may wish to send 1 additional master for each language, if layback to Beta is desired. If only voice track(s) are ordered, 1 master is fine.
It is preferable to receive scripts as a computer file, or @IS can transcribe from a movie or MP3. Unless specially requested, our company will not translate director or camera notes, only talent spoken text. Please note that script translations are made specifically for a talent to read in studio, as opposed to a brochure which is made for print and distribution. If a flawless printout of the script is desired, an additional proofreading stage will be necessary, and for which there will be a surcharge.
Foreign languages are 15% to 20% longer than English. If you are currently in the process of planning a new project that will be voiced in other languages, you may wish to consider slowing the speaker down a bit, and having him/her take a breath between phrases and at commas. This is especially an issue with compliance or legal productions such as hazardous materials, where it is required by law that the information be exact. Often, company legal departments have studied and released such materials. Therefore, legal scripts cannot be adapted for timing to adhere to the law, which leaves the burden of timing for the translation in the hands of the talents who must sometimes speak like a freight train to force a too-long script into the existing time. The English performance will be just great, and very natural, with breaths at all punctuation, will not affect the master results, and will significantly ease the foreign versions.
GRAPHIC SCREEN TEXT:
Graphic text should be identified and visible near the corresponding portion of the talent script, and exactly as it appears on-screen. The client or @I.S. can underline, bold or retype the screen text. If @I.S. is responsible, there is a charge for this service. If you are planning to cut-and-paste screen text into your own software, it is important to see the "File Reading" section of this web area. @IS can also provide graphic screen text as XML for Flash and similar projects.
SCREEN TEXT AS PICT, JPG, GIF, BMP, TIF, TGA:
If screen text is needed as pre-fabricated art files (especially for Asian or Middle Eastern languages). Compatibility must be established the first time a client uses pre-fabs, but after that it's a breeze. @I.S. needs to know the screen size, operating system (Mac or PC), the text effects desired, and other basics. Generally, @IS provides Photoshop or Fireworks files, as applicable, exported in the client's preferred format, with transparent background, that contains only the text of the correct size for usability. Generally, @IS produces only text rather than artwork, although there is no reason why we cannot localize files full of artwork.