Câlins canins: dubbing a factual series

This is a good day for Power of Babel. The first series we’ve dubbed for Canadian TV is going to air, premiering in French on Canal Vie in Quebec.

Câlins canins: Bella et Bubbles


We were given this assignment about a year and a half ago, when Summerhill Entertainment was putting together the budget for Dog’s Best Friend, a charming and fun series about friendships between dogs and other animals. Typically, the default in Canada is to send dubbing projects to Quebec, where there is a large and experienced dubbing industry. But for Summerhill, it made financial sense to keep the work in Ontario. So they came to us. The project was UN-style dubbing of 13 half-hours of television with non-union “International French” voices – by far our biggest job ever. Many months later, after the series was filmed and edited, it was finally ready for dubbing.

Our biggest challenge was finding enough International French voice talent in Toronto. There are plenty of good performers with standard Quebecois or Franco-Ontarian accents, but Quebec broadcasters expect the more neutral sounding “Radio-Canada,” or international, accent. We listened to demos from the non-union agencies, spread the word amongst our friends at Radio-Canada and TFO (Toronto’s French broadcasters), and advertised on Craigslist. We ended up with a terrific cast covering all ages, from teenagers to senior citizens, led by our narrator, veteran voice performer Jean-François (Jeff) Tremblay.

We recorded 13 episodes in three two-day sessions over the course of about five months, passing them on to Summerhill’s excellent video post house, Urban Post, for the French online. We watched the English version on OASIS HD, And ever since then we’ve been waiting for our work to go to air. So, finally, today’s the day.



Eric Geringas
Versioning producer. Documentary filmmaker. Factual TV director. Problem solver.