A full-service language versioning partner creates new business opportunities for producers

For producers, some language versioning projects are straightforward: you send your video to a dubbing company, which translates the script, and records and mixes the audio in the target language. You get back a voice track that drops nicely into your timeline, so all you have to do is output.

But sometimes the project is more complex, and you need more help.

A high-stakes project

That’s the position our friends at Q Media Solutions found themselves in a couple of weeks ago. They were working on a video for the mining company Kinross Gold, to mark the 20th anniversary of its operations in Russia. The video had to be delivered in Russian, to be screened for a select group of high-level legislators and regulators.

That meant extra scrutiny on the client side (in Kinross’s Moscow office), and a lot of last-minute changes to the creative.

So Power of Babel got involved on a deeper level.

  • Our Russian producer (full disclosure: that’s me) and our translator spent an hour and a half on the phone with the client’s rep in Moscow, hashing out the translation. We worked together to simplify the very bureaucratic Russian business terminology, making the script as tight and easy to hear as possible.
  • Once the Russian translation was approved, we provided a scratch track for the video editor to cut to.
  • We recorded Russian narration, and UN-style voiceover for interviews with Canadian Kinross executives.
  • And finally, I sat down with the animator in Q Media’s edit suite and helped him make sense of Cyrillic text, selecting the right font, creating a dozen or so slides for the company chronology, and proofreading them to make sure not a single letter was out of place.

Q Media Solutions’ first Russian-language video, created with help from Power of Babel.

A painless experience

For Q Media, having Power of Babel at their side meant they were able to produce content in a language that was completely unfamiliar to them.

“Working with a full-service language versioning company made the experience of producing a video in Russian painless,” says Q Media senior partner Richard Quinlan. “That was particularly key in working with the very unfamiliar Cyrillic alphabet, where even proofing translated text is difficult to the untrained eye.

“Power of Babel gives us confidence in our ability to produce work outside of our English and French comfort zone.”

To talk to us about how Power of Babel can help you expand your client services, please get in touch.

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