The right way to create subtitles: adapt and condense

We did some subtitling work the other day for our friends at Flashframe Digital, who are working for Tim Hortons. The iconic Canadian donut chain is running a contest called Duelling Donuts / Combat des beignes. The finalist videos – short profiles of Canadians who’ve created some awesome new donuts – were produced virtually overnight, and had to be posted…

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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…

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Dubbing into French: What kind of accent do I need?

Accents, especially in French, and especially in Canada, are political. Get it wrong, and your audience is annoyed at best, and angry at worst. Get it right, and you’ve created a seamless experience. Like English, French has dozens of regional accents, each with its own linguistic quirks and unique expressions. But for the purposes of working in Canada, let’s look…

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Demystifying the CMF Versioning Fund

Here’s another post for Canadian TV producers. You’ve finished your documentary or series. Now you’ve made a sale in Quebec, and the broadcaster needs you to deliver a French version. Does your project have funding from the Canada Media Fund? If so, you’re eligible for the CMF Versioning Fund. But what does this mean, effectively? As with all things funding-related,…

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French Versioning and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit

This post is written strictly for TV producers in Ontario, where we are based, and it’s about the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit. So if that’s not you, please feel free to move on. But if you’re in Ontario and want to know how to maximize your tax credits on French versioning, read on. You’re producing a factual series…

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Which Type of Dubbing Is Right for Me?

We’ve all seen plenty of examples of bad dubbing. Indeed, that was the concept behind Woody Allen’s first film, What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, in which he recorded new English dialogue for a bad Japanese gangster movie. But done right, dubbed audio-visual content remains the best and most cost-effective way to communicate across cultures. For everything from Hollywood movies to the…

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The Power of Babel Difference

Our home page makes a bold promise: to make translating and dubbing your audio-visual content “seamless, painless, and worry-free.” What does that mean, exactly? How does Power of Babel deliver better results? We get the right people for the job. There are lots of great translators out there. You may have one in house, or work with a translation agency…

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Power of Babel is Born

A couple of years ago, a longtime colleague asked me for help with a project. He was producing a series of five travel documentaries about Japan, and had to translate, record and deliver them in six languages. Could I help? He was in Japan, a country not known for a huge expat community; I was in Toronto, home to a…

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