Translating and Interpreting
for the Entertainment Industry
Hilton Newark Gateway • Newark, New Jersey May 22-23, 2004

Sponsored by the American Translators Association and the New York Circle of Translators
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Abstracts and Bios

The Role of the Producer: The Nuts and Bolts of the Post-Production Business

This session will provide an overview of the producer’s role in a typical voice recording project by taking the audience step-by-step through the process of translating and recording a business video into a foreign language. Initially, the session will introduce basic concepts, such as the difference between various voice replacement techniques (narration, UN-style narration, and lip sync narration, straight audio recording versus lock-to-picture recording, time code, etc.) and when and for which type of material these various techniques are appropriate. The session will then concentrate on the project flow associated with a voice-over project, from the initial capture of information and requirements from the client necessary for budget and project planning, to talent selection, studio booking, and directing the actual recording itself. Each of these project activities will be discussed in detail. This session is designed to provide a thorough insight into the mechanics of various production techniques, their advantages and disadvantages, and the do’s and don’ts for making every recording a successful one. A question and answer period will conclude this session.

Erick Derkatsch has been working in the multilingual communications services industry in multiple capacities since 1984. A native speaker of German, he became ATA-certified for English>German translation in 1989 and German>English in 1990. In 1990, he established InterNation Communication, Inc. in New York City and, 14 years later, he is successfully providing a full spectrum of multilingual communication services in over 45 languages to Fortune 500 clients in the financial, telecommunications, manufacturing, technologies, life sciences, and legal industries. He specializes in voice replacement and subtitling for business, industry, advertising, and documentary films and maintains a state-of-the-art audio studio in his lower Manhattan offices, where he frequently works as a German voice actor and production supervisor. He holds a BA degree from Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

The Voice-Over Business: How to Get the Job and How to Keep It

This workshop is designed for both translators and interpreters wanting to enter the field of foreign language voice-overs as well as for voice-over talent wanting to polish their skills. The speaker will provide step-by-step instruction for voice-over preparation, how to get the job, and what to do when on the job. The voice–what’s out there for your type of voice (the corporate voice, the character voice, advertisements, training CDs, or language tapes), and how to handle the “accent” issue. The demo tape–how long should it be and what type of materials should be used. The audition–how to introduce yourself, how to mark your copy, and what to do if the script is really bad. The job–studio etiquette and terminology, how to practice with a videotape, and microphone technique. More advanced participants will learn how to adapt punctuation into a “natural reading” and the “arrow in target” approach for reading and acting the text. Participants will acquire a full understanding of what it takes to make a successful transition into the voice-over field.

Guylaine Laperrière entered the field of translation and voice-overs through acting. She supported herself between shows, summer stock, and tours by working for small voice-over companies as a director, a casting agent, a voice-over talent, and a translator–sometimes on the same project. For the past 10 years, she has translated and recorded numerous TV and radio ads, corporate videos, training CDs, phone systems, and language tapes (spoken and sung). She has also coached singers at the Festival de la Chanson Internationale de Granby and taught a musical theater workshop at the Rencontres Internationales de la Chanson Francophone in Quebec. She holds a BA in education from the Université de Montréal, a BFA in theatre from the Université du Québec where she acted as an assistant to the professor in voice and speech classes. She received a diploma in musical theater from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and a certificate in translation studies from New York University (NYU). She is a member of the American Translators Association, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Screen Actors Guild, and Actors’ Equity Association. She is also the program coordinator for the Certificate in Translations Studies at NYU as well as the current president of the New York Circle of Translators.

Invisible in the Spotlight: Interpreting for Film and Performing Artists

All creative artists are translators and interpreters. As translators, they create works that transform an idea, an esthetic, or a world view into a form that is accessible to others. As interpreters, they communicate their works to audiences using a medium–film, dance, music, or text–that both creator and spectator understand. Creative artists, including film and theater directors, actors, choreographers, dancers, and musicians, are often extremely articulate about their own work, but what if their spoken language is not the one the interviewer, the journalist, or the audience understands? Enter the interpreter–the surrogate voice of the artist, the conduit for communication–sharing the spotlight, but remaining invisible. This workshop will explore the very unique world of interpreting for film and performing artists, including the special skills and qualities that the successful interpreter must have. Topics that will be covered include: 1) Preliminaries: background preparation and research before the interpreting begins; 2) Interpreting in various settings: one-on-one and group interviews, panels, professional audiences, master classes, public screenings, and performances; 3) Interpreting for various media: working live, by telephone, or in a radio or television studio; and 4) Interpreting practicalities: everything a good interpreter should know before saying a word. Whether you are a beginner or experienced interpreter, this presentation will provide a good idea of what this special type of interpreting is all about.

Ellen Sowchek is an ATA-certified French>English translator and interpreter based in New York. As a freelance legal translator, she was introduced to the Entertainment Industry by working for the legal departments of several film companies. In addition to legal documents, she has translated scripts, dialogue treatments, press materials, and film credits for many films. As an interpreter, she has worked with a number of major French choreographers, dancers, film directors and actors, individually and in venues such as the Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art, the Walter Reade Theater, the Joyce Theater, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the French Institute/Alliance Française at Florence Gould Hall. She has also interpreted at a variety of film festivals, including the New York Film Festival, Rendez-vous with New French Cinema (Film Society of the Lincoln Center), New Directors/New Films (MoMA), the Jewish Film Festival, the Sephardic Film Festival, and Dance on Film.

Translating and Subtitling the News

During this workshop, the speaker will present the final product of a subtitled newscast and reveal the step-by-step evolution of the product. The speaker will discuss the technical problems encountered from beginning to end, as well as the specific problems related to subtitling as opposed to straight translation.

Jean-Luc Benayoun, a native French speaker, grew up in the South of France. After his licence de lettres (BA) in English and American literature and civilization (University of Nice, France), he spent a year as director of the French House at the University of Vermont in Burlington. He spent two years teaching French in Hong Kong and one year teaching English in New Caledonia. From 1987 to 1997, he worked for the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and for ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, translating and subtitling the news that was broadcast on the French cable channel Canal Plus. He holds an MA in liberal studies with a focus on translation from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and he has taught a class called “Translating the News” at New York University School of Continuing Education. Presently, he works as a translator at the United Nations where he translates speeches delivered in English and Spanish into French at the Security Council and the General Assembly.

The Advertising Campaign: Challenges in Planning (Hispanic/Middle Eastern)

Now that the world has become a much smaller and truly global community, how does the translator fit in during an advertising campaign? Does one just translate the ad and send it back to the agency? Or does one participate in the process and provide cultural consulting in order for the campaign to be a success? The answer to both questions is yes, but it depends on the relationship between the translator and the agency or key decision makers. This presentation will address the challenges of creating a cost-effective global campaign, with Hispanic and Middle Eastern markets as the focus. Topics will include campaign planning, the basics of television, radio, and print, and how and why agencies choose the various ways in which to reach the target audience.

M. Heintz Montez has worked in both domestic and international advertising and news and possesses business expertise in campaign management at various levels. He has personally translated or copywritten scripts for television and radio commercials, subtitling projects, and print work. He has also recorded various voice-overs and assisted in studio direction for television, radio, corporate videos, language tapes, and business-to-business projects. Previously with the Associated Press, his past clients include MasterCard, The World Cup, OfficeDepot, and Calvin Klein. His memberships include New York Circle of Translators and the Actors' Equity Association, among others.

How to Make a Demo for Voice-Over Work and What to do with It

This workshop is designed for translators and foreign language actors who are interested in starting or furthering their experience in the foreign language voice-over industry. The presentation will be given from an experienced director/producer’s point of view with a special emphasis on what the industry is looking for and how to reach them. Topics to be discussed include making a demo reel (where should you begin, what is the market, making an English demo reel), how to find a recording studio (where to look, what to look for, how much should it cost), and how to work and find work (is there work, what kind of work is out there, how to take direction).

Ed Zad, vice-president of Merrill Translations, is a director and producer of foreign language audio and video materials with over 14 years of experience in the translation industry. He has an extensive background handling large, multiple-language audio and video projects and casting, producing, and directing foreign language radio and television commercials. Prior to entering the language industry, he was an accomplished professional musician with national and international tours as well as Broadway and recording studio credits.

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