Friday, November 20, 2009

Dubbing, Piracy & Counterfeits

Dubbing is a standard procedure in the exportation of media materials. It provides immediacy of material and reinforces the regional language. The key debate in dubbing is the strange obviousness of the final product with altered sound.

Dubbing basics:
•Dubbing for children’s animation is standard
•The most common US import that is dubbed is Japanimation
•Voiceover is commonly used for television news which allows some of the original audio to come through
•Russia, Spain and Italy dub the most. Germany and Austria are close behind
•France simultaneously releases both dubbed and subtitled
•In some countries, dubbed voices become famous
•One study on Spain suggested that dubbing films was an intentional effort at maintaining a national language. In other words, Spain which already had problems with dialects, did not want to support the spread of English
•Croatia and Serbia use subtitles because they do not have master audio recording studios
•Israel (Hebrew & Arabic) and Finland (Finnish & Swedish) are examples where double subtitles are common.
•Dubbing can also be used to censor content on broadcast television
•Dubs and subtitles create conflict if the meaning is altered
The Situationists 1973Can Dialectics Break Bricks?” was an intentional re-dub of a kung fu movie into a Marxist narrative

For more on dubbing, see this summary
Listen to the NPR account on the dubbing of American films in Europe

Media Piracy is the unauthorized copying of materials and selling them. Some argue that it has resulted from demand. There are various types or versions with different laws. Organized crime in China produces the largest number of pirated dvds. Some argue that communism simply opposes the personal claim for profit on intellectual property.

Finally counterfeits are simply imitations. Some imitations pass themselves off as the real thing but some imitations are legal because they are considered artistic interpretation. Indian Superman, the Soviet Winnie the Pooh and Turkish ET are just a few of the "remakes" in other countries. While they are not presented as the original they are presented to a culture with people who may grow familiar with the copy, not the original. They are also customized for the culture with many differences, watch them here.

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