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Translation difficulties: who duplicates the stars and what remains behind the scenes


Two years ago, "Big Village" published the stories of graduates of the acting faculty of the State Institute of Cinematography - about finding yourself in a profession, difficulties in finding a job and the prospects of a theatrical revolution in Samara. One of the heroines, Eva Finkelstein, then sadly stated that her desire to become a voice actress was unrealizable: for you to be noticed, you need to get into the capital's theater and earn a name. Two years have passed since then - and the dream has come true. We publish a story in the spirit of Hollywood biopic about how to break into the closed world of sounding for strangers, how microphone work differs from playing on stage and how the Samara actress manages to compete with graduates of the country's leading theater universities.

About choosing a profession

It all started at the academy, in the fourth year - we are with a classmate as a pretext (study, opening the lesson, - approx.) decided to re-sound the cartoon "Kitten Woof". They turned it on and repeated the remarks after the actors. I liked the process and the opportunity to express myself like that: this is not a stage, not a drama, this is its own genre. We didn’t do the reason then, but the idea settled in me.

Upon graduation, I did not feel like a man who should go to work in the theater. There was a feeling that he would limit me: drama in theaters is the 20th century and earlier, and it is difficult for me to see myself as a sort of lady. In addition, since childhood I watched a lot of cartoons - I think this is a cool world. I was very fond of anime and the way in Japan they work on voice acting. There is a separate profession - seiyu, anime dubbing actors, and in a sense, they draw characters from them. First, they make sketches, storyboards, then they write a voice and finish the details already under the voice. In general, all together led me to the idea of ​​looking for work in the field of voice acting.

Immediately after graduating from the academy, I went to Moscow to find out how this world works. Moscow’s choice was logical - there is Mosfilm, where all dubbing is written, Pythagoras, Cypress, Gorky Film Studio, Marathon, Yaskier and a bunch of other studios. I didn’t know anything at all about the work process, unless I imagined that there was a sound engineer and now a director who gave commands. I must say that the voice acting is a rather closed topic. I think the reason is that initially it was handled by units in piracy and it was illegal. You can’t just come and get there - you need to be heard and advised as a voice for a certain role. Moreover, it is often unimportant where you are from, whether you have an education - only your voice and the way you work are important. For example, not all theater actors work well at the microphone, there are those who do this without education, and those who grow out of fan voice acting to the professional sphere. There are few such people, but they exist.

About finding a job

I settled in with my sister and began to google what dubbing studios are and if they have any courses. I sent a resume to the post office - directly official documents with a full name and a list of theatrical roles, but I received a complete ignore. I didn’t even have a voice demo then.

I was crazy - I understood that if you do not push yourself, nothing will work. I wrote out phone numbers in a special booklet and phoned studios. If they answered me, asked for a meeting, if they refused, she crossed out the address, and if they didn’t pick up the phone, she went to talk in person. It happened that the studio was located somewhere on the edge of the earth, I searched for a route on Google Maps, drove through the whole city, walked along some bridges, through construction sites, found a place - and they told me that she had already moved out. I also came to one studio in person, and there, as in any normal organization, security and access system. “Are they waiting for you?” - “No, but I really need to go there and talk, understand?” Naturally, they did not let me through. The funny thing is that now I come to the same studio to record.

As a result, I found Cypress and remembered a remark in the finale of children's cartoons, “Voiced by Cypress Studio some year there.” This meant that the studio existed during my childhood, and they are unlikely to be offered to participate in any dubious projects. I began to call with a question how to get to them and whether it can be done at all. They told me that they probably will have a set of courses, and if you pass it, then maybe they will take me to work. It was in June, they promised to call me.

About the first steps

I returned to Samara, waited for a call, called myself periodically, but they did not tell me anything definite. I even started working as a consultant in a clothing store, just to have money. At the same time, I was looking for other chances on the Internet: in addition to licensed voice acting, there are many publics where, on pure altruism or for a penny from donate, games and TV series are voiced.

At the GameDEV forum, where they offer sound services, I found one boy, wrote to him that I really want to start work in this area and ask for advice. He asked for a voice. At that time I didn’t even have a microphone, and I read some kind of fairy tales, fables on the camera and myself, in the program, I pulled out a sound.

In response to the demo, he sent a video from the Bioshock game, where it was necessary to voice the heroine close to the original, I did it. Work began, even some money came, I bought myself a wireless microphone and began to write on it. This same boy brought me to the public, where the games are voiced - Gamevoice, and there I felt for the first time what kind of work it was. There was one big game - Borderlands, where I screamed great: they poured acid on me, burned at the stake - all the sounds in the world. It gave me a very good base.

From this record and others, I cut myself a normal demo and started sending it to the studio. And when it was already reconciled that professional voice acting didn’t shine for me, they called from Cypress: courses begin in September, everything is in force. Within a couple of weeks, I moved to Moscow, settled in with my sister again, started going to courses and at the same time moonlight as a waitress.

About studying at Cypress

The training took place right at the studio - first lectures, then the practical part, ten lessons of three hours each. The courses were taught by Stanislav Strelkov, voice actor and film actor. He worked with us on acting, making sure that we spoke correctly in thought, so that the word was effective, not thoughtless. The rudiments of this knowledge were in our scriptwriting course, but here you can’t even compare. They say that the stage is a magnifying glass, just like a microphone: in front of it, all your defects increase a hundred times. We did tests, learned to read from a sheet. This is generally the most important skill: you need to immediately grasp the main idea, and when reading make no more than two or three errors on sheet A4 from one take. You are mistaken more often - you are not ready to work yet.

Everyone on our course was with an acting education: Stas specially recruited people with a base who did not need to explain what word impact and acting are. It didn’t matter which university was from - the Stanislavsky system is the same everywhere. But in general, I say to few people that I am from Samara - only when something is already taking shape, because people have prejudices. For example, there is an opinion that the Samara people have a special reprimand - I haven’t heard this myself, but theoretically it’s very bad for an actor: you should be like a blank sheet.

I took my studies very seriously: since I did not go to the theater, I had to try very hard to make this work my main one. After completing the course, not everyone began to work at Cypress: someone left for other studios, someone even dropped out. We, the remaining ones, first wrote for free as a practice, and only then we slowly began to take on small roles. Stas understood who wanted to work, and helped - he gave our numbers to directors, advised us. Many thanks to him for this. The main thing is that you should be heard and known more, then the process begins to go on its own. You appear on Kinopoisk - the directors in any case look at it to find out what baggage you have behind you: how much you work, write serious films or cartoons, what roles, what role.

There are various visible voiceovers. Dubbing is the most expensive in production, highly paid and long-written. You live a character, voice his breath, screams. There is off-screen, cheaper - this can be said, subtitles out loud, when in the background there is a foreign voice acting. Intermediate options: recast - off-screen with a hint of dubbing, with sounds and more accurate acting out, and Lipsink when “there was not enough money for dubbing” - the main thing is to start and end the sentence in synchronization with the character. The quality is not the same as in dubbing, but the foreign track is also cleaned. In dubbing and in lip-stick, you need to get into the character's articulation, but in voice-over it does not matter. There is a gur - when extras are written in plus, shouts passing by characters.

After recording a successful take, the director says “we had” or “it was” - that means it all worked out. Or, for example, there is a desire to "speak more broadly" - when you said the remark too quickly and it turned out to be short with dubbing or lipstick, and you need to stretch it a little.

There is another concept - “beating by characters”. In the voice acting it is very rare that you get one hero, except with dubbing. Usually there are several of them and you need to divide by voices: the grandmother will sound in one register, the child in the other, the teenage girl in the third.

About workflow

Work on the voice acting begins with a competition for the project: the customer sends the material to several studios, they make test recordings, and he selects the best of them. Next is the work of the director: he looks at the material, makes a tearing - the distribution of roles. A budget is allocated - more protagonists, less minor ones.

If we talk about the time of work, it is very dependent on the material: now, for example, we are writing a series in a voiceover, several episodes a day. And we are doing this at the same time with four of us - there is not enough money to give each actor his own shift. As a rule, two people are written per microphone in real time - live dialogs, all follow the text and must immediately enter one after another. We work from ten to four with one break for twenty minutes. The exception is if the studio is very hot and everything starts to float before your eyes - then you have to stop.

Usually, voices are searched for on samples and then the director explains the tasks. It happens that you are chosen for the role without trial, knowing how you work. If you do not like the material, you can refuse, but you will be a moron if you do this: work is work. I agree to all suggestions.

Before the change, the actors do not have to learn the text - simply because only at the beginning of the work the director will tell you what you write in general, and in a nutshell explain by phone what kind of character. Maximum - they will show it to you in the picture. That is, usually you come, they give you text - and you must immediately give it out, so reading from a sheet is the main skill.

Payment is very different everywhere. Some studios pay everyone the same regardless of the amount of work, somewhere the calculation comes from minutes, somewhere from the series, on dubbing most often from the number of replicas. It happens in the back of a series 1000, and sometimes 500 rubles. When you are a super-master, you can get about 3,000 for a series of offscreen, about 60,000 for a major role in dubbing. If a person is busy a lot and he writes several dubs, then he gets good. Somewhere they give out money right after recording, somewhere - after the series goes on air - in a month or two.

Pirate translation

You can convey to the Russian audience the sound side of foreign films using subtitles, voiceover or dubbing.

Voice-over from a modern viewer is associated with the first video recorders and amateur translators. At home, they translated and voiced films to the best of their abilities. That voiceover was jokingly associated with a clothespin on his nose. The audience simply heard the meaning of what was said by the actors and, of course, there was no talk of any duplication.

The most famous voice on the "pirate" video cassettes widely spread in the USSR was the voiceover of the translator Alexei Mikhalev. In its simultaneous translation, our viewer first heard Disney tales. He was the first to translate The Godfather, Apocalypse Today, Flying Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and Indiana Jones. His contemporary radio host and translator Leonid Volodarsky “read” the Star Wars viewer.

The golden era of simultaneous interpretation was restructuring when licensed video rentals. Thousands of films poured onto the shelves of the film distribution, and the same film was translated many times under different names. The one-voiced synchronous conquered the market due to the fact that he won against dubbing in price and speed. During the day, an experienced translator could “utter” several films.

Now the voice "with a clothespin on the nose" causes only nostalgia for that era. Nevertheless, today there are lovers of the same synchron. Fans of the genre explain: while watching about the existence of a translator, you forget, you catch only the essence and enjoy the conversations of the actors in the original. The master of the synchron today is Dmitry "Goblin" Puchkov: his studio "Full Pe" produces films only in a one-voice translation.

Before you put it on your lips

A film translator must masterfully master not only literary, but also dramatic and even spoken languages.

First, a professional translator works with the film. Translation usually takes three to five days (acting text, captions and subtitles). Following the process, the so-called stacker is connected, it is also a literary editor. English words are almost twice as short as Russian. And the author of the synchronous text replaces them with close ones. Moreover, the replica in the Russian version must necessarily coincide in length and articulation with the original text, and most importantly - repeat the closing of the lips of the actors. This step is called - "put on the lips." As a result: the viewer must believe that the hero speaks Russian.

Roles duplicated

Simultaneously with the "laying" of the text, actors are selected for dubbing. Their selection, as a rule, is handled by the distributor, distributor of the picture, or the director of the understudy.

Often, in cases of international blockbusters, actors themselves test the producers themselves, send episodes of some kind and ask them to be voiced.

As a rule, we need actors with characteristic voices who can play intonations and adapt to the role. The main thing in dubbing is the tonal similarity of the actor and the understudy, as well as the corresponding energy.

For a dubbing actor, a certain role is often assigned. The "stars" of domestic dubbing include the main voice-over bass - actor Rogvold Sukhoverko. His deep voice is spoken by Eric Lassard of the Police Academy, the magician Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the giant Hagrid from the Harry Potter movie series, and many other characters. No less recognizable voice is in Alexander Lenkov, whose role is gnomes, funny old men and intelligent animals. For viewers, his voice is associated with Stepan Kapusta from the satirical broadcast "Put Out the Light", and for gamers - with the dwarves in Warcraft 3.

Vladimir Zaitsev - Robert Downey Jr. Photo:

The most famous female "voice" of both Soviet films (Nina from "The Caucasian Captive", Gulchatay from "The White Sun of the Desert", Lisa from "12 Chairs"), and foreign films (voices of Zita and Gita from the Bollywood tape of the same name, female roles in “Terminator” “Twin Peaks” and “Tropicanka”, the voice of the slave Izuara in the same series) belong to the Soviet actress from “Girls” and the monkey from “38 parrots” Nadezhda Rumyantseva.

Western stars on Russian television screens, as a rule, speak the "constant" voice of the same translator. Olga Zubkova - the permanent Russian voice of Cate Blanchett, Angelina Jolie, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Pfeiffer and Charlize Theron.

Russian dubbing titan Vladimir Atonik is the constant deep “voice” of Liam Neeson, Hugo Weaving, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, Richard Gere, Alain Delon, Harrison Ford and other famous actors. He has already completed over 700 works.

On the account of Stanislav Kontsevich more than 300 projects, and each of them is a masterpiece. His voice in Russian dubbing is spoken by Tom Hanks, Nicholas Cage, Will Smith. The Earliest Harrison Ford, Jack Nicholson and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The usual voice of Jackie Chan actually belongs to Andrei Barkhudarov from the Hermitage Theater, aka Brain from the animated series Pinky and Brain.

The voice of Ashton Kutcher, the charismatic Captain Jack Sparrow and Leonardo from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is voiced by actor and director Alexander Bargman.

Actor Vladimir Eremin voiced 12 films with the legendary American actor Al Pacino, as well as the same number of films with the incredible Anthony Hopkins.

For the voice of the now Oscar-winning Leonardo DiCaprio, we are grateful to Sergey Burunov. He also voices Adam Sendler and Johnny Dapp.

Hollywood handsome Antonio Banderas, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves voiced by Vsevolod Kuznetsov. В его послужном списке более 470 фильмов.

Ольга Зубкова — Анджелина Джоли. Фото:

Александр Гаврилин — закадровый голос канала CTC Love, получивший свою должность благодаря Роберту Паттинсону и его знаменитому вампиру Эдварду Каллену. As a dubbing actor, he also worked on the roles of Ashton Kutcher, Tom Hiddleston and Paul Rudd.

The calling card of the Russian actress Marianne Schulz is the voices of the beauties Kate Winslet and Penelope Cruz.

Tatyana Shitova, thanks to her seductive voice, voices the sexiest girls from the world of cinema: Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Cameron Diaz and Megan Fox.

The voice of Aleksey Myasnikov is spoken by the characters of the charming Til Schweiger and the hero of the Fast and the Furious tragedy Paul Walker.

Already 15 films in a row brutal Jason Stetham voiced by the same cool Vladimir Zaitsev. His voice is spoken by the heroes of Robert Downey Jr., and even the character Joker Heath Ledger.

Well, the official voice of Shrek in Russia Alexei Kolgan was recognized by DreamWorks studio as the best actor who voiced the green troll.

But the favorite of our time is actor Benedict Cumberbatch, both in the popular TV series Sherlock and in the heroic Doctor Strange, and in the Hobbit trilogy of the fire-breathing dragon Smaug voiced by the talented Alexey Golovchansky.

By the way, the voice of the villain Moriarty loved by many in the English contemporary series can be heard in more than 470 known works. It belongs to Daniil Eldarov.

Sergey Burunov - Leonardo di Caprio. Photo:

Television series, unlike big movies, are not so profitable, therefore they often save on their dubbing: the same actor voices several roles. But the audience gets used to the well-chosen voice in the series, and its disappearance becomes unpleasant news. For example, voiced by cartoonish Homer Simpson and Bender from Futurama, as well as many heroes of Babylon 5, Boris Bystrov was replaced and translations without his participation lost their meaning.

Work with painted heroes

It's one thing to fall into the lips and facial expressions of living actors, but what if these lips are painted? So that in the cartoons the voices of the characters exactly coincide with the articulation of their on-screen incarnations, the soundtrack to them is recorded in advance. First, the actors pronounce their cues, and already under them are drawn the movements of the lips of the cartoons. This approach allows you to improvise with the text and even change it at the initial stage.

In the USSR, voice acting for cartoons was fond of movie and theater stars. Vasily Livanov, known to the world as a detective Holmes, went down in history and as the voice of hundreds of cartoon characters. Among them - Crocodile Gena, Carlson, Gromozeka in the fantastic story “Secrets of the Third Planet” and the Boa constrictor from “38 parrots”.

In modern Russia, cartoons are voiced by the same actors who are engaged in dubbing, as well as guest stars of pop and other creative professions. Konstantin Khabensky, Oscar Kuchera, Alexander Tsekalo and many other stars are already known to us from Madagascar. And Dima Bilan was invited to dub "Frozen" and "Trolls." In the latter, the original voice belongs to the American performer Justin Timberlake.

Secrets of dubbing

The clothes of the understudies shall not rustle and make other noises. Excluded decorations and all kinds of ringing objects, because all extraneous sounds are also written.

When duplicating, actors cannot move around the microphone, despite the fact that the hero of the film can run, jump, fall, throwing phrases while running. All replicas when running and falling are reproduced only in voice.

Dubbing artists often do not see the picture in advance. The regime of secrecy was introduced after a version of Wolverine was stolen at a Hollywood studio right from the editing desk of special effects specialists and subsequently went online. To combat video pirates for voice acting, they can send a version where extraneous noise is pasted into the sound track. Doublers sometimes have to voice the role under the constantly sounding buzzer, which resembles the sound of a drill.

In scoring some films you need to use ingenuity. So, in the Do-It-Yourself cartoon, when voicing diving penguins, the actors had to put a condom on a microphone and drop it into a container of water to show the audience the birds diving into the water.

The recording of actors in the studio takes from three days to a month. There are films where dozens of artists are involved, and each has to be duplicated. When minor characters are recorded, a group of actors comes in who voices the mass scenes. Actors reproduce speech noises that create the atmosphere of an institution.

Each of the dubbing artists can also note psychological complex roles. The understudies have a lot to pass through themselves, cry sobbing and laugh heartily.

About eroticism and sex

Doublers today increasingly have to create neologisms and winged expressions, coming up with analogues of the notorious "facts" and words of an intimate nature. For example, the word “popping” quite common today was coined to voice the American Pie.

As for the voice acting of the action itself, the actors have to moan and scream or, when the characters in the film kiss, kiss their own hand. It would seem that such scenes should lead the understudy to a state of awkwardness. But, as the dubbing actors themselves admit, even if there are naked bodies in the frame, then, as a rule, they look beautiful, so erotic scenes just need to be duplicated well and with taste.

The porn industry does not need voice acting, since actors do not speak in “moments of love”, but pronounce only certain sounds and fragments of phrases that do not need translation and make the sex picture more reliable. But even today there are studios where the actresses themselves “dictate” the text not the actresses themselves, but housewives specially hired for these purposes, which are usually completely unlike the original actresses of this genre.

Sound cartoons

First of all, you need to voice the cartoons. More than 90% of the entire animation is made up of children's or teenage films, which simply cannot do without their characters speaking. The voices of the characters become an important feature of the cartoon, and the characters themselves are closer and more understandable, they are recognized, imitated. It is clear that for voice acting of animation (and first of all for children), an extraordinary acting talent is required, but first of all, a recognizable voice, which the artist must be fluent in.

As a rule, film and theater institutes do not pay special attention to the development of voice for voice acting. At the same time, it is overlooked that the voiceover does not just read the text (whether on behalf of the author or the hero), as the actor does, reading the poem, but also plays the voice of his character, which is much more difficult than playing on the set. In other words, from the voice actor, especially in children's animation, both artistry and a characteristic voice are required.

It's no secret that vocal data can be developed - and most of those who voiced roles did just that, attending not only acting classes, but also singing classes. As a result, almost every dubbing actor boasts a set of several voices “to choose from”. In order to develop abilities in the future, it makes sense to learn to imitate well-recognized voices (even your loved ones), record and listen to your own voice, and for the employer you should prepare a portfolio with a set of different demo records up to one minute each.

However, the cartoons that interest us in the professional field are far from exhausted.

We sound a feature film

The most popular (and profitable) for the voice actor is still the dubbing sphere. Out of every ten films released in Russian distribution, only two are of domestic production, and eight came to us from abroad. And in general - with rare exceptions - they are very popular among the mass audience. Of course, they need to be translated and voiced.

The scheme of the voice acting of the feature film is the same as in the animation - the dubbing actor receives from the translator the so-called installation sheets on which the replicas are written, their duration and the time they are pronounced in the film. Thus, for one shift, several one and a half hour films can be voiced at once with a large - up to twenty - the number of takes, and the actors during the voice acting can actively gesticulate in order to better enter the role.

The dubbing actor is required to be extremely focused and not a small fraction of the imagination: after all, sometimes he has to work alone, without a partner, only imagining how he pronounces his remarks. However, in some modern studios for dubbing professionals there is another possibility: the voices of the actors can be recorded on separate tracks, which allows you to record and reduce replicas of the characters at different times, regardless of the presence of the artist.

One actor - two voices

Finally, there is one more, probably, the most specialized type of voice acting - dubbing the role instead of the actor performing it. The most vivid example, familiar, without a doubt, to all Russian viewers is “The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!” In which Valentina Talyzina voices the role of Barbara Brylskaya. This type of dubbing requires the highest degree of professionalism from voice actors: they need to look at existing material and literally "grow" into their hero, be able to convey his inner world, his feelings and emotions, get involved in it with maximum efficiency - not to mention the absolute synchronization with the character’s speech on the screen, for which you need to master the pace and timbre of the voice.

Yaroslav Turyleva, the director of the dubbing of films such as Schindler’s List and The Wolf of Wall Street, often approaches the choice of actors for dubbing from the point of view of physical data and checks whether the voices and appearances of the artists coincide with the screen characters.

It is necessary to mention the “pure” voiceover that reads the text, for example, in a documentary film - this is the simplest version of voiceover.

Salary and career of "understudies"

The salary of an actor who voices a movie, a game or reads a book is determined in each case by the terms of the contract. A dubbing actor for voice acting of a star in a full-length film can receive up to twenty thousand rubles, voice acting of a documentary rarely costs more than three thousand, work on a cartoon is estimated at five to six thousand rubles, and even a percentage of sales can be paid for a game or book. Finally, there is a shift payment system: for example, up to ten thousand rubles are paid for in eight hours (where you can manage to voice five and a half hour films) at some studios.

To break into the elite of this profession - as, indeed, of many others - is quite difficult: the specialty is narrow, the market is largely full. Voice actor is a good side job, but not the main profession. Mainly, this is work on a contract for each film, full-time dubbing actors are only available in large studios (for example, Mosfilm tone studio in the nineties or the NTV world cinema department in the early 2000s). The “ceiling” of a career for a dubbing actor is to be “tied” to a star in order to voice it in every film. There are practically no downtimes in the profession: the film stream, requiring sound, not only does not dry out, but also increases. The gradual increase in interest in dubbing is indirectly evidenced by the fact that more and more domestic stars and media persons are engaged in it.