While most television and movie productions have been on hold due to Covid-19, dubbing studios that were quick to turn around and establish a “work from home” solution have been thriving.
The Hidden Side of Show Business
If there’s one thing that shows business and the movie industry have become known for, it’s the fact that an increasing number of actors say that they can’t catch a break or struggle to get paid, sustainable work in the industry.
Add to that an international pandemic and the shut down of all studios and productions… What is an actor supposed to do to survive?
The lack of work is not something affecting only aspiring actors fresh out of the water; it’s also a phenomenon that’s been impacting character, background, and A-list actors whom thousands of viewers would recognize as “established professionals”.
Actors like Shaun Weiss (Mighty Ducks) are barely making ends meet, while some actors like Annie Murphy (Schitt’s Creek) and Chris Pratt (Parks & Recreation) have reported their stories of coming to Hollywood with a total of $3 and sleeping in their cars just to make ends meet.
Encore Voices, a professional dubbing company run by French actor Charles Fathy, who reports that he was once a fish out of water in the international acting world himself, aims to change the industry – creating an opportunity for any actors who are most in need of it, even while a large portion of the show business industry is still shut down.
Streaming Services Are Closing the Gap
Streaming services are popular to the tune of 158.3 international subscribers reported by Netflix alone, in October 2019.
This has meant international, multilingual reach for stories, movies, and shows that had once been limited to local and countrywide audiences before they made it to streaming services.
The advent of streaming has also brought opportunities for companies like Encore Voices. It was a fortunate opportunity for Charles Fathy, which he immediately seized with both hands, and reigned in at just the right moment.
A Golden Opportunity for Encore Voices
“I was quickly able to establish my company as a leader in the French dubbing industry, and was known as the only dubbing studio with over 200 native talents in my database,” says Charles, founder of Encore Voices, who has a long history of acting, performing, writing and dubbing himself.
As an actor, Charles has made appearances in shows and movies like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Teen Wolf, Transporter: The Series, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Bold and the Beautiful. He was even a voice actor in Rugrats: The Movie, and the voice coach for the English dub of the Oscar-nominated film I Lost My Body.
His onscreen success was soon followed by French-Canadian dubbing projects. “Then Italian projects came in, followed by German ones, Castilian Spanish ones…and, at last, American English!”
“I thought I was starting a French dubbing company,“ says Charles, “But here I am, ten years later, delivering projects in all major European languages as well as American English.”
Adapting in Times of Crisis
In March 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom called for a state-wide shutdown, and post-production studios were forced to send their employees home. For most of them, it meant putting all current projects on hold.
The immediate challenge when lockdown occurred was for dubbing studios to create a way for the entire team to work remotely. For most of them, it simply wasn’t possible.
With team members geographically spread and isolated, Encore Voices took on the challenge of creating a new remote workflow that ‘mimicked the studio environment,’ while still delivering the same level of unparalleled quality.
The company took a 3-step approach, starting with support for their voice talent, and implementing the correct home studio environments. The second step was to train sound engineers to work remotely. The final step was to train their creative directors, which was relatively easy, as their tasks remained similar to workflow in the studio environment.
The experiment was a success, and Encore Voices has been able to continue delivering premier quality dubbing to its high profile clients, reminding us of the importance of a business’ ability to adapt to changing markets and, in this case, even an ever-changing world.
“We are proud to say that this pandemic has turned us into a fully hybrid company, able to start, continue, or complete our projects from within the studio or remotely,” shares Charles.
More than this, Encore Voices has helped to seize a golden opportunity and share a slice of the pie with many talented voice actors, sound engineers, or creative directors who would have otherwise been out of work.
“We know the value of staying ahead of the curve, and we take great pride in sharing that value with our clients.”
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