When it comes to voiceover production, retakes can be caused by a wide range of different issues and not all of them are totally avoidable. For example, sometimes your actors run into pronunciation issues and those actors will need a few different tries to get standard pronunciations for specific locales exactly right. Other times, retakes are necessary to embrace corrections in the script.
Regardless of the reason, retakes can add time (and money) to a project with a budget that is already quite tight. But the truth is, things don't necessarily have to be this way. With a little prep work, the right perspective and some discipline, you can avoid retakes as much as possible with your own efforts and help make sure that your project is done on time and on budget whenever possible.
Practice your pronunciation
At Andovar, we have found that the vast majority of all retake situations are caused for the same reason: pronunciation issues. Therefore, the best chance you have at avoiding these types of retakes involves making sure that your pronunciation guidelines are as complete as humanly possible BEFORE production begins.
Don't forget that pronunciations often differ from location to location. Your brand's name may sound different in one language compared to another. Build all of this information into your guide so that your actors have time to work on these unique qualities BEFORE you start to record.
Lock-in those English language scripts
When it comes to voiceovers, everything begins with your scripts written in English. If those scripts are in a constant state of flux, it'll create a ripple effect that also impacts EVERY ONE of your translations.
Therefore, you need to put in the time and effort to make sure that your English language scripts are truly locked BEFORE production begins. If there are no further changes to be made here, there won't be any sudden changes that require retakes of content dubbed into different languages either.
Know your audience
Of particular note are location-dependent elements that help viewers in different areas around the world feel like you've gone out of your way to create content just for them.
Remember that many outside factors will impact the shape that your translations take. One country might give you government legislation to contend with, while another may have specific cultural factors that you need to address in a precise way.
These, too, are a significant cause of retakes if you have to suddenly account for them after the fact. Therefore, you need to go through your scripts with a fine-toothed comb to make sure you've accounted for EVERY variability before recording begins. If you do this too late, you may still have to do a few retakes later on - but their numbers will be far smaller than they otherwise would have been had issues like this been left to chance.
Make time, not mistakes
If it feels like so much of this advice ultimately boils down to "make sure that your script is locked and ready to go before you start recording," that's because it largely does. You'd be surprised by how many people forget this simple, tried-but-true fact. Yes, the break-neck pace at which technology has continued to advance has made post-production capabilities far more cost-effective and efficient than ever. So from that perspective, retakes may not actually add much to your budget in the way they would have a decade ago.
But the one thing that costs the most - and the one thing that you never have enough of - is time. Avoiding retakes therefore becomes your best chance at saving as much of that precious resource as possible.
Interested in localizing?
If you'd like to find out more information about how to best avoid retakes when it comes to your video production efforts, or if you'd just like to talk about your translation and localization needs with someone in a bit more detail, please don't hesitate to contact Andovar today.