Dubbing actors , more rarely "dubbing actors ", are mostly actors who use their voices as speakers to translate foreign-language films into the target language (→ dubbing ) or to add speech to films that naturally do not contain any voices, for example cartoons or computer games . Occasionally it is also necessary to re-synchronize individual scenes in the original language, for example if there is no possibility of optimally positioning the sound technology in a super long shot (see Automatic Dialogue Recording (ADR) or Additional Dialogue Recording). Even non-foreign language commercials are mostly synchronized. Many voice actors work freelance.
Arnold Marquis - he dubbed John Wayne , Robert Mitchum , Lino Ventura and Kirk Douglas , among others - said in an interview that there was no such thing as a “pure dubbing actor”. This actually misleading job title was once given to him by the tax office. According to Dominik Freiberger, it should actually be called "dubbing actor".
In individual cases it was considered necessary to have actors dub actors in their mother tongue. Udo Kier, for example, has been dubbed in numerous German and foreign film productions because of his strong Rhenish accent. Other actors - such as Christopher Lee or Herbert Lom - sometimes went to great lengths to bridge foreign language barriers and to synchronize their roles in foreign languages.
The first voice actress in film history was British actress Joan Barry , who dubbed the Czech actress Anny Ondra in Alfred Hitchcock's film Blackmail in 1929 , making her the first actress to be dubbed in a foreign language. The technique was still quite simple: Ondra moved her lips, Barry spoke the text outside the picture.
Foreign language films
By synchronizing in another language, people who do not understand the original language can naturally follow the events (or their interpretation by the synchronizing staff). The dubbed version is indispensable for those with poor readers who cannot speak the original language.
When working, the voice actors have to pay attention to lip-synchronicity (lip closure) as well as effective expression. The dialogue book, which serves as the basis of the dubbed version, is usually based on the original version, but can also differ from it. The voice actors then have the task of combining the subordinated statement with the filmic original. Rare examples of a (intentionally) strongly deviating synchronization from the original are the series Die 2 with Roger Moore and Tony Curtis or numerous films by the actor duo Bud Spencer and Terence Hill , which only become too big in the German version (" Schnodderdeutsch ") due to the joke Successes were achieved - for this reason, however, only in German-speaking countries . Rainer Brandt is responsible for the synchronization of the examples just mentioned .
The work of the voice actors is hardly comparable to the work on the set . The speakers must maintain the authenticity of the vocal expression without being able to use their bodies. Strong movements are hardly possible in front of the microphone, for example, because they can lead to sound problems and background noise. Acting ability is a basic requirement, which is why many German-speaking actors are also very busy voice actors.
In certain cases, for example documentaries, a dubbed version is too expensive or leads to inauthentic results. In the case of films with a smaller target audience, synchronization is often not financially worthwhile. In these cases, subtitles are used in the target language, which fades in a shortened text version at the bottom ( OmU - original version with subtitles). Sometimes both variants are mixed so that synchronized scenes alternate with subtitles.
Special features in some countries
In the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal and South Eastern Europe, series and films are not dubbed, with the exception of some children's programs. In these countries, original sound with subtitles is preferred.
In Poland and Russia, films are mostly translated by having one and the same speaker speak the translation for all roles, and this by no means synchronously, but in a monotonous, commentary manner, whereby the original sound is not completely faded out.
Synchronization of commercials
Commercials for cinema and television are also mostly synchronized, even if they are not in a foreign language. Often the actors have no speech training or the voice does not fit the person or the advertised product from the producer's point of view. Even professional actors and celebrities who can speak well sometimes synchronize themselves for commercials, because a voice recorded separately later often comes across as more direct and sonorous. In addition, you can concentrate exclusively on the image during the filming and fully concentrate on the voice during the synchronization and achieve acceptable results more quickly. Occasionally, the final text is not yet fixed at the time the film is recorded or text changes are only worked out in the dubbing studio.
Recognition value and prominence
When it comes to translations, the assignment of actors and dubbing actors is often fixed and has a high recognition value . The voice actors themselves are mostly unknown (and are rarely mentioned in the credits of series and films).
But even if hardly anyone knows her name, the recognition value of her voice goes so far that it is built into her free translation of the original script by dubbing writers. For example, the German dialogue book plays a scene from the animation series SpongeBob SquarePants with the distinctive dubbing voice of Mr Krabs ( Jürgen Kluckert ), who is known to German children's audiences as the voice of Benjamin the Blümchen from the radio plays of the same name. In addition, the German voice actors of well-known film characters are also regularly used for parodies of those characters, while the original sound is different actors.
- Daniel Ammann : "Voices from the off: The synchronization of films is much more than translation." Neue Zürcher Zeitung , April 26, 2014, p. 56.
- Thomas Bräutigam : Stars and their German voices. Lexicon of voice actors . 3. improved u. supplemented edition Schüren-Verlag, Marburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-89472-812-0
- Sabine Pahlke: Handbook Synchronization: From the translation to the finished film , Henschel Verlag 2009, ISBN 978-3894875978
- Uwe Herzog: The speaker manual - training and practice in film, TV, radio and advertising . E-book (format pdf), kirsten herzog publishing house, Cologne 2007, ISBN 978-3-938604-10-6 .
- Voice actor in Berufenet the Federal Employment Agency
- German dubbing files (partly with audio samples)
- Dubbing. The unknown voice behind the stars. In: Klangschreiber. April 2, 2012, accessed September 6, 2016 .
- Interview in the NDR with voice actors (audio file)
- Famous voice actors: Their voices are superstars, no one knows their face. In: Der Spiegel from November 26, 2013. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
- SpongeBob: Benjamin Blümchen. Uploaded to YouTube on October 23, 2016. Retrieved on April 14, 2019.
- 3 Synchros that make the original look BAD Uploaded to YouTube on May 15, 2017. Retrieved on April 14, 2019.