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Film & Video Subtitling - Breaking Into the Field
Thread poster: offset

offset
United States
Local time: 17:36
Spanish to English
Jun 3, 2007

I'm a US state & federally qualified document translator who has done some consecutive interpreting and tape transcription. I'd like to break into film subtitling. The skill sets seem somewhat tranferable, and I love movies and follow the subtitling closely. I live in Southern California and used to live in New York, but have no idea how to approach studios, networks, etc. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:36
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I've moved your topic Jun 3, 2007

to "Subtitling"

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Sylvano
Local time: 02:36
English to French
Break or crash ? Jun 4, 2007

offset wrote:
I'd like to break into film subtitling. The skill sets seem somewhat tranferable, and I love movies and follow the subtitling closely. I live in Southern California and used to live in New York, but have no idea how to approach studios, networks, etc. Any ideas?


Not really a profitable field in translation nowadays. Rates are really low (you'll find out soon enough) and you'll have to work very fast to earn a living. Work conditions get equally as bad, I'm afraid (deadlines, etc.).
Good luck, though. Unfortunately, you won't work directly for networks or studios. But Hollywood is definitely the place to look for : big bad companies are all there. ;o )


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offset
United States
Local time: 17:36
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Crashing:-( Jun 4, 2007

Thanks, Sylvano. Seems like all the "fun" areas of translation -- literary, feature film -- pay $.04 per word even for classic texts. Whereas, the outfits I work for (corporate law firms and investment banks), pay $30 - 50 per hour for immortal works such as real estate mortgage loan portfolios! Sigh.

Gregory Rabassa was one of my professors. He was teaching at the age of 85, and warned us to expect little or --literally -- no money for literary translation. So I have no illusions, but haven't given up on the idea of trying to do meaningful work in the medium. . . .


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Matthew Holway  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:36
Italian to English
+ ...
Subtitling Jun 6, 2007

offset wrote:

I'm a US state & federally qualified document translator who has done some consecutive interpreting and tape transcription. I'd like to break into film subtitling. The skill sets seem somewhat tranferable, and I love movies and follow the subtitling closely. I live in Southern California and used to live in New York, but have no idea how to approach studios, networks, etc. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.


I've spent the last few days trying (largely in vain) to find out more about subtitling (I translate Fr,Sp,It - En) and am a bit tired of reports, tedious legal lang' etc. It would appear that the subtitling world doesn't appreciate new members! If anyone can give me ideas on the processes, software involved -please let me know.
I plan on offering my services to all the semi-professional/amateur directors/film makers. (Not hollywood)


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Sylvano
Local time: 02:36
English to French
Don't know if it helps... Jun 7, 2007

Matthew Holway wrote:
I've spent the last few days trying (largely in vain) to find out more about subtitling (I translate Fr,Sp,It - En) and am a bit tired of reports, tedious legal lang' etc. It would appear that the subtitling world doesn't appreciate new members! If anyone can give me ideas on the processes, software involved -please let me know.


Many many subtitlers (or would be subtitlers), very low rates, very specific techniques, etc. Subtitling's not as easy and fun as it seems. Since you know French, you may find useful information there : http://www.traducteurs-av.org/index.html

I plan on offering my services to all the semi-professional/amateur directors/film makers. (Not hollywood)


You won't find any (paying) clients this way, I'm afraid.


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Matthew Holway  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:36
Italian to English
+ ...
skint amateur directors Jun 8, 2007

Sylvano wrote:

Matthew Holway wrote:
I've spent the last few days trying (largely in vain) to find out more about subtitling (I translate Fr,Sp,It - En) and am a bit tired of reports, tedious legal lang' etc. It would appear that the subtitling world doesn't appreciate new members! If anyone can give me ideas on the processes, software involved -please let me know.


Many many subtitlers (or would be subtitlers), very low rates, very specific techniques, etc. Subtitling's not as easy and fun as it seems. Since you know French, you may find useful information there : http://www.traducteurs-av.org/index.html

I plan on offering my services to all the semi-professional/amateur directors/film makers. (Not hollywood)


You won't find any (paying) clients this way, I'm afraid.



why not?? If I made a film in my language I'd want to get it put in other languages. I'd consider it for 3 or 4 hundred euros.. If you can do the subtitles in two days for a film (following what the other are saying..) how much does that make the service?? 400 euros for translation plus subtitles! = 200 euros a day for me.. surely they'd consider it.. no?


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Matthew Holway  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:36
Italian to English
+ ...
addition Jun 8, 2007

Sylvano wrote:

Matthew Holway wrote:
I've spent the last few days trying (largely in vain) to find out more about subtitling (I translate Fr,Sp,It - En) and am a bit tired of reports, tedious legal lang' etc. It would appear that the subtitling world doesn't appreciate new members! If anyone can give me ideas on the processes, software involved -please let me know.


Many many subtitlers (or would be subtitlers), very low rates, very specific techniques, etc. Subtitling's not as easy and fun as it seems. Since you know French, you may find useful information there : http://www.traducteurs-av.org/index.html

I plan on offering my services to all the semi-professional/amateur directors/film makers. (Not hollywood)


You won't find any (paying) clients this way, I'm afraid.


sorry .. Thanks for the url!


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Matthew Holway  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:36
Italian to English
+ ...
here's some more subtitling contacts.. Jun 8, 2007

Matthew Holway wrote:

Sylvano wrote:

Matthew Holway wrote:
I've spent the last few days trying (largely in vain) to find out more about subtitling (I translate Fr,Sp,It - En) and am a bit tired of reports, tedious legal lang' etc. It would appear that the subtitling world doesn't appreciate new members! If anyone can give me ideas on the processes, software involved -please let me know.


Many many subtitlers (or would be subtitlers), very low rates, very specific techniques, etc. Subtitling's not as easy and fun as it seems. Since you know French, you may find useful information there : http://www.traducteurs-av.org/index.html

I plan on offering my services to all the semi-professional/amateur directors/film makers. (Not hollywood)


You won't find any (paying) clients this way, I'm afraid.


sorry .. Thanks for the url!



Subtitling Agencies &
Software Manufacturers
www.divxland.org/subtitler.htm Subtitling freeware
www.softitler.com Softitler, streaming media, DVD, film and satellite subtitling (International)
www.tm-systems.com Language Translation, Dubbing and Subtitling Software
www.softni.com SoftNI International, Dubbing and Subtitling Software
www.titra.com Titra International, Cinema Laser subtitling
www.sdi-media.com Subtitling and Dubbing International
www.crestnational.com Subtitling agency (Hollywood, US)
www.puzzlecorp.com Puzzlecorp subtitling (US)
cpcweb.com Computer Prompting & Captioning (US)
www.vitac.com Real-time & Recorded Captioning (US)
www.screen.subtitling.com Screen Subtitling software (UK)
www.softel.co.uk Subtitling software/agency (UK)
www.sysmedia.com Subtitling software/agency (UK)
www.intelfax.co.uk Teletext intralingual subtitling (UK)
www.titelbild.de Titelbild subtitling agency & consultancy (Germany)
www.subtitling.cx Ondertiteling subtitles databank (The Netherlands)
www.gammasubtitling.nl Gamma subtitling (The Netherlands)
www.subtitling.nl Subtitling International (The Netherlands)
www.iai.nl Industrial Automation Integrators - laser subtitling (The Netherlands)
www.cavena.se Cavena Subtitling Software (Sweden)
www.titlevision.dk Titlevision, subtitling agency (Denmark)
www.dice.be Translation & Subtitling Agency (Belgium)
www.thesubcomp.com Subtitling Company (Belgium)
www.media-movers.com Asian languages Subtitling specialists (India)
www.twtcorp.com Arabic languages Subtitling specialists (Lebanon)
www.geminivideo.tv Latin American subtitling, dubbing & other linguistic services (Brazil)
www.abctranslations.net Latin American languages subtitling specialists (Peru)
www.translatorteam.com Translation & Subtitling agency (Hungary)
www.cinematyp.com Cinema, video & TV Subtitling (Israel)
www.imajonline.com Cinema laser subtitling (Turkey)
www.rapidtext.com Voice-to-text real-time transcription and captioning services (US)
http://www.nhk.or.jp/strl/open2002/en/tenji/id03/03.html Speech recognition system for Simultaneous Subtitling (Japan)


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VerbatimIT
Canada
Local time: 20:36
English
Marketing Tool - Jun 8, 2007

Do your best work to make a captioning / subtitling sample to use as a marketing tool.

G'luck - all you need is one client to start, right?

Alan Kelly


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Sylvano
Local time: 02:36
English to French
In that case... Jun 9, 2007

Matthew Holway wrote:
why not?? If I made a film in my language I'd want to get it put in other languages. I'd consider it for 3 or 4 hundred euros.. If you can do the subtitles in two days for a film (following what the other are saying..) how much does that make the service?? 400 euros for translation plus subtitles! = 200 euros a day for me.. surely they'd consider it.. no?


Well, if you're ready to work at that (low) rate, it might do the trick. Still, I doubt any amateur or semi-pro director will even spend that money on a translation. It's sad, but the odds are he will try to get his piece translated for free (by a student, for instance).
My tip : stop thinking you'll get easy money, great fun and a steady amount of work with subtitling. You'll get disappointed.


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De Facto
Local time: 02:36
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
I don't agree Jul 17, 2007

I just wanted to say I make a very good living as a Dutch subtitler. Since I have seven years of experience my rates aren't that bad at all! But it's true, if you want to do a good job, subtitling isn't as easy as it seems. But I would give it a go if I were you. Seven years later I still enjoy my job and isn't that what it's all about?

Good Luck!

Sandra



Sylvano wrote:

Matthew Holway wrote:
why not?? If I made a film in my language I'd want to get it put in other languages. I'd consider it for 3 or 4 hundred euros.. If you can do the subtitles in two days for a film (following what the other are saying..) how much does that make the service?? 400 euros for translation plus subtitles! = 200 euros a day for me.. surely they'd consider it.. no?


Well, if you're ready to work at that (low) rate, it might do the trick. Still, I doubt any amateur or semi-pro director will even spend that money on a translation. It's sad, but the odds are he will try to get his piece translated for free (by a student, for instance).
My tip : stop thinking you'll get easy money, great fun and a steady amount of work with subtitling. You'll get disappointed.


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Heloísa Ferdinandt  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:36
Member (2004)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I (sadly) agree with Sandra and Sylvano Jul 26, 2007

Sandra B. wrote:

I just wanted to say I make a very good living as a Dutch subtitler. Since I have seven years of experience my rates aren't that bad at all! But it's true, if you want to do a good job, subtitling isn't as easy as it seems. But I would give it a go if I were you. Seven years later I still enjoy my job and isn't that what it's all about?

Good Luck!

Sandra

Sylvano wrote:

Matthew Holway wrote:
why not?? If I made a film in my language I'd want to get it put in other languages. I'd consider it for 3 or 4 hundred euros.. If you can do the subtitles in two days for a film (following what the other are saying..) how much does that make the service?? 400 euros for translation plus subtitles! = 200 euros a day for me.. surely they'd consider it.. no?


Well, if you're ready to work at that (low) rate, it might do the trick. Still, I doubt any amateur or semi-pro director will even spend that money on a translation. It's sad, but the odds are he will try to get his piece translated for free (by a student, for instance).
My tip : stop thinking you'll get easy money, great fun and a steady amount of work with subtitling. You'll get disappointed.


Sylvano, you are right. We have to tell the truth to those thinking of subtitling. It is not as glamorous as it sounds! And we struggle, at least in my target language, with a saturated market that does not always pay attention (nor money) to quality. It is a fast paced and stressful type of work, too. The deadlines are always for yesterday and the speakers always say more than you can fit in a box...
It is very difficult to enter the industry and even more difficult to keep up with a good workflow to make a living at it in the beginning. Like Sandra, after more than 4 years subtitling, I continue enjoying my work, but I have to remind myself why I like it every morning, otherwise I go back to the classroom, because, believe it or not, teachers are better paid.
Good luck.
Heloisa


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