Direct Clients for Subtitle Translation
Thread poster: Eric Stone

Eric Stone
Taiwan
Local time: 23:34
Chinese to English
Sep 30, 2016

Does anyone else have experience searching for direct clients in this field?

From what I understand, my best bet is to target TV networks and film production companies, but there are still a few unknowns:

-Should I only target companies from my source language, or can I target those from my target language (English) as well (ie. TV networks and film companies from the USA)?
-Who should I be contacting specifically?
-Who is responsible for making decisions about what subtitles to get translated within TV networks and film companies? Should I be looking for agents within the companies, or someone on staff?

In summary, I really just need some help figuring out who I should be making the calls/sending the e-mails to in order to try to get some direct clients. Perhaps just someone who really understands the TV and Film industries, post production, that sort of thing.

Just having trouble figuring out who to ask or where to look. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


 

Sylvano
Local time: 17:34
English to French
Does not (often) work that way Oct 3, 2016

Hi,
I'd say working directly for final clients is quite unusual, mainly for one reason: final clients prefer to pay more and get a package (translation + the purely technical parts linked to audiovisual translation) from an audiovisual company or, anyway, leave that part of post-production to somebody else (in a translation agency, for instance), who knows this part better (and can be accountable for it). Audiovisual translators usually can't provide the final product themselves, ready to be broadcast. But there must be exceptions (José ?).
My two cents.

[Edited at 2016-10-04 07:22 GMT]


 

Eric Stone
Taiwan
Local time: 23:34
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Things may be different for my source language Oct 4, 2016

Sylvano wrote:

Hi,
I'd say working directly for final clients is quite unusual, mainly for one reason: final clients prefer to pay more and get a package (translation + the purely technical parts linked to audiovisual translation) from an audiovisual company or, anyway, leave that part of post-production to somebody else (in a translation agency, for instance), who knows this part better (and can be accountable for it). Audiovisual translators usually can't provide the final product themselves, ready to be broadcast. But there must be exceptions (José ?).
My two cents.


Thanks for the reply,

The thing about my source language is that a unique part of the TV and film industry here is that everything is subtitled by default. It's not like in my home country where you have to turn on subtitles or closed captions, or have the option, but rather on every TV program of every TV channel, there are Chinese subtitles (and the same for movies). For this reason, I would assume that any network or film company that wanted their subtitles translated to English wouldn't need to bother going through a company to get them subtitled first, but rather would already have subtitle files on hand, and would just need them translated. Keep in mind I also take care of timing, character limits, etc, and can offer them a completed .srt file that they can use - I'm not just giving them a word document or something like that.

I would assume this would mean I would be able to get direct clients with film companies and TV networks, provided I knew who, specifically, to contact within those companies.

[Edited at 2016-10-04 03:41 GMT]


 

Sylvano
Local time: 17:34
English to French
You have to investigate each potential client Oct 4, 2016

Shihaoheng wrote:

I would assume this would mean I would be able to get direct clients with film companies and TV networks, provided I knew who, specifically, to contact within those companies.

[Edited at 2016-10-04 03:41 GMT]


If they do have somebody who manages that part or a dedicated department for translation, it should be easy to find the info on their website or by giving them a call... When I mentionned the technical side of the job, I wasn't refering to cueing and delivering a timecoded translation, but being able to provide the final product that will be aired (with localized graphics, possible edits, specific settings for the broadcast, etc.). In my experience, the translation part (cueing + translating) usually is one line within a much wider overall quote with other (technical and post-prod) services.


 

Eric Stone
Taiwan
Local time: 23:34
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
I see Oct 4, 2016

Sylvano wrote:

If they do have somebody who manages that part or a dedicated department for translation, it should be easy to find the info on their website or by giving them a call...


I will keep that in mind, and keep my eyes out for dedicated translation departments within film companies and TV networks

Sylvano wrote:

When I mentionned the technical side of the job, I wasn't refering to cueing and delivering a timecoded translation, but being able to provide the final product that will be aired (with localized graphics, possible edits, specific settings for the broadcast, etc.). In my experience, the translation part (cueing + translating) usually is one line within a much wider overall quote with other (technical and post-prod) services.


I see - so perhaps instead of looking for a movie companies, I should be looking for post-production companies? What about for TV networks?

Thanks!


 

jbjb  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 18:34
Estonian to English
+ ...
depends Oct 5, 2016

Depends on what you intend to do exactly.
If you mean Chinese-English translations, then yeah, production companies and distributors are the right way to go. if they want to distribute their Chinese product somewhere else, they would create English subtitles (or just screenplay translations) and this is very often done in-house.
If you mean English-Chinese translations of subtitles in TV channels - these are most probably handled by specialised subtitling companies. In-house subtitling departments are preserved in that sector usually in public broadcasters and very old commercial channels who have not divested those departments yet. New channels setting up business usually buy the subtitling service out of the house, as creating a subtitling department is too expensive. If you mean like Hollywood studios - all of them order their subtitles out of house.


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:34
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Which languages pair are you working with? Oct 5, 2016

Shihaoheng wrote:
-Should I only target companies from my source language, or can I target those from my target language (English) as well (ie. TV networks and film companies from the USA)?


Would you mind you clarifying this:

What did you mean by "target companies from my source language" and target those from my target language (English)?

I think the question would be is easier to answer if you would state more clearly about whether you want to translate subtitles from English to Chinese or from Chinese to English.


 

Eric Stone
Taiwan
Local time: 23:34
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
I meant that Oct 12, 2016



[Edited at 2016-10-12 09:48 GMT]


 

Eric Stone
Taiwan
Local time: 23:34
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
I meant that Oct 12, 2016

jyuan_us wrote:
Would you mind you clarifying this:

What did you mean by "target companies from my source language" and target those from my target language (English)?

I think the question would be is easier to answer if you would state more clearly about whether you want to translate subtitles from English to Chinese or from Chinese to English.


Let me clarify, I mean for translating ZH-EN, from Chinese to English.

So it would seem I may want to look for production companies and distributors? Any other recommendations, or should I just go about it focusing on these two types of companies?


 

Sadique Ryan
India
I want to ask that how can I get movie companies for subtitling work, what are the sources to get. May 13, 2017

Sylvano wrote:

Hi,
I'd say working directly for final clients is quite unusual, mainly for one reason: final clients prefer to pay more and get a package (translation + the purely technical parts linked to audiovisual translation) from an audiovisual company or, anyway, leave that part of post-production to somebody else (in a translation agency, for instance), who knows this part better (and can be accountable for it). Audiovisual translators usually can't provide the final product themselves, ready to be broadcast. But there must be exceptions (José ?).
My two cents.

[Edited at 2016-10-04 07:22 GMT]


 

Anna Norman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 17:34
Member (2017)
English to Swedish
Upwork May 17, 2017

Eric S. wrote:
Let me clarify, I mean for translating ZH-EN, from Chinese to English.


You could search on Upwork.com.
What is ZH? Is it Mandarin or Kantonese Chinese?


 


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