Little J & Big Cuz
PALAWA KANI VOICE DUB
The producers of this Logie-award winning TV series asked VSM to handle the dubbing of two episodes into Palawa Kani – a reconstructed language based on those once spoken by Aboriginal Tasmanians.
The first thing we had to figure out was how we were going to record and edit dialogue in a language that we didn’t speak!
The solution was a dual-language script, with each line numbered, and written in both English and Palawa Kani. This gave us a roadmap which we would be able to follow throughout the dialogue editorial process.
The performers were all selected from the local indigenous community, many of them were kids, and none of them were professional actors.
In order to keep everyone as comfortable and relaxed as possible (and thus get the best performances), we recorded the whole group in the same room – no soundproof booths, no headphones, just a nice comfortable room with plenty of natural light.
Copious notes and project markers were kept throughout the recording session, which came in super handy when it came time to create the final voice track.
Back in the edit room we assembled the Palawa Kani takes into the episodes using the original English tracks as a timing-guide. We had to work with the existing edit and animation, so we had to select our voice takes based not just on the best performance, but also on timing and lip-sync. REAPER’s fantastic Elastique time-stretching algorithm proved invaluable here, allowing us to massage the Palawa Kani performances to fit the original dialogue timing while still sounding natural.
The final step was to combine the Palawa Kani dialogue back together with the supplied Music, SFX, Atmos and Foley stems to create a new mix, and supply it back to the production to create the final master.
Both episodes turned out great, were well received by both the producers, and the public, while also garnering a good deal of media attention.
This was a really interesting project to have been involved in, and presented a unique set of technical and creative challenges to be overcome, but it was an absolute privilege to have been involved.
We look forward to season 3!