In 2019 I went to Southeast Asia to oversee a video dubbing. The team there assured me they had prepared the script to fit the video’s timing, and it was ready for recording. But when we began to dub the video, we realized that, in many parts, segments were too long. In other parts, as we watched the video, we realized that we could often see the actor’s mouth moving but nothing was being said in the dubbed language. We spent many hours of several days adjusting the script to achieve a good dubbing. We needed a translation consultant to approve every change. Precious recording time was lost and the dubbing took days longer than planned.
When I returned to IMS-Waxhaw, many of my colleagues told me similar experiences they had had on the field. Something needed to be done to help prevent the “script fit blues.” All the instructions for preparing the script are in the Shell Video Manual (Step Five), which every field team receives when they apply to dub a video. But the manual can be a difficult read, especially for non-English speakers. And many people think that when it comes to script fitting, they already know everything they need to know. So I wrote the scripts, and we assembled a team to create two animated videos explaining the why and how of script fitting.
Creating an animation is not difficult, but it’s also not for the faint of heart. In creating the script, I envisioned an infomercial format—engaging, fast-paced, entertaining and, most of all, instructive. The first video was designed to introduce the topic and convince the viewer to watch and learn from the second video.
We chose Vyond as our animation platform. Animations, done via a cloud platform, are extremely usable and easy enough for most to accomplish without an animation team.
Script Fit 1 is a 5-minute introductory video for field teams, showing why teams need more planning in order to prepare their script for dubbing. We hope this video will convince field teams to watch and learn from the second video.
Script Fit 2 is a 15-minute, in-depth tutorial presenting clear, detailed, technical instruction for successful and satisfying script fitting, all of which results in better video dubbing.
Our thinking was that tutorial by animation would be an entertaining and educational way to convey the message, and hopefully inspire others out there that animation, in general, is a doable and engaging undertaking.
After you watch the videos, let us know what you think. Your feedback as personnel from many partner organizations will be most welcome.