Reviews Interviews aSinc's point of view

Interviews Interviews

Paolo Ferrari
Chairman of Anica (Italian Association of Cinematographic Audiovisual and Multimedia Industries)

interview by Glauco Benigni

Question

For some years now we are assisting a fragmentation in television offers and the affirmation of different programmes to fiction, with a consequent decrease in dubbing investments, in particular on behalf of the satellite channels. This embitters the reduction tendency which has already been seen in the dubbing field and leads to a quality decline. Do you believe that a general lowering of the standard creates damage also to big screen dubbing – seeing as the agents are the same - or is there more care in the theatrical sector?

Answer

Cinematographic distributors are careful of the quality. In the theatrical field the dubbing aspect is extremely important and particular attention is given to it also with adequate investments.

Question

What is, approximately, the order in size of these investments?

Answer

I, apart from being Chairman of Anica, have the privilege of also being the Chairman of Warner Bros. Italia. From this double point of view I can observe that the Italian cinematographic distribution industries in these years have not reduced dubbing investments which, on the contrary, have always increased. Even after the signing of the national contract, the costs of theatrical sector dubbing remained above the minimum trade union amount.

Question

Is there a protocol agreement undersigned by Anica which foresees a listing of the industries and professionals who work in the dubbing sector?

Answer

The protocol was undersigned in the past by Unitec, the union of technical enterprises of ANICA to protect whoever offers such specialised services, therefore both the category of agents, and above all, the industries which are part of Anica are protected from unfair competition - with the understanding that our associates use establishments and dubbing companies which operate legally and correctly on the market.

Question

Do you believe it to be a useful measure? To safeguard, to improve? In order to avoid that anyone can get up in the morning and say: as from today I’m going to be a dubber? And to avoid that jobs are given to friends of friends who have created a group where any and everything is done?

Answer

These are degenerations which do not belong to the culture of the companies subscribed to ANICA.

Question

We know though that in reality the truth isn’t always as clear as that.

Answer

The interest and intention of this Association and of our associates are to keep to the rules and to give everyone the possibility of doing a job of quality.

Question

We can’t deny that the dubbing quality influences the success of a film at the box office. Do you agree?

Answer

My impression is that, in reality, the audience is not that attentive of the dubbing in so far as to be influenced by it. Spectators go to the cinema because they are attracted by the cast, the story and the promotion that surrounds that film. Maybe they could point out that they didn’t like the voice of this person or the other, but I would exclude that this conditions the success or not of the film.

Question

With “dubbing”, though, we mean the whole working chain, from the adaptation to the choice and direction of the voices.

Answer

We have always tried to use the best dialogists, the best directors and the best dubbers. We have always given the time necessary to do things with all the possible accuracy. This is our aim, this is what we want because the more a film is important, the more important it is that the dubbing is done in the best possible way and with the necessary time to obtain the best results.

Question

With regard to investments, it appears to those who deal with them, and amongst these an ex- chairman of the French Paramount, that before a very low percentage on general costs, a dubbed film obtains proceeds which, had it not been dubbed, would have been eight times less?

Answer

We could also think that if we had accustomed spectators to read subtitles and to appreciate the original interpretations, those costs, however low as far as a percentage is concerned, would not even exist.

Question

There’s a big “if” at the beginning of your affirmation…..

Answer

We cannot deny that there’s a growing interest for original language films with subtitles. When we have important films, some copies are distributed in the original version with subtitles and obtain a large success. In European countries where this is the general practise, there is no drop in the revenue. Having said this, it’s however well known that in Italy, dubbing levels are excellent, therefore, “chapeau” to our dubbers who are good and who merit to be honoured for their capability.

Question

Don’t you think that more care in dubbing would also favour DVD distribution and in general, home videos?

Answer

aSinc has already interviewed Davide Rossi, the Chairman of Univideo: I’ll leave this answer to him.

Question

Do you consider dubbing a luxury or a necessity?

Answer

At present, I consider it a necessity, but without considering it an unavoidable condition for a film.

Question

For some years now, the law recognises a fee in terms of copyright to those who deal with the first part of the job: the adaptors. This means the creation of a “cultural” role of the dubbing, which implies wide knowledge. Do you believe it opportune to invest, also on your part, in the formation and development of adaptors and dubbers, seeing that they are professional figures, indispensable in your industrial line of work?

Answer

I don’t think it’s a necessity at the moment because the market already offers very good adaptors and very good dubbers.

Question

So you are quite satisfied? You don’t think one could do better?

Answer

Formation is important and I don’t deny the possibility for the associations of dialogists to form new professionals. The industry could not but support such an initiative.

Question

Here though the importance of the “market” appears on the scene. Should there be a wider offer, you would pay less for it.

Answer

We will continue to search for the best, as always.

Question

There’s one thing which is particularly important to the aSinc group: that the Italian product has the opportunity of being distributed abroad. This means that one should think about dubbing Italian films in worldwide market languages: English or even Chinese, certainly Spanish. We wonder why this doesn’t take place.

Answer

The question is asked too simplistically. First of all, a study should be carried out on how the spectator of various markets would receive the offer. For example, in many English language countries, spectators precisely because they’re used to seeing films in the original language, are not well disposed to dubbing. I’ll tell you this: when I was at Columbia, Petersen’s film “Das Boot”, which had had a huge success all over the world, was presented in America in German with subtitles and there also it was extraordinarily successful. At that point, Columbia spent a fortune to dub the film, expecting who knows what results. Whereas the intake didn’t even cover the dubbing cost.

In China they give the go ahead to import only five films a year, and furthermore one should know which of the 25 Chinese dialects to use for dubbing. In India, there are a billion potential spectators, but about forty dialects there also. This is one of the problems. Also in South America one should first understand if the public wouldn’t prefer to hear films in Italian. The question is always the same: in some countries, dubbing is not necessary because the very public refuses it. In Italy we’re used to dubbed films, we’re actually happy to have dubbed films and I hope that dubbing levels continue to get higher and higher. But elsewhere the problem doesn’t exist.

Reviews Interviews a. point of view
Summary Staff Board of Advisors Write to us
Disclaimer ~·~ ©2005 aSinc.it ~·~ All rights reserved.