Localizing a Korean Series with a Cult Following for Sky Sci-Fi

Dec 21 2022 VITAC
Picture of a man and women standing against a foggy background with the title 'monstrous' across the bottom for Sky

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The cultural phenomenon that was ‘Squid Game’ has been heralded as one of the shows that opened up English audiences to foreign language content. Produced in Korean, the series was subtitled and dubbed for English viewers and quickly became Netflix’s number one show of all time. So when Sky acquired the rights to another Korean series with a cult following, they were keen to raise the bar when it comes to localizing foreign language content for English audiences.

Opening the Door to New Stories

‘Monstrous’ has already amassed a dedicated following amongst Korean fans – the thrilling fiction series depicts a sequence of strange events that occur in the small rural village of Jinyang County, after a mysterious ancient statue is excavated. The show follows the characters Han Do-kyung, Yong-joo, Ki-hoon, and Seok-hee as they navigate the chaos that ensues after the statue unleashes a dangerous curse on the village. The supernatural thriller was commissioned for Sky’s UK-based ‘Sky Sci-Fi’ channel, which specializes in fantasy, horror, and science-fiction shows and movies.

Sky reached out to Take 1, now VITAC, due to their unique ability to provide an English dubbing and subtitling service to support this new, growing demand for foreign content. To bring the show to UK audiences, VITAC produced both dubbing and subtitles for all 6 episodes of ‘Monstrous,’ each with a run time of around 45 minutes.

The delivery of this project also required VITAC to adhere to custom delivery requirements for the channel, so the files could be delivered straight into their MAM system for distribution. ‘Monstrous’ was broadcast on Sky’s Sci-Fi channel in Korean with English subtitles and was available with an English dub on streaming services like Sky’s ‘NOW.’

A Changing Landscape for Localization

Sky’s first foray into English localization for existing Korean content is a sign of a wider change in Western viewing habits. UK viewers have previously consumed largely English and American TV shows, and for this reason, adapting foreign language programming for English viewers is not a service that that every localization vendor is accustomed to providing. This growing desire for foreign-language shows repackaged for an English audience can only have positive implications for UK audiences as it’s set to introduce a wider variety of stories and content in the years to come.

Get in touch with VITAC to find out how we can support your next localization project.