Providing Transcription, Translation, and Subtitling Services for Worldmark Films

Feb 5 2019 VITAC
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Worldmark Films has produced just about every genre of programming over their 40-year history. They built their reputation producing theatrical sports films of the Olympics and World Cup, but their portfolio includes everything from corporate, social, and educational programming to documentaries and feature films. Because these productions often involve international travel and filming multilingual content, Worldmark rely on highly accurate translations to inform their scripting and post-production processes. But these translations require an intelligent approach that not every language service company can provide.

Intelligent Translations are Integral to Worldmark’s Process

“We work across multiple international events where we take on a wide variety of language interviews, and those interviews need to firstly be transcribed into the mother tongue and then translated into English so that we can use them for scripting purposes for films,” said John Norman, production director at Worldmark Films. “It takes an understanding of the messaging that’s coming through the interview or through the final script to be able to get the right translation. 

“These aren’t just straight translations of ‘A,B,C,D,’ you need smart translators, and you need smart transcribers to be able to understand the core messaging, either through the interview or through the final film. That’s why, if we’re looking to get a film finished and it needs subtitles, for example, we always send across a copy of the script and maybe a first cut so the translators can watch that and get a feel for the film – to get an understanding of the exact terms and terminology that needs to come through in that translation.”

Take 1, now VITAC, has decades of experience in the broadcast industry and combines a human workforce with underlying technology to provide highly accurate transcripts and translations as structured, searchable, data that can be applied throughout the production workflow. After hearing about VITAC from other companies in the industry ─ and based on recommendations from production colleagues ─ Worldmark started using VITAC’s transcription, translation, and subtitling services in 2018 and have been regular customers ever since.

Dealing with Changing Requirements

While interview translations are the main service that we provide Worldmark, VITAC also has translated the final script and produced subtitles for projects that need to be delivered in a variety of languages.

“The great thing about this industry is that every job is different,” said Norman. “Until that next phone call comes in or the next pitch goes out, we don’t know whether we’ll be filming in deep Africa or the Far East or wherever. We might be dealing with everyday European languages but then we may also be going across to Asia and even into areas in Africa where there are some quite unusual dialects which, I imagine, could be tricky to find translators for – but [VITAC] always manages to cover the requirement.”

The volume of work the Worldmark team requires also changes from production to production, with anywhere from a couple to a couple of hundred interviews being translated by VITAC in any one month. But, as Norman explains, urgent turnaround is the norm in this fast-moving industry.

“It’s very rare that you have the luxury of filming one day and then having a couple of weeks to get an interview transcribed, translated, and turned around. The days of sending a tape off somewhere for someone to view it are well gone – clients want feedback as fast as you can push a button.”

A simple, Secure Process

The Worldmark team submit their video content for transcription and translation along with a customized online booking form detailing their specific requirements. Once the work has been priced and approved, the proxy video files are transcoded and encrypted at VITAC before being assigned for transcription and translation. Time-coded, accurate transcriptions of the original language interviews and corresponding English translations are delivered to Worldmark using their bespoke format. “[VITAC] offers the highest quality of service at affordable rates, the cost comparison to other companies is great and matches the service they provide,” said Norman. “The staff are also helpful, polite, and reactive, and it’s always good to work with nice people.”