Making your voice heard: dubbing and voice over direction

Making your voice heard: dubbing and voice over direction
12 June 2019 Claudia
Claudia Benetello direzione del doppiaggio

I was 11 when I first stepped foot in a radio station. The family of a school friend owned a local station in my city, and she invited me to host a request show with her. It was all live and when the listeners phoned in, we were on the other end of the line, so we could only answer when not on air. The listeners told us what song they wanted to hear and the dedication. We would jot down the information on scraps of paper and then play and dedicate the song. Sometimes the listeners were even kind enough to dedicate the songs to us.
It was a short but sweet experience. I remember the tall stools we sat on, the mixer with all the coloured controls, and the Italian records – vinyl, no less. Of course, it was my friend who put them on.  I wouldn’t have known where to start, with that needle! At home we only had a cassette player.

I only returned to the radio studio a dozen or so years later. In 1999, after studying a course in journalism, I interned at a local radio and TV station in Pomezia, near Rome. My very own radio show – a little musical news programme – went on air every week. Unfortunately, it wasn’t live, but I really enjoyed writing and recording it. These days, radio is a very exciting setting for my work as an interpreter. In fact I am hired to translate for international music artists in the English-Italian and Italian-English language combination (you can watch a sample here).

But let’s take another walk down memory lane. In 2003, when I worked in the promotion department of Milan concert agency F&P Group, I found myself writing radio and TV promos that our tour partners would broadcast. Once the text was ready, I would go into the studio to direct the voice talent (for radio promos, this was very often the Italian actor Roberto Benfenati). And so, I took my first steps in the world of copywriting.

Today, as a copywriter, I write spots in Italian (copywriting in the classic sense, also known as origination) and I also adapt English or German ads into Italian (transcreation). By extension, I also help clients choose the most suitable voice talent for their ad and I look after the dubbing and voice over direction. In essence, I support the voice talents – usually in the studio but sometimes over the phone – and instruct them on how to interpret the texts I write or adapt. I’ve been lucky enough to work with very talented and sensitive actors who can interpret the same phrase in many different ways without losing sight of the brief.

Since I’m very experienced in directing dubbing for both TV and radio ads, clients also hire me to direct dubbing scripts adapted by others. This was how I got the opportunity to direct Leonardo Graziano, the dubbing artist who is the Italian voice of The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper. He stars in these two ads.

This playlist contains a selection of radio ads, TV ads and promotional videos where I directed the dubbing and voice over. In some of these, I adapted the script (transcreation), in others I wrote them from scratch (copywriting), and in others I directed the dubbing.

Do you need dubbing or voice over for your TV or radio ads? Get in touch and let’s see how I can help you.

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