Media Localization in the spotlight at the Oscars

As the 2020 Oscars start to disappear in the rear view mirror, I find myself still amazed by what happened and what it meant for the media localization industry in general and SDI Media, in particular. To say that what happened last Sunday night was big is an understatement.

The obvious example was the film Parasite winning Best Picture. That was the first time a foreign film has ever won best picture. It was a recognition by US voters that not all excellent movies have to be made in English. Much has been written about this in the press, but for the Media Localization industry it felt like an acknowledgment that what we do REALLY matters. Subtitling and Dubbing are key to bringing content to a global audience, even here in America. We can only think the future holds more amazing foreign films and TV shows that will find wider acceptance in the US, and that will increase the demand for our services.

What was special for SDI was watching the live performance of the song “Into the Unknown” from Frozen 2. It featured nine different actresses who played Elsa in the dubbed versions, singing the song in their native language. It was an incredible performance as all the voices sounded as if was sung by one multi-lingual person. This showed the world the magic that happens in our dubbing studios all over the world when we localize content for each country’s audience.  We were especially proud that four of the nine languages in the performance had been recorded in SDI’s studios. These included Danish, Polish, Castilian and Norwegian.

You can see the performance here:  For my SDI team it was very validating to see our work shown so nicely on a big stage.   It helps the 1500 employees of SDI explain to their friends and family about what they really do in their daily job.

Special kudos go to Rick Dempsey and the Disney Character Voices International (DCVI) team who pulled off this performance on Sunday and also who do this every day for all the global Disney content. We are very proud to have dubbed 17 languages for Disney for this film. In addition, once again our SDI Asia team completed a quick turnaround of the Oscar telecast for Cantonese and Mandarin speakers on behalf of TVB in Hong Kong and TTV in Taiwan. We accomplished a full subtitle ready for broadcast in eight hours. These types of projects are becoming the norm at SDI but are especially challenging for live broadcasts where we have no script available.

Of course, every project is important to us, but the Oscars this year were a bit more special. We are very proud of the role we play every day in helping content get shared globally. As the largest media localization company, we take this responsibility very seriously, and we are only successful because of our diligent teams combined with our comprehensive technology.

Mark Howorth – CEO