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    #11
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    In the UK for TV documentary programmes , if someone's English is poor or has a very strong regional accent. they will use sub titles. However, if their story is weak and they aren't an interesting character, the audience will soon lose interest. That probably also applies if they speak good English, but the tolerance level will be higher if they don't need to invest in reading subtitles.

    Chances are that coaching them will make them stiff and awkward, which the audience will sense and make the story less appealing. Letting them speak in their own language could allow them to tell the story better, using subtitles. Another option is to get an actor to voice a translation.

    However, their story has to be worth telling and they must do more than just talk. The audience will be better prepared to watch if the person is doing activities that reveal something about themselves.


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    #12
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    I think subtitles would be fine. It could make it seem artsy.



    Also I think you should add a poll to your threads.

    poll.jpg


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    #13
    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
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    How about this from something I arranged a few years back - three different Irish accents. One from the South, and two different Northern accents. Quite gentle I think, but they cause some people problems. When the accents get more 'regional' it would take a brave person to tell somebody their speaking needed subtitles. In Belfast, were I normally work, I have known one man for 15 years. I have never understood anything he says to me - subtitles would be 100% required, but I'm not telling him!


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    #14
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    Oh okay thanks. It's just that the host is also one of the producers and I think he really wants to host it himself, rather than using someone else. I could subtitle it then, if that's better. I can see what I can do, but if maybe I should just have him speak his native language and then subtitle it then, if all else fails?

    Also another thing I wanted to ask, he wants me to use some of his b-roll for the documentary, but the b-roll is shot in 9:16, where as the all the footage I shot for it is 16:9. I didn't know that he wanted me to use additional b-roll that would be 9:16 until now. So would it be weird blending to the two aspect ratios like in one film like that?


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    #15
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    I'm not a fan of "hosts" on documentaries, I prefer reporters or investigators who are "discovering" for themselves as the documentary plays, not a fly in to do pieces to camera. Sometimes you find out more about them than the subject.

    Unless the documentary is targeted at an audience in a particular language, the host should speak English for a general audience in an English speaking country. If this is aimed at French speaking Canadians, French is fine. If they're not a good speaker in the language the question is, other than their ego, why are they doing it? They also have to be good on camera and, if they're not, you have persuade them that it's not a good idea.

    If the B camera footage is unique material, that's fine, you can get away with it. If it's at an interview it becomes a style decision, as when it was the fashion to shoot the B camera in black and white. However, it can be distracting unless done carefully and and it has to be done consistently.


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    #16
    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
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    Ryan this is one of your art vs work decisions. You seem unable to put work in context. I have had exactly this situation. A client who pays, as not a friend or budding Speilberg, wants you to shoot some material and then edit existing material into the new. You agree the price and shoot the stuff. You then discover the other material is totally mismatched. Quality, framing, technique and style - all different. You explain to the client the problem. They make a decision. Use it, normally. So you do. You find something to make the portrait video look maybe a little less ridiculous, and present the product. Take the money, close the book, move on. I just don't get why you are stressing. Clients are frequently on a different plane to us.

    I stressed on one project because the original material presented was 4:3 from VHS. Ever edit with HD 16:9 really grated. I hated it and wasn't sure if I wanted my name and contact details on the end as I normally do, but I did it. I had lots of interest in ....... The music! Nobody was bothered about the quality mismatch, and the stretched VHS to fill the frame was in my view horrible. It was about a digital, gold plated, satellite down converter, built for a Sultan in the UAE. I have no idea if he ever watched it, that really doesn't matter in these projects. Does it do the job the client wants?

    In yours he clearly wants to be the presenter. Let him do it and don't even bother with the subtitles. They take ages and are boring to do. If he later is told by somebody he considers important that it needs them, that's a new chargeable job, isn't it?


    This is not an art job. Turn that switch off and edit the damn video to the instructions. Content isn't your role.


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    #17
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    To follow on from what Paul says. All you can do is give your advice, sometimes you have to live with what you've got. I assume this project is being done in exchange for a favour, so all you can do is offer some advice (which may may not be taken up) or make the best of what you've got. In the end, it becomes a case of the client is always right, even if it turns out that they're totally wrong. Some jobs are like that and you just have to make the best of them.


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    #18
    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
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    Indeed - This morning with a heavy heart, I re-edited at my expense, one of the pieces I did for an opera singer. Multiple cameras, lots of audio work and cleverness (I thought) and last night, just after printing the invoice, she asks if there's a way of fixing the video so she always has her hair over the shoulder? Totally mystified until I realised one take I used is from the first batch of clips and she obviously re-did her hair between takes. I should have noticed this. Totally my fault, so I had to replace it because once I knew it was there, it really annoyed me. So I replaced every instance of that camera's take 1 and replaced it with one from the other takes, and then tweak the lip-sync every time as, as we spoke about in another topic, I'd stretched and shrunk the audio to match the voice movements. Took me all morning and it's fixed. Sometimes the clients spot things we don't, and vice-versa.


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    #19
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    This separation was hard for me to pull off and one of the reasons I got out of the business.


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    #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by combatentropy View Post
    This separation was hard for me to pull off and one of the reasons I got out of the business.
    what's hard is that disabling your emotional investment in the outcome and lowering your standards is a bad practice and can harm your thinking when it's time to go all in


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