When the blockbuster film, Titanic, was created in 1997 with an enormous $200 million budget, American ticket sales were not expected to be the main source of profits. In fact, that projection was correct: two thirds of James Cameron’s Titanic box office receipts came from overseas markets.* This is reportedly because the movie was created with viewers in foreign cultures in mind from the start – integrating multi-national awareness into the movie’s production was a highly successful plan.
Multimedia products are powerfully engaging to people around the world. When your website, marketing, articles, and products, are brought to life by vivid film, talk, music, and interactive elements that reflect specific understanding of your audience, you will always increase engagement.
This fact may help you turn your thinking a few degrees toward a new horizon. What if foreign market sales can equal or surpass those in your home market? What if your product – when clearly understood by a new culture – is even more suited to a country halfway around the world than it is to the country where it was developed? Multimedia localization can awaken new markets like nothing else can, because it reveals the nature of your product in ways that static texts and visuals cannot.
Multimedia localization has a lot of steps and takes time, so it’s important to be selective about the materials you choose to localize. Not everything is worth localizing. Take time to look carefully at the appropriateness of content and the technical difficulty of the actual localization of every piece of media. Consider all of the steps required:
1. Media analysis to identify all elements that need to be localized
2. Translation of verbal content
3. Writing of scripts for new languages
4. Creation of subtitles or voiceover recordings
5. Syncing of audio and newly-adapted visuals together
6. Final localized media production, including programming
7. Quality assurance and testing for every target language
The main qualities that a multimedia localization team will possess to fulfill all of these tasks:
1. Native language expertise from start to finish–from translation to testing of localized products
2. Marketing translation and transcreation experience for your target cultures and languages
3. Technical proficiency in every type of media involved
4. Proven project management and oversight
This combination of expertise is necessary for masterful multimedia localization. And throughout the process, communication with you about your product, specific terminology, expectations, and concerns should be prioritized by your localization team. Skrivanek offers multimedia localization services that are fulfilled by localization teams whose top priority is exactly that: superb, multi-faceted customer service designed for your success in foreign markets.
J. V. McShulskis