Subtitling can work like a dream if faithful to creative intent –
Riccardo Mimmi has a dream job as an accomplished professional film and television translator based in Italy. Armed with a master’s degree in Audiovisual Translation, he has gained vast amounts of experience in translating and subtitling hundreds of movies, TV series, and documentaries from major Hollywood studios, broadcast networks and online streaming companies. Among the numerous titles he has worked on, ‘Klaus’, ‘Salvation’, ‘The Man in the High Castle’, ‘Vikings’, ‘American Hustle’, ‘The Americans’, and many more you can now find on services like Netflix and Amazon.Subtitles are a big topic now and an important part of production as it affects the end result, box office outcome too – thanks to the multi Oscar award-winning ‘Parasite’ movie making history by winning best picture this is in focus.
Director Bong Joon-ho champions subtitles and encouraged audiences not to be put off by international films. He said once audiences “overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles” they will be introduced to so many amazing films, further noting that we use only one language: “the cinema.”
In today’s globalized media industry, the pressure is on for movies and series to achieve international recognition. Riccardo eloquently affirms this on his website by saying that: “The goal of any filmmaker is to convey messages and emotions by transposing stories and characters to the screen. Localized versions are only as good if they are faithful to the creative intent that sparked their creation.” As a SubtitleNEXT user, the SubtitleNEXT news NEXTClub team caught up with Riccardo recently to find out how he works in this specialized area and how he makes subtitling work like a dream…
Q1. What specific subtitling work does your job entail? For example, does it involve – translation, translation from template, timing, editing, live captioning, etc.?
Riccardo: “I’ve always found motion pictures fascinating, ever since I first started collecting VHS cassettes and DVDs. After a couple of years in the translation business, I decided to specialize in audiovisual localisation to provide standout adaptations that keep the magic of cinema alive.
I offer specialized translation services across many languages such as English, Italian, Spanish and French. My work involves translation, timing, proofreading, editing, technical QC, conformance, exports, format conversion, burn-in and lots more.”
Q2. Are you sometimes asked to do additional work related to the subtitles such as dialogue lists, burning over video, creative editing, etc.? If so, can you describe?
Riccardo: “Definitely, all the time! This occurs quite often, and the additional subtitling services I offer my clients include transcribing, burning in, customizing subtitle styles and so forth.
Then translation and adaptation of a whole range of audiovisual material, where you need to recreate a tone that suits the target audience. From synopsis to both pre-production and post-production scripts, covering lip-sync dubbing and voice-over, screenplays, dialogue lists and audio description for the blind and visually impaired.
Localisation comes in when translating is just not enough. My role here entails adapting the cultural references in a movie or series to local standards or expressions. Website, video game and App localisation also belong to this area.
I also appeal to filmmakers by providing film festival solutions. Subtitles can make or break a movie at a film festival, and with the correct fluency in subtitles, I can deliver what helps to get their film recognized on the regional and international stage.
Moreover, I can take care of specialized translation projects, smoothing out texts to communicate a message more effectively across language barriers, whether we’re talking about technical or more creative content, like marketing presentations and brochures.
I’ve been involved in education and training too, collaborating with ISTRAD for their Master’s in Audiovisual Translation as an Italian tutor, helping students learn how to produce subtitles and dubbing according to professional standards and best practice.”
Q3. What subtitling software do you work on?
Riccardo: “I use SubtitleNEXT and proprietary online cloud platforms. Subtitles have to abide to very strict requirements in my line of work, so I chose SubtitleNEXT which is a reliable professional subtitling software to ensure 100% accuracy, and it supports all popular formats like .stl, .srt, .dfxp, .pac, Digital Cinema and more.”
Q4: What do you like most about your job, and what’s the criteria for achieving a successful outcome for the type of work you do? Can you name some recent projects you have worked on?
Riccardo: “I find the work so interesting and varied, covering different genres that range from comedy specials to corporate videos. From the portfolio on my website, you can see I have completed hundreds of projects for film studios, broadcast networks and VOD platforms. This valuable experience has given me insight into how to tackle the challenges that each genre can bring, and which techniques are most suited to achieve the client’s required results.
Having the freedom to choose which projects and clients I work with is a great advantage, as well as the flexible hours. What I enjoy the most about my career as a professional subtitler are the creative challenges I must face every day.
In my view, the basic criteria for achieving success in my line of work are top-level language skills. Then you have to develop your expertise by being proficient and familiar with all of the industry’s main tools and technology – this is paramount in order to deliver fast, prompt, and accurate results that clients demand. Communicating clearly and confidently is important too. My tip for anyone wanting to become a subtitler in the future is to ensure that you cultivate professional relationships on a human level. Being approachable and friendly can go a long way.
My website showcases a portfolio of some of the movies and TV shows I have worked on so far over the course of my career, such as ‘The Office’, ‘Easy’, the thriller film ‘Hold the Dark’, the talk show ‘Oprah’s Book Club’ and others.
For confidentiality reasons, I am not able to mention the specific projects I am currently working on. However, I recently worked with independent filmmakers and on high-profile content for theatrical and streaming releases which was very exciting.”
Q5: What social media channels / online platforms catch your eye, and do you follow for industry news updates and inspiration?
Riccardo: “Being an active member of SUBTLE, The Subtitlers’ Association, I’m always on top of the latest news and trends in the industry. I also follow updates on LinkedIn, professional Facebook groups, associations pages, and academic journals.”
About Riccardo Mimmi – visit https://auvitranslator.pro