Batman Live World Tour

Creating the fully synchronised dubbed version of the Batman Live World Tour kept the out post sound team busy for several months.

The production sees the caped crusader battle against his darkest enemies with the help of newly found sidekick, Robin. Although other productions have used similar techniques, it is believed that this is the first time that a show of this scale – with so many characters and such complicated automation and flying sequences – has been successfully dubbed.

Batman and RobinProviding alternative languages for non-English audiences at the internationally successful arena tour involved a close liaison between the out post and Batman teams: ‘Having never even seen a live theatrical performance dubbed into another language, I was nervous about how it would work for our arena production of Batman Live,’ says Ros Cranmer, General Manager for the production. ‘The final result, however, was fantastic, and it became clear that a foreign language voiceover actually translates incredibly well into that entertainment medium, making our show accessible to audiences all over the world.’

Working closely with production company Water Lane Productions, sound designer Simon Baker and sound engineer for the show Simon Fox, out post sound developed a unique workflow process that enables the English cast to perform to a fully syncronised dialogue track in any language.

‘The challenge of making Batman Live accessible for audiences where English is not their primary or even secondary language has been immense but also essential to ensure the ongoing commercial life of the show,’ Fox says.

‘The greatest challenge was to maintain the realistic audio quality of the piece and continue to ensure that audience feel the action is coming form the stage. Additionally, it’s been really important to enable the actors to continue have control over their performances. By breaking scenes into sections of dialogue, we’ve been able to ensure that the performers can dictate the pace at which a scene is delivered as they would have if they were delivering the dialogue themselves.’

The spectacular production uses large amounts of automation to control the flying, lighting and video systems, all of which are triggered via Midi time code from a DiGiCo SD7 by FOH engineer Simon Fox.

After being contracted to work on the show, out post sound worked with its team of translators and casting agents to bring together experienced actors to recreate the performances brought to life by the UK cast. The dialogue was then recorded and edited at out postʼs Brighton and London studios, and delivered to the production team. After a successful initial run in Switzerland, France and Germany out post is now working on a Czech version and several others for the South America maret.

Using techniques normally found more at home in postproduction, out post was able to ensure that the lines recorded matched the pacing and delivery of the original performances, coupled with some skillful programming from Fox.

‘Of course, none of it would be possible without Rob from out post sound and also the show’s sound designer, Simon Baker. Rob has done a superb job in delivering the dialogue to our requirements and ensuring that the vocals remain dynamic and interesting for the audience to listen to. Incorporating these vocals with Simon’s initial sound design has resulted in what, I think, is a highly polished product that retains the original intended drama of the piece,’ Fox says.

More: www.outpostsound.co.uk

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