Multilingual films increase vital income streams for Film Productions

Capturing the meaning in Context using Subtitles

Subtitles can boost income opportunities. Social media platforms alone are accessed by over 3 billion people across the globe, and by going multilingual, content creators can reach global audiences.

 

Subtitles should never be an after-thought and should be considered right at the start of the production phase.

 

For a film or TV documentary to be successful internationally, high quality subtitles are a worthwhile investment.  Those who have a say in production budgets, whether it be the studio, director, or producers, need to be made aware of how significant subtitling is in a global market, and that it can add substantial value to the final product.

 

Subtitling is a vital linguistic, creative, and technical skill that can provide lucrative opportunities for film and television businesses.

 

As part of our series of SubtitleNEXT blogs on the topic, we interviewed leading experts in subtitling within the film industry and from major universities across Europe to share their insights into why subtitling needs to be considered at the start of production.

 

This week, we hear from independent writer and AV translator Dorthe Pedersen.  She declares that subtitling is a diverse job. She explains how on one day she might be translating a comedy, which entails creativity with language and puns, and then on another day, she might be working on a documentary about the Russian revolution for example, which requires much more research and accuracy.

 

Regardless of the content, she regards subtitling as an incredibly intuitive job.

 

“You need to have good interpretation skills and be able to make a translation that fits in context. You also have to be able to time subtitles and make them readable. I think the use of locked templates, which is sadly a quite common phenomenon these days, puts little trust in the subtitler’s capability and lowers the overall quality of subtitles. Locked templates make for strange division, forcing you to leave in unnecessary things, and omit more important information due to space limitation.”

 

Dorthe goes on to say that in fiction, the best subtitles are the ones where the translator manages to capture exactly what is being said, without saying exactly what is being said.

 

“A good example of this is the use of girl/bro in American colloquial language.” She explains, “In my language people don’t go around calling each other” girl” or “bro”. It’s also not used to express surprise, disbelief, anger, or amazement as it can in Americanised English. Here the subtitler really has to read the person saying it and convey the meaning into the target language. In this situation the subtitler is making an important interpretation on the behalf of the audience. A good subtitler or dubbing translator can make this difficult task look effortless.”

 

Dorthe feels that sadly, subtitling often seems like an afterthought. More and more companies are looking for cost-efficient ways to delivery localization. She notes, “When millions are being spent on creating a movie or show in the first place, why are subtitles only seen as a necessary evil that have to be as cheap as possible? In the end, subtitles can determine the level of success for a show or film. An example comes to mind of the Oscar winning film “Parasite”, where the subtitles were praised and seen as an important factor in taking home the statue.”

 

Find further information about Dorthe Pederson here https://www.linkedin.com/in/dorthe-pedersen-581746160/

For more information about subtitling software platform SubtitleNEXT, please visit www.SubtitleNEXT.com

 

SUBTLE SUBTITLING INVOLVES SKILLFUL PRECISION

SUBTITLES AREN’T DESIGNED TO STEAL THE LIMELIGHT

In brief, interpreters translate spoken language orally in real-time, while translators translate the written text.  Regarding delivery, interpretation takes place on the spot and can be live, for example in political interviews that are broadcast on news channels.  Interpreters transpose the source language within context, preserving its original meaning, and rephrase colloquialisms, sayings, idioms, and other cultural references.

Translation, on the other hand, can occur long after the source text is created. This gives translators time to make use of subtitling technologies to generate accurate, high-quality translation texts.

Interpreters are fluent in both the source and target language, whereas translators typically work in one direction translating into their mother tongue.

Both translators and interpreters have to face the challenges that analogies, colloquialism, idioms, metaphors, in-jokes, and slang bring into the mix. Interpreters also capture tone, inflections, voice quality, and other elements of the spoken word and convey these verbal cues to audiences.

In subtitling, the translation of a message needs to be adapted, and that requires a special skill known as localization that has been refined by professionals in this area.

A subtitler’s role is to adapt the script to fit within the timing of the video or film. This work requires highly experienced specialised professionals with experience in translating video or film and using subtitling software.

AV translator and subtitler  Valentina Stagnaro  shares her insights into the skill and precision involved.

Valentina says she works like a surgeon while picking up words and making them fit into character limitations, “No doubt subtitling and interpreting share some common features, one being that they are essential and straight-to-the-point. I am not an interpreter myself but knowing some interpreting techniques I might say the common ground between the two skills is clear. I don’t know if it is the same in English, but in Italian, the first meaning of “interpreting” is “to understand and explain the true meaning of something”, so I think that this is the main point about both subtitling and interpreting: being able to understand the meaning, keeping it in your mind and adapting it to the different means in which you are working. I prefer considering my job in terms of effectiveness and the subtitles go completely unnoticed, as they should be.  Using subtitling software that uses different styles definitely is in my direction of working, as it gives you all the means to convey the message in the most clear and direct way, which is great!”

 

Credit Valentina Stagnaro: https://www.linkedin.com/in/valentinastagnaro/

SUBTITLING A FILM BRINGS GLOBAL SUCCESS

FILMMAKERS NEED TO THINK IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE

For a film or TV documentary to be successful internationally, high quality subtitles are a worthwhile investment.  Those who have a say in production budgets, whether it be the studio, director, or producers, need to be made aware of how significant subtitling is in a global market, and that it can add substantial value to the final product.

The second expert shares with us his insights in our SubtitleNEXT Club series of subtitling within the film industry.

Dr Vasilis Manousakis, who is the Literature, Literary and Audiovisual Translation instructor at Hellenic American College in Athens provides further insight, a highly skilled professional and successful subtitling artist in his own right, having subtitled and translated a broad range of genres, series and films produced by Disney, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. and Netflix, including “Lost”, “The Good Place”, “Star Wars” and “Game of Thrones”:

“After 20-years in the localization industry, I have long realised that subtitling is an integral part of any movie that wants to be internationally successful. Therefore, it is something that should be on the mind of all filmmakers, scriptwriters and producers and can be expressed by asking the question: ‘how is this going to be rendered in foreign languages across the globe? or ‘how is this going to resonate with viewers?’ Then it is the job of us, subtitlers, to render, not only the essence of the word, but also its feel, its impact, its atmosphere, its double or intrinsic meaning.”

 

“Subtitling is a link in the chain of the production of any movie. We subtitle for the one person who does not speak the source language. Despite their obvious differences, subtitling resembles interpreting in the sense that it is as if it is done live, in other words, the moment the protagonist speaks, that very moment we read the subtitles beneath the image or we listen to the Voice Over. Also, if we look further into accessibility, subtitling and interpreting, we find their common ground in the audio description category, where a person describes the scene for people with eyesight problems.”

* Credit:  Dr. Vasilis Manousakis: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vasilis-manousakis-22a9a371/

Literature, Literary & Audiovisual

Translation instructor

Hellenic American College, Athens, Greece

Hellenic American University, Nashua, New Hampshire, USA

http://haec.gr/en/master-translation

http://haec.gr/en/master-conference-interpreting
http://haec.gr/en/bachelor-studies-english-language-literature

 

SUBTITLING BLINDNESS

How Subtitles affect the Viewing Process

The SubtitleNEXT team collated key quotes from leading experts in subtitling within the film industry and from major universities across Europe to share their insights into why subtitling needs to be considered at the start of production and also what it entails in terms of what the differences are between interpreting and translating and how localization comes in to the mix.  This week we kick off with some wise words that  Lukasz Dutka, a member of AVT Lab, a research group on audiovisual translation and a trainer in subtitling at the University of Warsaw in Poland shares with us.  He explains that with eye-tracking technology you can study how people view movies and how subtitles affect the viewing process:

Lukasz Dutka, a member of AVT Lab, a research group on audiovisual translation and a trainer in subtitling at the University of Warsaw, Poland, explains that with eye-tracking technology you can study how people view movies and how subtitles affect the viewing process. “What we see in research is that the moment a subtitle is displayed on screen, our eyes automatically move to read it. Once we have read the subtitle, our attention turns to the image again. If subtitles include unidiomatic language or just too much text, viewers will need more time to process subtitles, leaving them less time (or no time at all!) to look at the images.”

“Some researchers call this ‘subtitling blindness.“ he continues, “As a content producer, you might end up with scenes where subtitles take so much of the viewers’ attention, that viewers miss a crucial item on the screen, or they miss the whole shot altogether. Filmmakers put a lot of thought, effort, and money into creating a beautiful image and the viewers will not see it. If filmmakers don’t take localization into account at the production stage, subtitles can ruin the viewers’ experience of a movie. But if filmmakers make sure that subtitling is done skilfully, it can enhance the viewers’ appreciation of the content.”

Lukasz also points out, “If you look at the US-based streaming platforms, a big share of their subscribers (a majority in some cases) are international viewers that access English-speaking content thanks to subtitles. In the streaming era, it is likely that many, if not a majority of viewers, will be watching content with subtitles. The film industry can’t afford to ignore this.”

Courtesy –  Lukasz Dutka: (www.avt.ils.uw.edu.pl)

 

 

SubtitleNEXT Version 5.6 features new Smart Text Assist

New Smart Text Assist in SubtitleNEXT provides efficiency for text editing and live subtitling



We are delighted to announce the release of SubtitleNEXT Version 5.6, with the focus on a brand new centralised Smart Text Assist feature designed for editing and live subtitling scenarios.  Live subtitling helps increase global outreach for broadcasts, live events, online meetings, streaming video and audio and is a great tool to remove language barriers.

The new Smart Text Assist feature in SubtitleNEXT significantly speeds up and simplifies the entire text-altering process. It combines all of the text-altering tools in one place so that they can be easily accessed. This provides a reliable and consistent framework for busy subtitlers to achieve fast results. Text-altering refers to changes in text constructs or meaning, such as date or time formats, units of measurement, replacement phrases, translations, corrections, and the reorganisation of text. (Watch the Smart Text Assist in action here via YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFDA49JohO4&t=1s)

SubtitleNEXT enables users to connect to broadcast feeds, webinars, Skype, Zoom, AV desks, live streams, or any live audio source.  The translated subtitles are then delivered back to the screen, laptop, tablet, or smart phone in real time. Subtitles are the simplest and most efficient way to share content in any language and the Smart Text Assist helps to significantly speed up text altering in SubtitleNEXT 5.6.

Developer of SubtitleNEXT Kamen Ferdinandov of Toronto-based Profuz Digital says, “To put the new Smart Text Assist feature in context, most text editing programs don’t have all the tools readily available for users to easily access, as they are usually a separate tool that has to be activated within the system they are using, or they have to open an external program. Overall, the process is time-consuming and entails multiple commands (clicking, typing, key-pressing) in order to get a result. With the new Smart Text Assist, we have eradicated these hassles. Now users only have to select the portion of text they’re interested in changing, and in just one to two clicks, the required results will be instantaneous with the text replaced. We enjoy interfacing with customers to find out how we can continue to keep introducing new tools like this in SubtitleNEXT that deliver results.”

SubtitleNEXT is a powerful application that creates both subtitles and captions.  It is used for same language translation, transcribing, adaptation (SDHH), dialogue and other audible or visible text and commentaries, with efficiency at remarkable speed and accuracy. It provides users with a multi-file synchronous browsing editing feature with an “editor-like” experience that adapts to all the up to date language rules and adjustments. SubtitleNEXT can run on major operating systems such as Windows, Linux and MAC OS, and is primarily aimed at subtitling and captioning professionals, through to Language Services Providers, production, post-production companies and broadcasters.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SMART TEXT ASSIST FEATURE IN SUBTITLENEXT VERSION 5.6

SubtitleNEXT  supports non file-based media and direct video signals such as analogue, digital, and streaming which makes it perfect for all types of live shows and events such as festivals, live gigs, the Opera, theatre, presentations, conferences, seminars and so forth.  Its “automation for airing” feature is also useful for live shows and events with prepared subtitles. The full set of digital cinema and TTML format features are also fully supported in SubtitleNEXT, including text positions, effects, sizes and colours, styling, looks including user configurable screen layouts that can be personalised to suit the project and user’s convenience.

Advantages of the new Smart Text Assist feature in SubtitleNEXT 5.6 include: –  quick access to vocabulary, automatic translation, thesaurus and dictionary support, spell checking, Unit and RegEx conversions, including Time and Date Formatting, outlined in more detail below:

Vocabulary function – this allows users to quickly access their collection of phrases, names, locations, and so forth, from one central place.

Automatic Translation function –  allows subtitlers to configure and choose from one or more translation engines such as Google and Microsoft, to provide parallel variants of a translation.

Thesaurus and Dictionary Support –  supports Libre Office/OpenOffice dictionaries.

Spell Checking – verifies proper word usage and spelling.

Unit Conversions – automatically converts to other units such as mass, length, area, temperature, based on the selected text (For example, for 12 lbs, suggested conversions will include 5.44kg, 5443 g, and 192 ounces).

RegEx Conversions – “RegEx” engine allows advanced text manipulations with unlimited functionality for altering text. All valid user-configured RegEx filters will be offered. For example, users can fix capitalisation if a word begins with more than one capital letter in a sentence, including the ability to swap words, remove repeated words, profanity filtering, and so forth.

Date and Time Formatting  – automatically suggests various formats for both European and American date formats (for example, if the selected text is 12.3.20, suggestions will include 12/03/20, 12/03/2020, and 12 Mar 2020).

PBT EU’s CEO Ivanka Vassileva adds, “With successful businesses increasingly investing in subtitles and captions to boost viewer engagement, the new Smart Text Assist is a timely addition in SubtitleNEXT which centralises the multiple alternative text assistants which can then enable users to export in either format of choice. Subtitling does not add any large expense to the overall budget. Filmmakers, production companies, broadcasters, through to individual professional subtitlers working from home, all need to view subtitling as an affordable “add-on” that increases product value, adheres to accessibility rights, and gives a competitive edge. Live subtitles are everywhere and aid communication efforts – it’s the future and a feature like Smart Text Assist helps accelerate processes phenomenally.”

To order the new version SubtitleNEXT 5.6, shop online at https://shop.profuzdigital.com/

To find out more about SubtitleNEXT visit www.SubtitleNEXT.com

 

Media Information

Watch the You Tube video of the new SmartTextAssist feature in SubtitleNEXT here  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFDA49JohO4&t=1s

Women Leaders in Tech

.MSpotlight: Ivanka Vassileva, Profuz Digital CEO, PBT EU CEO

The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) in 1975, but the earliest observance of the holiday goes back all the way to 1909. Countries around the world have embraced Women’s Day to varying degrees, but there’s an undeniable global movement to more diversity, inclusion, and equality. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”. We take this opportunity to reflect on the extraordinary accomplishments of women all over the world now and in the past.

Forward-Thinking

We are proud to share that the companies behind SubtitleNEXT, Profuz Digital and PBT EU, are women-owned, women-led and women-empowered workplaces. With 50/50 gender representation, we are blazing a trail to a more equitable work environment. Ivanka Vassileva is the CEO at both Profuz Digital, a software development company based in Canada, and PBT EU, a systems integrator based in Europe. She and Kamen Ferdinandov, CTO, co-founded the companies 6 years ago united by their vision to push the boundary of business processes and information management optimization, and democratize access to enterprise-grade multimedia solutions. Heading both companies has not been without challenges, but Ivanka has successfully channelled her passion and diplomacy, and has graciously evolved into a global leader.

Global Mindset

With an education background in linguistics and translation, Ivanka commands 4 languages fluently. While completing her Master’s degree, she wrote news stories based on Reuters news abstracts. Upon graduation, Ivanka took on a role with Air France. There she utilized her language skills, and developed her business acumen managing B2B and B2C client relationships globally. Six years later, she entered the tech industry and in just two years was promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO). As a COO, Ivanka managed more than 120 employees, and helped clients world-wide achieve success.

Inclusive Leadership

Recent statistics show that at the executive level only 10% of roles in tech are held by women. If anything is to change in the future, next-generation female leaders need to truly be at the forefront of creating women-empowered workplaces. Recognizing women’s special talents and needs, and acting in accordance to embrace, support and accelerate as needed, is not an unattainable super-power. If every successful female leader feels it’s within her influence to uplift those around her with integrity and positivism, we will create a chain reaction of significant magnitude.

Belonging

Mrs Vassileva fosters an environment where collaboration is the norm, ideas are welcomed and given proper consideration. She encourages team members to pursue their passions, and recognizes them for all their contributions. And this is how Ivanka has lead the development and expansion of the SubtitleNEXT, Profuz LAPIS, and NEXT-TT product lines.

“Working for a woman leader is a privilege and a delight for me. Ivanka’s leadership style, work ethic and prioritization of accuracy, attention and responsibility resonate effortlessly with my own. That makes it easy for me to do my best every day. Work-life balance is extremely important for me. I am happy that she inspires a supportive environment. This empowers me to be productive and fulfilled in the office and in my personal life. I believe that women leaders make decisions faster and are better equipped to navigate in uncharted territories. I feel like I truly belong here.”, acknowledges Maria Ivanova, Finance and Logistics Manager at PBT EU.

Let’s celebrate this wonderful feeling of belongingness this IWD 2020! Happy March 8th from all of us!

 

More about SubtitleNEXT

More about Profuz Digital

More about PBT EU

History of SubtitleNEXT. Part III. The present – What’s NEXT-TT?

Part 3 – The present – What’s NEXT-TT?

The NEXT-TT – SubtitleNEXT approach brings something different to the industry as Kamen outlines below.

“We offer something completely different to what is out there right now. We are not restricted to one market area; the product applies to every single company and industry. There literally are no limitations.

To provide an example, typically there are two approaches to providing solutions to customers, and they are either project or custom-based or industry-specific or ‘out of the box’.

The custom/project-based line is an extremely expensive option and can be slow moving. Also, historically from our experience, providers of such solutions are trying to replicate or reuse software that is made for specific situations which could prove to be a nightmare for users in the long run. Their knowledge and know-how are specific as they are focused on a limited number of customers/projects.

Regarding the industry-specific ‘out-of-the-box’ option, this can lack flexibility and needs additional integration work, which means that the company needs to adapt to the software and not the other way around.

Looking at both approaches, we effectively address both and our aim is to further develop and refine them. Of course, every solution has its drawbacks. However, by building certain partnerships, we are fully equipped to deal with challenges as they arise. For example, if an organisation has a requirement for the ‘best of breed CRM’, we would be confident and flexible enough to connect to whichever tool the client needs, and then be able to provide other functionalities much faster and at an affordable rate at the same time.”

The sky is the limit In the Cloud

Kamen expands further that NEXT-TT can provide a complete cloud solution, or it can be configured to work in a “hybrid” way.

“It would be entirely up to the customer and what their needs dictate in terms of the architecture. This adds an additional layer of security and creates a single environment to control the management, usage, structure, storage of various data and processes.”

“So, it is entirely up to you, “ adds Kamen, “If you want, you can have access to all your business-critical files from any web device whether you’re at your desk, working from home or at a coffee shop halfway around the world. Businesses are more mobile today than ever before.”

Advantages worth mentioning involving cloud asset management with SubtitleNEXT and NEXT-TT include easy implementation, quick adoption, great integration, an intuitive user experience and crucially, security. Fast implementation frees up IT resources and allows you to get started straight away. “We also want our customers to enjoy a user-friendly interface that anyone in their organisation can understand, and NEXT-TT is incredibly convenient and easy to use.”

The SubtitleNEXT team have attended several key events and have had extraordinary feedback and positive results with many freelancers, language service providers and linguist specialists adopting the SubtitleNEXT software. As a team they are always thinking about the next move.

What’s NEXT for SubtitleNEXT?

Kamen concludes, “Our secret is that we listen carefully to what everyone has to say. The team also genuinely cares about what challenges the industry faces and they take an interest. We work with this vital feedback and use it to implement positive changes, develop new capabilities and hopefully bring ground-breaking functionalities that benefit users more than ever before.”

The team has also been hard at work building a sense of community around the product for users to enjoy, which helps them to understand their needs and expectations at all levels. The successful launch of our online members group NEXT Club is a space set up by Profuz Digital for subtitling professionals to share resources, tips & tricks, and contribute to news articles and blogs in the “world of subtitling”.

“We have been overwhelmed by the enormous interest in SubtitleNEXT recently across various international events that we have been involved in such as The Languages and Media forum in Berlin, Media 4All8 in Stockholm and more recently at IBC2019 in Amsterdam followed by the Intermedia Warsaw Conference in Poland as Gold sponsors and Toronto’s Elevate event. The Profuz Digital outlook has always been fully committed to deliver simpler and versatile solutions without compromising functionality and performance.”

This is a company with software capabilities that are definitely going somewhere and here to stay for the long-term.

For further information about the company and SubtitleNEXT and Profuz LAPIS products, visit https://profuzdigital.com

Expanding on the development of subtitling software & timed-text over the year, popularity and trends. History of SubtitleNEXT. Part 2

Part 2: Expanding on the development of subtitling software & timed-text over the year, popularity and trends

The SubtitleNEXT of 1990 is not the same product that has now evolved into what it is today, but the goals of the creators of the company, helped get them get to where they are now. This evolution eventually led to the present day SubtitleNEXT and NEXT-TT platforms and has grown to fit user needs over time. It has been masterfully refined into the fully-fledged sophisticated renewed versions that are now available and “market-ready”.

Kamen sums up the advantages that the evolutionary process has brought to the present-day systems SubtitleNEXT and NEXT-TT,  “Unlike other tech products that tie up users with single vendor dependencies, we prefer to give our clients the freedom to benefit from a variety of dynamic industry-specific technologies, while retaining the distinct advantages that using a single system brings, such as providing a single place to generate searches and reports even across multiple external systems.”

Kamen runs through SubtitleNEXT’s 2019 version’s key features that make it stand out.

“It provides users with a multi-file synchronous browsing editing feature with a standard and text editor-like experience that can create standard and modern creative subtitles and timed text messaging that adapt to all the latest rules, checks and fix-ups to the subtitles (both text and timing).

RegEx Search and Replace engine has been included to allow advanced search and text replacements, for example one can find all Name Family type names and reverse them to Family Name without explicitly listing all name pairs, nor doing it a pair at a time.

The Hybrid platform called NEXT-TT supports both local and online materials such as subtitles, media and metadata. The latter one gives the same experience as in a web application but with the benefits of a desktop application, and uses all available translation and other tools, in case of a limited web application on terms of the webserver’s provision.

SubtitleNEXT has the flexibility to work with all kinds of timed media from video, audio, presentations, and also supports Live Subtitling with one or two stages of “re-speaking”.

SubtitleNEXT also supports non file-based media and direct video signals such as analogue, digital, and streaming which makes it perfect for all types of live shows and events such as festivals, live gigs, the Opera, theatre, presentations, conferences, seminars – you name it.  Its “automation for airing” feature is also useful for live shows and events with prepared subtitles.

The full set of digital cinema and TTML format features are also fully supported in SubtitleNEXT, including text positions, effects, sizes and colours, styling, looks including user configurable screen layouts that can be personalised to suit the project and user convenience.”

Often referencing a system as “legacy” means that it paved the way for the standards that would follow and that it is tried and tested, solid, trusted and a reliable product that has had time to prove itself to the market.

In the case with SubtitleNEXT, it is evident, it always and still does provide for the users’ needs.

SubtitleNEXT’s impact on Profuz Digital due to its historical role has been a positive one, and Kamen explains why, “To have an established product that the market already believes in, provides a great foundation to build further on even more incredible features that can bring efficiency speed and proficiency to users in a busy environment – for example – development has also included adding new interfaces including web-based, terminal-based mainframe applications, forward engineering approaches and these have greatly improved and influenced  the legacy software and durability.”

Adding, “Technologists understand the importance of sound architecture right from the start. The best systems in place today are those that embraced well-known IT architectural principles.  Poorly designed systems often don’t last, both because they wear out and because their inherent faults invite replacement. Thus, many organisations are rediscovering the value of both their legacy systems and the theoretical underpinnings of those systems.”

The History of SubtitleNEXT – Part I

Part 1: – Introduction to the SubtitleNEXT 30+ Year Journey

Defined as one of the industry’s most reliable and emergent timed-text subtitling software packages, it is no surprise why SubtitleNEXT is referred to by many professionals today as the “subtitler’s lifesaver.”

Delivering to high industry standards, the system is teeming with an array of immediate resourceful tools and unrivalled features. Available in a single compact application, it punches above its weight and can be put to work on heavy deadline-driven workloads.

Primarily aimed at audio-visual translation freelance professionals, through to Language Services Providers, production, post-production companies and broadcasters, SubtitleNEXT has proven itself as a time-saving commodity, but also a productive profit-making asset to media organisations worldwide.

Many of the companies and educational establishments that have already adopted the system and use SubtitleNEXT on a daily basis including the likes of Canal+ Myanmar FG, the University of Rome Tor Vergata, The Hellenic American College, Doli Media Studio, The  European School of Translation and Europe’s largest Belgium-based production company Videohouse, where it has been used on well-known TV series such as Big Little Lies, Sirens, Vikings and many more.

Created by Profuz Digital and distributed by PBT EU, SubtitleNEXT stems from a reliable legacy that has been built up over the past thirty years.  CTO and Founder Kamen Ferdinandov is the brainchild behind the core software  development. With a combination of technological expertise, Kamen is backed by a passionate team with astute business acumen and industry awareness, jointly responsible for SubtitleNEXT’s ongoing growth and success.

Kamen established his company Profuz Digital in 2014 along with PBT EU’s CEO Ivanka Vassileva and Dessie Nikolov who is an experienced Software Product Manager and a Master of Digital Media from Ryerson University, Toronto and currently Profuz Digital’s Managing Director for the Americas. With headquarters based in Canada, Profuz Digital boasts an R&D Centre shared between Toronto and Bulgaria’s capital Sofia.

Profuz Digital was created  as a vibrant hub of technical innovation where business and technologies merge in order to provide game-changing and invaluable cutting-edge software solutions to a dynamic media and entertainment industry. The customised solutions created by Profuz Digital are not only powerful, but also cost-effective, user-friendly, time-efficient and easy to support 24/7.

The development of Profuz Digital’s LAPIS which is a  global business process and information management platform, took place in 2014.  Profuz LAPIS creates scalable customised modules that adapt to every type of complex business structure and connects all the dots that a business interacts with, including multiple-companies, outsourcing, partners, suppliers and customers, while constantly adapting to the needs of the organisation.   Doli Media and Canal + Myanmar FG are recent LAPIS customers, among many others that have installed Profuz LAPIS systems.

In 2016, the migration of SubtitlePlus quickly followed on to the next level, resulting in the SubtitleNEXT brand. Consequently, Profuz Digital was then in a position to offer users an entire product line which included a whole range of products such as SubtitleNEXT Enterprise, SubtitleNEXT CENTRAL, SubtitleNEXT Air, SubtitleNEXT LIVE Manager, NEXT-TT, Profuz LAPIS and the EXEcutor Media Integrator.  These were all in effect different products but still based on the core LAPIS and/or SubtitleNEXT technology software platforms.

The software development milestones Kamen initiated had led to the evolution from Subtitle, one of the first file-based subtitling tools, through to SubtitlePlus, a worldwide renowned subtitling tool for broadcasters.

“Actually, when the first version of Subtitle appeared over 25 years ago, there were no file-based workflows around, and in fact, they were not even on the horizon. Back then, only tapes were used for preparing subtitles and the problem was that the existing subtitling workstations at that time were specialised and expensive devices.  So, my initial concept was to create a software-only solution which would provide the same high-level workstation but with a standard PC, which we  successfully achieved.” Kamen reflects.

“The design was (and still is) independent from any specific hardware as such, but allows for the inclusion of additional hardware support, such as video signals processing and video mixers that create open subtitles over video signals, as well as timecode readers, VCR controllers, and so forth.  This in turn, also prepared the software for upcoming file-based workflows.“

Furthermore, Kamen had the insight to recognise that it made sense to make the subtitling process more accessible to a much wider user group and not strictly for professionals alone. His initiative was to  implement user-friendly and familiar text editing application tools.

“In the development of the product, my aim now is to ensure that any software user, even without a subtitling background, can find it easy to use our subtitling tools.” Kamen adds.

An example of how this development has evolved in SubtitleNEXT, is that unlike many other subtitling tools that restrict users to work on one subtitle at a time, SubtitleNEXT allows you to work with the whole text in multiple subtitles in line with advanced text editing applications that are familiar in the market today.

The Subtitle version was a DOS-based programme and used the standard PC components to create, edit and air (burn subtitles over video signal). Kamen remarks, “I think back then, it was the only programme of this type and  the only one that could both create, edit and air subtitles.”  Soon afterwards, he created the SubtitlePlus version for Windows. “

A year after the first version of SubtitlePlus appeared, the file-based workflow was then included in its infrastructure. I think it was possibly the first ever file-based workflow in the subtitling world and definitely the only one that provided a mixed environment for both tape-based and file-based pipelines.”  Kamen recalls

Another significant innovation break-through that Kamen can take full credit for concerns the independence of existing standards in Subtitle and SubtitlePlus. Kamen explains, “This concept is more relevant today than ever before. Most existing subtitling solutions available on the market, even now, are highly dependent on what kind of subtitles one creates, whether it be in teletext format, or as open subtitles, closed captions and so on.  This means that some knowledge of these standards is still required, and therefore  limits what can be done with the subtitles. The modern standards that broke this mould are compatible in SubtitleNEXT which is a system that has adapted and shows its readiness to handle and serve all the latest formats, resolutions and technical requirements including various fonts, font sizes, looks, positions, appearance, and much more. This allows SubtitleNEXT to widen the scope in which subtitles or other forms of timed text formats are used.”

Between 2002 and 2014, the focus of SubtitlePlus further evolved across its broadcast-related features and the development  of the multi-channel, multi-language automated subtitle airing platform known, as the DVB Subtitle Server, evolved into SubtitleNEXT Central.

In 2016, Profuz Digital focused on the upgrade and further development of the latest version of the software and renamed it as SubtitleNEXT.  Many of the new features, modern standards and formats were then added and have led to the system that we now see today. It is platform-independent and runs smoothly on all major operating systems such as Windows, Linux and MAC OS.

What Is Pro Bono and Why Should I Do It

 

Pro-bono publico (English “for the public good”) is a latin phrase for professional work undertaken voluntarily without payment. Unlike traditional volunteering, it uses the specific skills of professionals to provide services to those who are unable to afford them.

Pro-bono service is provided to people and organizations who have noble cause, civic standing or simply develop the cultural environment. The most important reason to do pro bono work is to provide benefit to the community that might otherwise not be available. It is win-win solutions for the society and freelancers.

Pro bono might be good start for a career in subtitling. A common dilemma for beginning translators is not having enough experience to be considered by agencies and potential clients. Offering translations on a volunteer basis is one way to combat this problem.

As a beginning translator, volunteer translation allows you the chance to make a practical assessment of your skills. You also get used to various aspects of the translator’s profession, such as meeting deadlines. In addition to building confidence, volunteer translation can be included in your CV.

Here is a list of websites looking for volunteer translators:

We from SubtitleNEXT believe that pro bono is win-win solution for the society and localization professionals, and we will try to connect NGO’s and subtitling professionals by publishing active volunteer opportunities in our social media accounts and NEXTclub.