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:

Literature, Literary & Audiovisual

Translation instructor

Hellenic American College, Athens, Greece

Hellenic American University, Nashua, New Hampshire, USA