E-learning Voice-Over and Dubbing for Discovery Education

discovery education logo in a black background

This has been one of my biggest projects. Almost 600 dubbed videos with around 2380 minutes of synced voice over for Discovery Education (and growing!). I estimate I spent around 332 hours of work to produce almost 40 edited, synced hours of content.

There's a lot to be shared about this workflow and collaborative experience, and even more to be learned from this 2 years long-term project.

It was challenging and taken seriously.

After all, I was the female narrator in charge of teaching kids and teenagers in my mother language through the biggest company in the USA and UK focused on K-12 Education.

Project's file

  • Final Client: Discovery Education
  • Intermediate Client: Vega Digital Content
  • Deliverable: 610+ adapted scripts and synchronized or dubbed/lip-synced audio files
  • Genre: eLearning, Training, Educational
  • Audience: school students from 4 to 18 years old.
  • Techniques: Dubbing, ADR, Lip synchronization, Script adaptation, Acting, Singing, Narration, Teaching
  • Usage: Distributed in Brazilian and Portuguese Schools
  • Artistic Direction: Different for each video; Self-Directed
  • Studio: Recorded in Amanda's Home-Studio

Examples of eLearning Videos in Brazilian Portuguese

Educational, Documentary-style, Technical Narrator, Instructor - Discovery Education
Conversational, Educational, Dubbing, Teacher, Instructor - Discovery Education

Vega Digital Content: Project Management, Translation & Post-production

Amanda de Andrade: Voice over, Dubbing and Script Adaptation

Project's Challenge

As far as I can remind, I did around 18 to 20 different groups of voices to cover a variety of styles and characters.

There were videos for small kids in which I had to act for 4 characters, only in a 5-minute video.

There were videos in voice-of-God style, documentary style, lesson style, storytelling style, and conversational style...

I dubbed teenagers, teachers, and male and female kids...

Every time I sat down to record, I challenged myself to go beyond. I really enjoyed it!

Detailed Workflow

1. Briefing

There was no artistic direction.

Well, to be precise, there was 1 single artistic instruction:

Please modulate your voice a bit where there are multiple characters.

In other words, each video had its own style and audience.

Some videos were for very small kids.

Other videos required mirroring the on-camera actress.

So, basically, I had this big responsibility of scanning the videos to approach each one very particularly.

I also had the freedom to fill all the gaps with creativity or with the industry's standards.

2. Script & Adjustments

When I was a teenager, I was very, very studious.

Almost all the content I was teaching was already on the tip of my tongue - including all those tongue twisters words from Biology and Chemistry.

So anytime I spot any complex biological name written wrong, anything unclear or innapropriate for oral communication, I corrected it immediatelly.

After a few dozen videos, I was ready to adjust the script in real time, while I was recording, without stuttering. If I made any mistake, the synchronization would be lost and I would need to pick up from where I missed it.

3. Recording in Sync

All the delivered audio files - all of them - needed to be synchronized at every instance.

The project's content was 100% in video format, so synchronization and lip-sync were required.

And more: the synchronization needed to be very precise and double-checked because the video editor didn't speak Portuguese and couldn't assess the quality of my deliveries.

The majority of the videos were already recorded in sync, without requiring post-production synchronization.

4. Editing

In dubbing projects, it happens that the customer receives files with the sound of the original language/voice in the background by mistake.

It can be due to a lot of reasons: very sensitive mics, high volume on the headphone while the actor is recording or even a lapse when exporting the dubbed audio file (without muting the original sound of the video).

When I was in the editing and reviewing stages, extraneous sounds was certanly one of the major worries, along with editing breaths, synchronizing with precision and naming the file correctly.

5. File naming

The instruction was clear: name each file correctly, otherwise the mess will be huge.

Kindly make sure that the final BR audio file is named same as the respective script/video name. This is very important otherwise it will be difficult for us to track the audios correctly.

The difficult part was that the videos had unexpected, truncated names and one single word in the wrong place could result in a video with the wrong voice over track.

Some files from Discovery Education Project
Some files from Discovery Education Project

6. Turnaround time

The project has been running for more than 2 years now, but the videos came in batches and each batch of 50 videos, in general, should be delivered in 5 days, sometimes less.

So it wasn't a project distributed throughout the year - it was more like a sprint of 3-4 months with periods of rest.

In some cases, the client requested a dubbed video with urgency and those requests was answered.

7. Delivery

I received the scripts and the videos through the company's One Drive.

I sent my dubbed tracks through a storage system that is hosted in my own website's server.

Contact Amanda

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