|Optimum Productions? Flagrant False Advertising... - by Robert Wheeler (September 3rd, 2001)|
As you can tell by the title, this editorial is strictly about Optimum Productions. Actually, it's about Optimum Productions and the way they've carried themselves through the dubbing of S and SuperS. Anyway, I'm writing this on a whim so let's hope things can pull together to make sense *crosses fingers*. Oh yeah, don't expect this to be one of my super long editorials either, I'm merely "reporting news" and giving my thoughts on it.
You see, this morning I was going through AFSM as I usually do when I noticed a reply to a topic about the Sailor Moon voice artists at CNAnime. Interested, I went back to see the original message. It had been posted by the always great, Alex Taylor. Alex went through some of the highlights of the conference, but nothing was really caught my eye until he started talking about Roland Parliament's comments about the voice direction of Sailor Moon. First though, before we get into that, let's have some background.
If you've gone through the S and SuperS comparisons, you'll see how I say that the voice artists themselves are not bad, it's the voice director, Nicole Thualt, that seems to be the problem. I'm always saying how the voice artists themselves could pull off their roles IF they had some semi-decent direction.
Well, that's where Alex's post comes back in. You see, Roland Parliament (who was the voice director for some earlier episodes and did the voice for Melvin) had some interesting thoughts about voice directing in Sailor Moon. He explained how Tracy Moore did the directing for the first 10 episodes, then he took over until episode 65, then a 3rd person took over for the 17 "lost episodes" and the movies, and Nicole Thualt did the S and SuperS seasons. Well, he said this was all fine and dandy, but he was quite confused how Nicole did the voice directing for a whole 77 episodes since she really doesn't speak English and she would of have to done most of her work through a translator.
Well, that's the face I made when I read this. Nicole doesn't speak English?! Are you kidding me, here? I think another AFSM regular, Robert Hutchinson, summed it up the best when he said "As if one language barrier wasn't enough".
How, who and why would ANYONE be put in charge of directing people's voices and acting when they don't even speak the same LANGUAGE as the actors?!? That's unexcusable! It's impossible to do a good job directing voices when you don't know what the hell the "voices" are saying. No wonder the S and SuperS seasons turned out so poorly (as far as voices are concerned).
Now, this leads me to my next point, what the hell was Optimum Productions smoking when they decided to put a french-only speaking person to be in charge of an English production? That is probably one of the most unprofessional things I could EVER see a company doing. Why not just stick one of the more experienced voice artists as the director? Hell, they could do a much better job, they speak ENGLISH!! Maybe I could understand a fan dubber doing this but an "established" company? Is this the way you get more work, by doing things that are totally unprofessional?
Boy, let's just hope Cartoon Network or Pioneer never hear about this. Personally, if I were either of these companies and I found out about this, I would be extremely upset. For one, the lack of any quality in the S and SuperS seasons probably cost the Cartoon Network some ratings and then cost Pioneer sales on their VHS titles. Just think, what if Cartoon Network had to put up big money to get these new episodes? What about the rumors floating about that Cartoon Network actually put up the money to get those two seasons dubbed? If I saw my money get thrown away like that, I might throw my lawyers at them. And what about Pioneer? Their VHS titles are quite obviously suffering, what if Pioneer had to pay big money to be able to distribute these episodes? It's a good thing Pioneer has the DVDs to pull them through, or else Pioneer might actually be losing money on its Sailor Moon venture.
And as if having a non-english speaking ADR director wasn't bad enough, add into the fact that the seasons were put together faster than I can make scrambled eggs, and you have one big mess. While I had joked around a bit how it seemed that the voice artists only got one shot at their lines and then they moved on, I'm starting to think that was the actual case. Now, I know how frustrating it can be to try and communicate with someone who doesn't speak your language, it's pretty difficult. Just think about how stressful and frustrating it must be when it's your BOSS who speaks the different language. More than likely, these actors and actresses had to do several episodes in a day, and when it takes longer to ask your boss if you can go to the bathroom than it does to actually deliver all your lines for one episode, things just get kinda crappy.
So, all in all, shame on you Optimum! I had very little, if any, respect for you before, and now I have absolutely NO RESPECT whatsoever. I hope your company rots and goes to hell. If it wasn't bad enough that you totally annihilated the scripts and threw some poorly cast actors at us, you had to kick us in the nuts again with this new development. All I've got to say is you better watch out if I'm ever in Toronto. Hell will break loose.
Why Fan Translations Are Still Necessary - by Dan Bednarski (May 16th, 2011)
Sailor Moon Re-launch in North America: What I'd Like to See - by Dan Bednarski (January 22nd, 2011)
Can we start to put an end to the stupidity? - by Dan Bednarski (September 19th, 2010)
Goodbyes Are Always the Hardest - by Robert Wheeler (May 4th, 2005)
Goodbye SOS. Good Riddance or Fond Farewell? - by Robert Wheeler (December 16th, 2004)
The Trouble With Whiners - by Robert Wheeler (October 10th, 2004)
Uncut Sailor Moon: Worth the Wait? - Part 2 - by Dan Bednarski (January 6th, 2004)
Uncut Sailor Moon: Worth the Wait? - Part 1 - by Dan Bednarski (September 23rd, 2003)
Disliking Vs. Hating - by Robert Wheeler (April 3rd, 2002)
The Twelve Dubs of Christmas - by Tiffany Wood (December 23rd, 2001)
Optimum Productions? Flagrant False Advertising... - by Robert Wheeler (September 3rd, 2001)
The Anime Translation and American Society Problem - by Dan Bednarski (August 6th, 2001)
Pioneer's First SMS Release: Heart Collection I - by Dan Bednarski (March 5th, 2001)
Annoyance: A Letter to the People - by Tiffany Wood (February 9th, 2001)
Cartoon Network - The Hypocrite - by Robert Wheeler (January 14th, 2001)
Moonian Rhapsody - by Tiffany Wood (December 25th, 2000)
Does Your Site Suck? (Repost) - by Tiffany Wood (October 28th, 2000)
The North American Sailor Moon World - by Dan Bednarski (September 26th, 2000)
The Trouble With Dubbies - by Robert Wheeler (September 13th, 2000)
Sailor Moon Fansubs - by Dan Bednarski (August 13th, 2000)
Does Your Site Suck? - by Tiffany Wood (August 6th, 2000)