Ever wondered where international channels like National Geographic and Discovery came up with their regional content that make their shows all the more accessible to the Indian public? Well for the Telugu viewers, you needn’t wander far, for the magic happens right here in the city in a small office in Sri Nagar colony.
Sai Ram Entertainments is the company that handles the transcription and dubbing of shows like Sons of Guns and Superhumans that airs on Discovery, Super Cars and Leopards of Dead Tree Island on National Geographic and even Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin Adventures that airs on Disney Channel.
Working for a national vendor based in Mumbai who handles the account for these channels, Sri Ram Entertainments, whose parent company is based in Chennai, has been the go-to company ever since NatGeo began airing regional content.
Explains Kranthi Kumar who helps manage the Hyderabad-base, “My uncle Venkat Satyanarayana started the company in Chennai. When the business for a Telugu dubbing centre picked up, we began in Hyderabad and he got me involved.”
Kranthi who earlier worked the IT sector, finds a sense of freedom in his new career.
“These companies only care about the end result; what you do otherwise is your business. So there’s a lot of freedom. But the schedule is hectic nevertheless. For an episode of say 45-minutes, it takes us upto seven days to complete the transcription and dubbing of the script. The final mixing and mastering is done by the national vendor, Prime Focus which is in Mumbai.”
The usual process goes something like this: the episode is sent to the company which then delegates the work of the script being transcribed to a bevy of freelance writers. “It takes upto 18 hours for the script to be rendered which is then sent to for a QC (quality check) in Chennai. The grammar, the essence of the script and the language is checked and sent back with the required modifications. In the meantime, we track down suitable voice artists and plan our schedule. Once the script is ready, it could take as short as a day to a couple, depending on how many voice artists are involved, to complete our end of the business.”
Once the tracks are ready, the rushes are sent to Mumbai where the final mixing is done.
“Initially we used to the final mastering, but the company decided to keep the whole process in one place, due to security reasons,” says Kranthi who’s been a part of the business since last October.
The company’s current projects include a non-stop stream of episodes of the shows on NatGeo and Discovery.
They are also working on the dubbing for the upcoming film Sons of Ram, being brought out by the Amar Chitra Katha Animation Studios.