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  • - I'm Ash Ketchum, I came from

  • Pallet Town in the Kanto Region.

  • And this is my good buddy, Pikachu.

  • [giggles]

  • Nice to meet ya.

  • [upbeat music]

  • Hi, I'm Sarah Natochenny, I'm a voice actor.

  • You probably know me best as Ash Ketchum on Pokemon.

  • I'm also Delia Ketchum, and Staraptor, and Misdreavus.

  • Today I'm gonna be showing you my process

  • for dubbing Pokemon into English.

  • Pokemon is a show that's originally

  • voiced and animated in Japan.

  • So when the show comes to me,

  • my job is to reinterpret it for an American audience.

  • We start every session with my director

  • telling me all about the episode.

  • The turnaround time for these shows is extreme,

  • so sometimes we are working with scripts

  • that were finished the night before.

  • I never get to see the script ahead of time,

  • it's always a cold read.

  • - Hi, I'm Lisa, the voice director.

  • And Ash, today you're gonna be running down the beach.

  • - Yes! - Gonna have some beach time.

  • - My favorite.

  • I record in a booth by myself.

  • So I very rarely get to hear the other actors' performances.

  • My director is the dungeon master,

  • she knows how everything is gonna sound,

  • she can predict all of their performances,

  • and she knows exactly how to direct me

  • to get exactly what she wants.

  • Next we watch the scene in Japanese, let's take a look.

  • [speaking in foreign language]

  • - [Pikachu] Pikachu.

  • [yelling]

  • [speaking in foreign language]

  • - So a lot of stuff is happening in this scene.

  • He's running, he's out of breath, he's tripping over Litten.

  • And then he runs to his mom all excited and huffing.

  • And he's always huffing, he's always excited and huffing.

  • So I wanna do justice to that just with my voice.

  • So what I'm looking for when I see this in Japanese

  • is the mouth flap, where he moves his mouth.

  • Where he opens his mouth really wide,

  • where he has a [groan] like a clenched kinda teeth thing.

  • And that'll indicate to me where

  • to put all the words on the page.

  • So first we're gonna do a whole run of the scene

  • and then we're gonna go back

  • and pickup all the parts where I messed up.

  • - We are on line 45. - 'Kay.

  • - 023504.

  • It's gonna be on there, you won't beat me.

  • You are about to meet Litten for the first time.

  • So this is where you're gonna keep running through

  • over there as you saw in the scene.

  • As soon as you get there you're gonna step on his tail

  • and then you'll go into sorta like

  • the comic tumbles after that.

  • So let's give it a whirl.

  • - There are three beeps that cue me in.

  • I come in on the fourth beep.

  • - So Sarah, I'm gonna give you three beeps

  • for the first cue, and then one beep for the following.

  • [beeping]

  • - You won't beat me.

  • [panting]

  • [yelling]

  • Whoa.

  • Oh sorry.

  • So basically my eyes, if you notice,

  • are darting back and forth from the page to the screen

  • to make sure that I have the line right

  • and that I have the flap right at the same time.

  • So while I'm matching the flap

  • and getting all the words out,

  • I have to match the emotion that's happening onscreen.

  • More so than the original performance.

  • So I'm looking at the animation

  • and figuring out how to emote based on that.

  • So I look at his eyes, I look at his eyebrows,

  • I look at his mouth, I look at the way the animation is.

  • If it's like in a really crazy scene

  • and the background changes,

  • then I know I have to get much bigger.

  • So now that we've done one take of this long pass

  • my director's gonna give me some notes.

  • And she'll have a lot of 'em.

  • - Let's give that another pass.

  • The line that you're, I know it's a long set

  • for you to sorta take on there,

  • is gonna be, sorry, as soon as you

  • turn around and go on that.

  • So when you ramp yourself up after Pikachu

  • get up a little bit, you can even get in

  • a little bit more with that.

  • So that you're sort of like pretty intense

  • by the time you actually step on Litten's tail.

  • - So the sorry is onscreen?

  • - The sorry is onscreen.

  • The turnaround-- - it's that.

  • The turnaround, that's sorry?

  • - Yeah. Okay.

  • - That turnaround right there that

  • you're seeing, that's you having

  • the reaction into the sorry.

  • - Okay.

  • So while this happens our engineer

  • moves the three beeps over to the spot

  • where I need to punch in the uh, sorry.

  • - Cool, so we're looking at line 50.

  • You got an open shock react and then a sorry.

  • So you're gonna do the turn and then the double flap.

  • [beeping]

  • [grunting]

  • - Sorry.

  • Oh man.

  • [groaning]

  • [laughing]

  • Sometimes I have to deliver a line in a way

  • that doesn't feel natural to me.

  • Sometimes I have to go really really slow

  • or really really fast.

  • Sometimes a line will be really urgent,

  • but there's not enough mouth movement

  • for me to say something really really fast.

  • And that can be a problem.

  • [beeping]

  • Blue water, fluffy white clouds,

  • and delicious Pinap juice.

  • I messed it up.

  • - Yeah, you got that, you can hit that second line.

  • - I was too early so I messed it up.

  • I was too early and I messed up the line,

  • it's not fluffy white clouds it's white fluffy clouds.

  • I'm bad at this.

  • Let's do it again.

  • So long before the script ever even gets to me

  • an adapter has to take the Japanese translation

  • and make it make sense in English.

  • And make it also fit into the mouth flaps.

  • That's how we get this.

  • The timing of my performance is really important

  • because first of all, you don't wanna hear

  • somebody talking when their mouth isn't moving.

  • Secondly, and this is the adapter's job,

  • he has to make sure that everything

  • he gets out of the translation makes sense in English

  • and fits into the mouth flap.

  • So if a character has a big wide open mouth

  • halfway through the sentence, he has to justify that,

  • he has to write a script that justifies that.

  • - Coming to ya.

  • [beeping]

  • - Blue water, white fluffy clouds,

  • and delicious Pinap juice.

  • [slurping]

  • Mm.

  • It's so refreshing.

  • - Yeah, it's great. - Great.

  • - It's great?

  • I play many characters on the show.

  • Usually I do them one at a time,

  • but for the purposes of this demonstration

  • I'm gonna do them together.

  • - Ready for it?

  • - I guess.

  • [beeping]

  • Hey Mom, I'm back!

  • Hope you had fun, Ash.

  • Sure did, we went diving with a Sharpedo,

  • saw lots of Pokemon I've never seen before, yeah!

  • - That was great, we're just gonna stretch out

  • one of the ones in the middle over there.