Voice Artistes – Do they get the recognition and credit they deserve??

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How many times have we thought about who is the voice actor behind the TV or Radio Commercial, Animation or Film character we are listening to. Voice Artistes just don’t get the credit or recognition they truly deserve. Hira M. from Sugar Mediaz writes about every Indian Voice Artistes’ pain point. (With inputs from Darrpan Mehta)

One rarely hears about dubbing artistes, who despite remaining in the dark corners of the studio, bring to life all our loved characters with their voice. Nobody understands the effort that goes into doing justice to the character or actor that they are dubbing for. After all it is not just about reading out dialogues, it also requires a great amount of acting and emoting and sometimes even talking in a different language or voice.

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Voice actors who are lucky to get more mainstream projects are often recognized but still not applauded for the work. Regardless of spending hours in the studio booth most of these voice actors are not only anonymous and unsung but also walking home with pittance.  In films, it is the  popularity and recognition that comes when the public recognizes an actor by his/her face unlike dubbing artists who are never brought to the fore or ever seen.

In Hollywood and Bollywood today top actors are dubbing for animated characters. These actors are applauded for the voices and are not ignored just because they haven’t acted in the film themselves. In fact, there is an entire marketing activity that goes with the territory for such actors. Voice actors on the other hand have been voicing animated characters for years and still standing in the shadows and are protesting this discrimination today. It must however be acknowledged that the celebrity voice which is well recognized by the public does in a way actually make a “star” out of the animated character voiced for by them.

Bollywood, Television or the Corporate world has rarely given proper credit to the invisible voice actors

 

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The film Shamitabh, is like the life story of every invisible voice actor in which the voice of Amitabh Bachchan is used to bring to life the mute Dhanush and the friction that grows when Shamitabh realises that his voice is as big, if not bigger than the star. This is exactly what the voice actors are feeling and are looking for that honour by including their  names in the credits. They want that the audiences know who dubbed for their superstars. They want people patting their backs and cheering their voices.  They want their profession to get its due place under the sun.

 

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In the recently released movie, Chaar Saahibzaade – Rise of Banda, a sequel to the movie ‘Chaar Saahibzaade‘, not only does the movie review not feature the Voice Cast of the movie, even the film on screen does not have any mention of the Voice Artistes in the end credits. When we tried to speak to the Voice Artistes who have lent their voices for the Characters in the movie, we were told that they had to sign a Non-Disclosure agreement with the Producers of the Movie hence they were not in a situation to even openly talk about this project!!

 

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Bollywood should take a leaf out of the book of the South Indian film industry which actually has instituted state awards for films dubbed into the other southern languages.

The public today is quite aware that voice actors are sometimes voicing for their favourite stars. If the credits don’t actually name who did that performance, it can be quite difficult to figure it out and often comes down to wrong guesswork. Voice actors wish that public would appreciate  the time they spend behind the mike bringing to life their favourite stars to give them a great experience.

 

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Most of the times voice actors are not given due credit as it is feared that it would hamper the star’s career and may be even winning accolades.

However, not all production houses and stars are indifferent to those dubbing for them. John Abraham, for example, has openly credited the success of his early films to dubbing artiste Viraj Adhav who, at that time, had been the on screen Voice of John Abraham. But that is just one exception among many who prefer not to give credit to the voices dubbing for them. This kind of accolade is just one part of what voice actors are looking for. The other being that they want as a policy that end credits showcase their names for all the projects they voice for, just like those of stars lending their voices to animation films. Logically the end credits  of a film maybe roll for a few minutes and it is felt that it would not be that much trouble to credit a voice actor. Besides considering that end credits acknowledge everyone right down to spot boys, how difficult would it be to put their names in the credits, is what voice actors are asking.  Voice actors are unhappy at not being credited for their work, but then who is to blame? Maybe because there is no recognized platform to address the issue.

 

Voice actors are important, talented and skilled people who deserve as much recognition as any other actor if not more.

 

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11 Responses

  1. Manasi joshi

    Wonderfull artical Sugar Mediaz!!!!! Putting this issue on board is the first step towards getting voice artists thier due credit!!!!!

    • Sugar Mediaz

      Thank you Manasi!

      Indeed! This might be a small attempt at striking a conversation on this important issue, but then we are sure each such attempt will contribute towards the larger goal of getting this craft the place it deserves in the sun 🙂

  2. Rahul Manjal

    Totally Agree! Even in Radio Shows…there isn’t a credits roll to share names of peopyle and voices working on the show! RJ ends up doing a mention, subject to time availability ! We need to introduce a change…

  3. DEEPAK K AGARWAL

    Very very well written and one of the best article about voice industry…..Hira ji I congratulate you for this amazing work….this article should be publish in Times…best of luck.

    • Sugar Mediaz

      Hi Deepak, thank you for your very encouraging feedback! Hira ji has indeed written a lovely piece and yes it deserves a much larger audience 🙂

      – Sugar Mediaz

  4. Jassi bhatiia

    Congrats!a vry relevant article indeed…Sugar Mediaz is a pioneer with Darrpan ji at the helm of affairs….voice industry will surely blossom with his vision.

  5. K S Shankar

    Very well written article. Thanks Sugar Mediaz for highlighting this aspect of non recognition to several
    voice artistes in this country. Voicing has grown by leaps and bounds in India due to ever expanding
    tv channels, e learning, advertisements, prompts and other fields. Wish Sugar Mediaz will take it up with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry the need for some awards to the voice overs in India.
    Also there is a need to regulate the mushrooming “Voice Workshops” and fly-by-wire “workshops” who are fleecing the aspiring voice overs. Please have a directory of good institutions or organisations giving training in this voice overs. I for one is writing as others are with my personal experience. K S Shankar

    • Sugar Mediaz

      Hello shankar and a big thank you for your spirited thoughts on the issue of recognition for Voice Artistes! As a Voice Content based company headed by one of the leading Voice talents of the Industry, Darrpan Mehta, we are as pained by the lack of a platform for recognition of voice artistes. While this series of Articles and interviews related to the Voice Acting Industry is one way of achieving that goal, we are already in the process of instituting India’s first comprehensive Voice Awards for Voice Artistes across all segments of the Industry. Very soon we will give out all details about the same and look forward to participation and support from well wishers like you!

      – Sugar Mediaz

  6. K S Shankar

    Thanks Darrpan Mehta for starting a campaign for recognition for Voice Over Artists. I suggest an article on the issue of payment to the VO. The VO often complain that they are not paid according to the industry standard. I for one is a struggling VO and I would like to bring the issues facing the VO through this platform. Regards K S Shankar

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