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  • Writer's pictureRussell Wait

We are Storytellers.

A long time ago, before television, before radio and even before we figured out how to create squiggles that represented our ideas – we told each other stories. Slowly these stories spread into other cultures, passed on by travelers, bards, and sages who could communicate across language. People would listen, rapt in awe, as the storyteller would weave a tale that had taken years to perfect.

Today, we no longer have to wait for the storyteller to come through our village, our stories come to us in a vast array of instant mediums, and we can enjoy them in their original language or in our own local dialect whenever we please. Some may bemoan the loss of the storyteller and their ancient story-craft, but they haven’t left us. They have merely become faster.

In today’s fast moving localization landscape, programs from many different cultures are being viewed and appreciated by audiences worldwide. Led by a passionate industry of sales staff, producers, translators, adaptors, dubbing professionals and online platforms; we are able to view and engage with Film and TV Shows on an unprecedented level. This rise in the popularity of localization, and the speed in which we work, has led our industry to break down these stories into measurable units. A currency we call: “Content Minutes”.

Working in Content Minutes is a convenient method for us to quantify our work. It gives all a common language then working across different departments from sales to production, but the term can easily lead us astray. When we break down heartfelt dramas, laugh-out-loud comedies, and beautifully shot films into simple “minutes of content”, there is a chance that we may get carried away by the transaction of linear currency and lose sight of the very reason we do this work in the first place; and that is – telling stories.

We must never forget that, above all else, we are in the business of telling other people’s stories. We have been given the responsibility to translate and adapt stories that bring with them a window to another culture and present them in such a way that they will be appreciated on a global level. So, while audiences around the world sit rapt in awe as they listen, watch, read and play: remember … We are the storyteller.

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