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Lao film dubbing professionals share their experiences in the field

Mr Vilay Sayaveth  and Mr Salieng Xiengvong are rarely seen on screen but they have provided a lot of entertainment and happiness to people across Laos with their voices.
They both are film dubbing artists who have been active in the field for a long time, having lent their voices to more than 10,000 films, foreign movies screened on Lao television channels.
Both of them spoke of their experiences in this field when they attended a recent news conference in Vientiane about the upcoming release of acclaimed Chinese films.

Mr Vilay Sayaveth (right) and Mr Salieng Xiengvong after sharing their  experiences in the field of film dubbing.

Mr Vilay said he started out in film dubbing in 1972 at National Television. He dubbed for films screened at theaters in Vientiane and on television.
He is now a deputy director of the film dubbing division of Lao National Television and also a television presenter and MC. He also continues to do dubbing for films shown on National Television and loves to provide happiness to the public.
After working in this field for a long time, he has made a name for himself through his attention to detail and his patience.
In the past, no computers were used for film dubbing and most of the dubbing was done live by one or two people. Sometimes, one person did the dubbing for several characters in a film.
“The live film dubbing was a funny thing,  which we didn’t want audiences to see, for example when we were doing the dubbing first an elderly character. The dubbing now is different and we can record the sounds and voices,” he said
“In dubbing, the most important thing is that the person doing the dubbing must be completely fluent in the Lao language, and the dubbing must be right for the film character,” he added.
This year, the technical staff of Lao National Television had a chance to work with people from Quangxi  province in  China. Mr Salieng went to Quangxi, where he did the dubbing for two months in a studio for the Chinese films to be screened on channel 1 of National Television.
Mr Salieng has done the dubbing for eight Chinese films that have been screened on Lao National Television, including the film Samkok, which has a historical background.
“People have read the book and the new version of this film has a famous Chinese superstar who transformed the character,” Mr Salieng said.
This year Mr Salieng and dubbing artists from the Department of Cinema were invited to do the dubbing of two films that will be screened at the Chinese film festival in Vientiane.
In the past, the Department of Cinema has organised film dubbing training sessions and competitions to seek out young people with talent in this field so that they could shine in the Lao entertainment sector.
Out of 50 trainees, only one passed the training. Everyone who joined the training had a good voice, but they could not do the dubbing.
 “The trainees have great voices but they cannot use their voice in the right way. They have to have three levels - low, middle and high - as well as the right emotion,” Mr Salieng said.
He said youngsters who want to be good dubbing artists must have more motivation to succeed in this field.
Besides working in dubbing, Mr Salieng  is a director of the Sound Promotion Division of the Department of Cinema.
Since he started in this field in 1980, he has done the dubbing for documentary films to promote government policies and many other films at the department. He has also dubbed for many documentary and foreign films screened on television channels in the country.
He said he enjoys the work because he gets to play different characters and provide audiences with fun and enjoyment.
He said he appreciated the opportunity to do the dubbing for two Chinese films - Manai Phachonphai (Adventure Fox) and Cancer, A Gift For 29th Anniversary with Mr Vilay.  

By Sisouphan Amphonephong
(Latest Update November 6, 2017 )

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