Dubbing, Subtitling (SDH & Forced Narrative) and Audio Description
US English and German
Winner of the best drama series and best directing prizes at the German TV Awards, Para - Wir sind King is a coming-of-age story about four best friends who grew up on the streets of Wedding, a rough Berlin district. Each has big dreams and an uncertain future ahead. When a lucrative discovery gives them a chance to make fast money and hope for a better life, their friendship is put to the test. Para - Wir sind King is a fast-paced, colourful series that tackles the social and economic challenges of its female protagonists head-on.
The show’s dialogue is full of slang and contains a mixture of languages, including French, Arabic and Turkish. Often, the languages switch mid-sentence, or single foreign words are dropped into conversation. The result is a truly authentic portrayal of four young women searching for happiness in a world where light and darkness lie close together.
VSI was tasked by Warner Bros. Discovery Germany with dubbing the series into US English for broadcast on HBO Max in the Nordics, Portugal, Netherlands, Central Europe, Spain, the USA and Latin America, as well as creating subtitles and audio description. For Wiedemann & Berg, we created subtitles and audio description for German audiences.
The original director, Özgür Yıldırım, and Warner Bros. Discovery Germany were keen for the authentic dialogue and fast paced nature of the series to be maintained in the dubbed version. The main challenge was to create something that felt as real as the original.
Our teams in Berlin and Los Angeles maintained a close and collaborative approach with both Warner Bros. Discovery Germany and Wiedemann & Berg throughout, exchanging ideas on linguistic and creative challenges and establishing a comprehensive editorial process to fully capture the grit of the story. We focused on bringing in top dubbing directors (Kate Jopson and Carrie Keranen)and diverse young voices to carry the story in a credible way for each locale.
For the US English dub, we worked with dubbing director Kate Jopson, who speaks Arabic herself. This helped her understand the nuances of the characters and their cultural backgrounds. We cast widely to find young dubbing actors who were not only a good voice match, but were also Arabic speakers, enabling them to make the necessary, constant switches between languages as seamless as possible.
As always, QC played a key part throughout the process. For this project, QC involved a two‑stage editorial workflow, one for ensuring the fidelity of the English script and a second for ensuring the perfect lip-sync.
When it came to the German audio description, we worked with an experienced team of both sighted and visually impaired authors. The challenge was to work with the fast pace of the series and present the relevant information in a way that enabled the target audience to still follow the dialogue-heavy plot. The audio description was narrated by Gerrit Hamann, an empathetic and seasoned AD voice artist, who was able to successfully guide the listener through the story whilst capturing the emotions of this dynamic show.