Francesco Pannofino. Martin Umbach. Rikiya Koyama. Tamer Karadağli. Marco Antônio Costa. What do all of these men have in common? They are the international voices of acclaimed actor George Clooney.
Being George Clooney is a feature length documentary that delves into the creative, often humorous world of audio dubbing a Hollywood motion picture. The story unfolds through interviews with film directors and producers, with dubbing crews, and with talented voice actors from around the world.
Just who are these voices behind that famous face? Some are actors in their own right. One is an ER doctor in a major hospital. One studied to be a lawyer. One writes children's books. The film explores both the personal lives of these voice artists and their lives as George Clooney's "alter ego".
As Hollywood depends more and more on international box office proceeds, voiceover dubbing has become a multi-billion dollar business. Dubbing studios around the world face the daunting task of translating hundreds of projects into dozens of languages. Film producers have to consider markets in Peru and Pakistan as well as Peoria... or lose substantial revenues. Dubbing work entails translation of dialogue, finding local equivalents to slang and jokes ("localizing a film"), and then matching voices and lip-synching the work. Being George Clooney explores the business and the process of audio dubbing, from its curious origins in Mussolini's Italy to technological developments changing the face of the industry today.
Being George Clooney is the first film to go behind the scenes to dubbing studios in Los Angeles, Berlin, Rome and Mumbai. The film shows us the problems, the processes and the personalities that translate an American hit into an international blockbuster, and asks the question-what is it like Being George Clooney.
I think that my voice on his face is really good. Some husbands ask me: "Can you say something in my wife's ear with the voice of George Clooney?"
- Francesco Pannofino
Italian voice of George Clooney
When people recognize my voice... sometimes someone will say: "Talk like George Clooney".
- Detlef Bierstedt
German voice of George Clooney
To be the voice of George Clooney is a privilege and a great responsibility. He is an excellent actor and everybody loves him.
- Marco Antonio Costa
Brazilian voice of George Clooney
I love him, love him, love him. He is such a great person and a great actor. When I dub him, I feel like I AM him. It is a great experience to dub the voice of George Clooney.
- Shaktee Singh
Indian voice of George Clooney
People come up to me and tell me, 'Oh, you have a wonderful speaking voice,' 'oh, you're the voice of George Clooney. Suddenly you begin to feel, 'Oh, I am George Clooney'
- Tamer Karadagli
Turkish voice of George Clooney
Dubbing makes you part of the filmmaking family of the world.
- Martin Umbach
German voice of George Clooney
Paul Mariano was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from the oldest high school in the country, Boston Latin School. After completing his studies at Hastings College of the Law, he practiced as a criminal defense attorney for 27 years.
Upon retirement from the Contra Costa County Public Defenders Office, he co-founded Gravitas Docufilms. His directorial debut, Also Ran, won the award for Best Political Documentary at the 2006 Atlanta Docufest. His film, Faces of Genocide began the International Citizens' Tribunal on Sudan, held in New York City on November 13, 2006. The film also showed at the Sarajevo Biennial Meeting of the International Association of Genocide Scholars in June 2007.
His most recent film (co-written and co-directed with Kurt Norton) was the award-winning documentary These Amazing Shadows, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. These Amazing Shadows screened at festivals and theaters across the country (winning awards for Best Documentary and a Cine Golden Eagle Award). It also aired on Independent Lens (PBS) in December of 2011 and 2012.
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Christine O'Malley was born in Manhattan and raised outside of Chicago. In 2004 Christine served as Associate Producer on the Academy Award nominated documentary film Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room. Wordplay was the first feature length film she produced through her production company O'Malley-Creadon Productions. It was a breakout hit at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and went on to become the second-highest grossing documentary of 2006. Christine's second documentary, I.O.U.S.A., premiered at Sundance in 2008 and had a successful theatrical run and was broadcast on PBS. She also produced These Amazing Shadows, and her current film If You Build It.
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Rivkah Beth Medow has created and managed award-winning documentary, broadcast, commercial, internet and non-profit productions. Rivkah's projects have been seen by millions on PBS, Food Network, BBC and in film festivals worldwide. Sons of a Gun, her first feature documentary, is an intimate exploration of a family of brothers navigating both schizophrenia and motel living. The film premiered at SXSW in 2009 and broadcast on PBS in 2013. Rivkah has produced several environmental documentaries including THE NEXT FRONTIER, which won 2 Emmys in 2010. The PBS series EMPTY OCEANS, EMPTY NETS and FARMING THE SEAS won several Best Documentary awards both nationally and internationally. She is also proud to actively contribute philanthropically as a Board Director for the Kenneth Rainin Foundation.
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Kurt Norton has produced, written and directed numerous shorts. These Amazing Shadows, is his second documentary feature in collaboration with co-director, Paul Mariano. He is currently working on a romantic comedy feature entitled, The Mammoth Falls, as well as a feature length documentary about climate change titled Nousheen's Question. He is also a licensed private investigator specializing in death penalty cases and his mother, Audree Norton, was the first Deaf actor on American network television with her featured appearance on the CBS show, Mannix, in 1968.
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Doug Blush has edited numerous award-winning films, including the recent SXSW festival hit, Some Assembly Required, and the theatrically released documentaries, Wordplay, I.O.U.S.A., Outrage, Freakonomics, and 20 FEET FROM STARDOM. He has worked on a range of documentaries as an editor, cameraman and director, and runs MadPix, a production and postproduction company in Los Angeles. He was one of the editors for the 2011 Slamdance Film Festival hit, Superheroes, which was acquired by HBO. He is the director/editor on Of Two Minds, a documentary about bi-polar disorder with his wife, Lisa Klein.
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Frazer Bradshaw has shot hundreds of film projects including features, commercials, documentaries and music videos. His work has screened at Cannes, Sundance, Toronto and New York film festivals. His recent directorial debut, Everything Strange and New, was hailed by critics and won the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2009 San Francisco International Film Festival and the CineVision Award at the Munich Film Festival. He shot a portion of and appears (along with his daughter Hattie) in Focus Feature's documentary Babies.
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Brian Oakes is a two-time Cinema Eye nominee for the films I.O.U.S.A. and INEQUALITY FOR ALL. His television projects include PBS's LENNONYC, INVENTING DAVID GEFFEN, FINDING YOUR ROOTS and HBO's BOBBY FISCHER AGAINST THE WORLD and HOT COFFEE. Brian's title sequence and art direction for Comedy Central's Emmy Award winning NIGHT OF TOO MANY STARS won a 2012 Bass Award. Brian has designed the motion graphics for a range of documentary films including WORDPLAY, FREAKONOMICS, THE LAST GLADIATORS, and THESE AMAZING SHADOWS. Brian has been operating his animation and design studio since 2006 and has recently opened shop in the Gowanus area of Brooklyn.
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