Gilbert Lachance has been dubbing for 35 years. Over the years, we have heard his voice in more than 1000 films or series. But he is especially known for being the voice of Johnny Depp, Matt Damon and especially Tom Cruise, of which he dubbed almost all of the films.
He was trained as an actor, starred in series like Chambres en ville, but Gilbert Lachance turned to voice acting and storytelling when the camera “shunned” him. He admits it right away, from a very young age, he likes to “change his voice”. Today, he loves his job.
The first point he insists on: actors who do dubbing do not do so out of spite or while waiting to perform in front of the camera, even if he recognizes that dubbing or narration contracts are welcome between two shoots or during off-peak periods, with no gaming contract on the horizon.
“The fact remains that we don’t do it backwards,” Gilbert Lachance tells us. We do it because we like it. And there are very good actors who do dubbing. Think of Anne Dorval, Guy Nadon and many others. Xavier Dolan would not have existed without dubbing. »
The argument of the American boxes that artificial intelligence makes it possible to safeguard the artistic integrity and the authenticity of the actor, Gilbert Lachance does not subscribe to it.
The texts are provided by adapters, who observe the movements of the actors’ mouths and adapt the French texts according to the length of the lines.
Thibaud de Courreges has been an adapter for 26 years. He has worked on nearly 500 films for Quebec dubbing studios. He agrees that in adapting, there is always a loss. “English is very synthetic, while French is spread out, so inevitably there is a problem related to the allotted time, we sacrifice part of the meaning, but we get as close as possible to it. »
According to him, the qualities of the texts adapted by humans are however undeniable. “Jokes, for example, are practically impossible to translate, you have to find others that have the same meaning. The same goes for idiomatisms, complicated words, double-meaning expressions, irony or sarcasm. At the moment, these are things that protect us from robot-generated texts…”
Gilbert Lachance would like to see the Union des artistes (UDA) defend its members who do dubbing and narration. “In many cases, it is even their main source of income,” he recalls. To do nothing would be to take the bread out of our mouths, ”he illustrates.
“If you use the voice of the original actors to dub the films, the producers will have to pay them a bonus, he adds, so they will make even more money. There is a form of uberization of the voice, I find it indecent. »
Thibaud de Courreges admits that he did not believe he had to discuss this file for a while.
“We knew it would come, but we realize it’s now. Will the work of the adapters be protected even if the actors stop doing dubbing? It may be, but for how long? If the software can modify the movements of the lips according to the text, nothing prevents the producers from providing them with their own texts. Eventually, we may play a reviewer role…”