The Kitchen: Adding New Flavors to Localization

Beginning off as a small localization facility geared towards a South American group of TV channels, Miami-based The Kitchen has grown into a worldwide power, with a dozen dubbing amenities around the globe, and a bunch of main media shoppers.

Firm EVP Deeny Kaplan spoke with MESA in regards to the firm’s latest worldwide progress push, the altering wants of media and leisure localisation companies lately, and the way The Kitchen not solely tailored to immediately’s remote-work actuality, however discovered methods to thrive throughout the pandemic.

MESA: The Kitchen has been offering localisation companies for almost 20 years now. What was the impetus for the corporate, how did it first enter the media and leisure scene? Kaplan: The Kitchen was conceived initially as a part of the Miami-based Cisneros Tv Group, as a playout and localisation operations facility for his or her 10 U.S.-based networks.

Ken Lorber, proprietor, president and CEO of The Kitchen, was first employed by Cisneros to construct, workers and function the power as its then-vice president. A couple of years later, Lorber and a small group of buyers bought The Kitchen outright.

Ken has had a 40-plus-year involvement within the manufacturing trade, starting in New York, the place he based and operated VideoWorks, and later in Miami, as president of Publish Edge, offering amenities and companies for the launch of MTV Latino and Discovery Latin America.

Taking The Kitchen from an English and LATAM language operation to a multi-language, localisation enterprise, working in 12 nations worldwide, was pushed by present trade wants, needs and specs of networks and bigger distribution corporations across the globe.

MESA: What does The Kitchen do in a different way than different localisation suppliers, what makes the corporate stand out in opposition to the competitors?

Kaplan: The Kitchen is a dubbing studio that believes in working “outdoors of the field.” We now have by no means been afraid to suppose in a different way. Making a profitable submit home within the crowded New York market required providing distinctive options and Lorber approached his localisation enterprise in a similar way. It’s how we received our two Emmys for the event of our international language suite of software program tools. Why not herald a brand new choice, round an space of the trade that had not been acknowledged by the Tv Academy earlier than?

I consider that considered one of our major property, and what really units us aside from our competitors, is our dedication to customer support. We’re really old fashioned. We work 24/7. We don’t take into consideration time zones. We at all times reply our telephones. Our SOP is to get to know our shoppers, to fully perceive their wants, and create a team-like ambiance.

MESA: How has The Kitchen tailored in latest months to the worldwide pandemic, each inside your amenities, and accommodating voice expertise to work remotely, with out sacrificing dubbing high quality? Kaplan: Greater than 50% of our workers has been working from residence since early March. We’re capable of work remotely fairly simply and produce very environment friendly outcomes. Our operations haven’t slowed down. Those that do go into the studio — administrators and expertise primarily — are topic to intense “new regular” operative calls for. We now have full-time cleansing crews. We demand masks. One individual within the elevator at a time. No ready within the inexperienced rooms or lingering after periods. Studios are sanitized between recordings. Pop filters are modified after every expertise has accomplished their work. Hand sanitizers can be found all over the place.

Moreover, our groups have designed distant recording capabilities, testing what works finest, and aiding expertise in implementing the authorised design inside their properties. Some shoppers are insisting that we use distant recording solely. Others have been delighted with the protection and hygienic situations supplied in our studios. Each choices have confirmed to be efficient.

MESA: In 2017 The Kitchen started an aggressive worldwide enlargement, opening localisation amenities around the globe. Why was it essential to open amenities in locations like Brazil and Turkey, and the place is The Kitchen seeking to supply its companies subsequent?

Kaplan: The Kitchen has instantly responded to our worldwide shoppers’ must supply their language localisation initiatives with one facility, one name, and a single venture supervisor. We at the moment are working in 12 nations/areas globally: France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Moldova, Russia, the Center East and North Africa (MENA), Hungary, Turkey and the U.S. We now have a European gross sales workplace in Madrid, helmed by Alexis Cardenas, VP of worldwide gross sales, and a European translation workforce working out of London. Our EMEA managing director, Yoram Chertok, is predicated in Israel.

The problem is at all times understanding the operational and cultural variations in every location. We now have assembled an incredible workforce worldwide, and sure, we shall be rising. We’re now working towards including operations in Poland, Portugal and India.

MESA: With the explosion of OTT and direct-to-consumer companies worldwide, what are a few of the largest adjustments The Kitchen has witnessed within the worldwide subtitling area (and what do content material homeowners want to remember when going international)? Kaplan: Ben Ferguson, an skilled trade professional and our newly appointed VP of operations, can weigh in on that: “The most important change has been the sheer quantity of subtitling work because the studios and platforms look to promote their content material into new markets and new territories. To service these markets, we wanted to extend our community of translators and practice them to provide the standard that’s required by shoppers worldwide. There are a number of localisation distributors utilizing the identical pool of translators, so considered one of our best challenges has been discovering new translators and getting them on top of things.”

With the explosion of OTT we’ve additionally seen a dramatic enhance in overseas language content material from a number of territories. Prior to now, the vast majority of our translation work has been from English, however with the worldwide launch of massively profitable Turkish, Korean, French and Spanish language content material, we’ve wanted to search out translators with a unique ability and set to service the demand.

MESA: What are a few of The Kitchen’s favourite buyer success tales, and why?

Kaplan: It’s troublesome to provide you with one favourite buyer success story. We really feel each new buyer and our lengthy buyer retention is our best success. Evolving from an in-house localisation enterprise into a worldwide resolution for the likes of NBCUniversal, BBC, Viacom, AMC, Discovery, Lionsgate and lots of others is our favourite success story.

The Kitchen shouldn’t be the most important language localisation studio, but it surely is likely one of the fastest-growing success tales within the discipline. It stays the trade’s solely Emmy Award-winning language studio, an achievement we’re fairly pleased with.

What’s subsequent? Effectively, collectively we will determine that one out. Teams resembling MESA U.S. and MESA Europe have introduced aggressive corporations collectively to delve into what works, what doesn’t, and in the end, what’s subsequent?

Be taught extra about The Kitchen and its companies right here.

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