How hard is it to be George Clooney? It can’t be that bad, can it. Super models falling at your feet, Nespresso adverts keeping your bank account healthy and being largely regarded as the biggest name in Hollywood; he lives a hard knock life. What if I told you that he was a Brazilian ER doctor, a Japanese lawyer and a children’s book author? Well he’s all these things to the international audiences of his movies. In other words, welcome to Being George Clooney.
For Western audiences, the silver fox’s velvety tones have enamoured our eardrums for over three decades. Although his handsome looks can overcome many cultural barriers, the English language cannot. As films cross into foreign territories, the talents of several voice artists are needed to translate for these keen audiences. This is where this new documentary comes in to evaluate the lives of these unsung heroes. As the Kickstarter campaign states: “As Hollywood depends more and more on international box office proceeds, voiceover dubbing has become a multi-billion dollar business”.
This frankly brilliant approach will explore the business, the people and the origins of the audio dubbing industry. Charting its history from the depths of fascist Mussolini’s Italy to 21st century technologies and the online market. However, the stars of this show are the figures you don’t usually see: the voices behind the famous faces. As the campaign posits: “who are these voice actors who spend a life in the darkness speaking other’s words into a microphone?”
The story of this world will be explored through interviews with directors, producers, dubbing crews and the talented stars from around the world. They intend to explore both the personal lives of these artists and their lives as George Clooney’s “alter ego”. The filmmakers are set to travel to dubbing studios all over the world going from Rome to Berlin and Madrid to Mumbai. The project boasts an impressive scope and taps into an idea that has only just entered into the public’s conscious.
The BBC reported in February 2013 on the “invisible stars”, which produced an array of enlightening and disheartening results. For example, the German ‘voice’ of Bruce Willis for the last 25 years did not enjoy the idea of being involved in the Hollywood fairground ride. When asked what he enjoys most about his job, he replied: “I enjoy the money. It pays the bills”.
The topic is ripe for exploration, and the team behind the campaign are more than up to the task. The doc is to be helmed by Paul Mariano, who made his name through his co-direction of These Amazing Shadows that looked into the history of the National Film Registry. Renowned film critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, Mick LaSalle, described it as a “really entertaining and involving movie…very cultivated and sophisticated”.
However as with all the projects, they can be considered little more than pipe dreams without the necessary funding. With this project’s need to travel the globe to find and interview the other George Clooneys, the Kickstarter’s goal is a heady $90,000. So why should you fund this project? What do you get out of it? With the goal so high, the pledge packages are not the cheapest around with the juicier gifts available for those who offer $100 or more.
However, don’t let that put you off as options are provided for those with less than healthier bank accounts. The $25 pledge ensures you receive exclusive updates of their travels from around the world as well as a digital download of the final product with the estimated delivery date being December of this year.
With just three days left on this project, you’ll have to make your mind up fairly quickly as to whether you’re in or out. However, it’s clear there is a high level of popular support out there with the campaign needing only $7,500 more to receive all their hard-earned funding. We’re extremely impressed with the concept and we sincerely hope it does reach the promised land of funding. Here is the link to their Kickstarter and we’ve presented their trailer below for you to make up your minds.
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