Marco Guadagno, voice actor and dubbing director, tells us at Comicon in Bergamo what it’s like to adapt Marvel films into Italian: “The funniest? Guardians of the Galaxy!”
The panel in which he was the protagonist has a decidedly emblematic title: Big voices come with big responsibilities. After all, if talking is Marco Guadagno, among the greatest voice actors and dialogue writers, as well as direct dubbing, and also actor and theater director, the responsibilities themselves become a professional logic, taking care of every aspect of an undoubtedly fascinating art. In Guadagno’s curriculum vitae, the Italian editions of Ronin, Million Dollar Baby, The Truman Show, Kingsman e Bohemian Rhapsody. And then the animation, da The ice Age a despicable me 3. protagonist of Comicon of BergamoMarco Guadagno told Movieplayer what it’s like to be the dubbing director of the cinecomics of the Marvel.
A challenge that starts from afar, right from the provisional copies that arrive in the dubbing studios. “They give me access to what you can see, with its script. Nothing downloadable. All classified. We work on the preliminary versions. We get two or three versions, and we finish the dubbing arriving at the final version. You talk to the local office: many characters have already been assigned, while voice tests are carried out on the new ones, auditions. Trying to find voices that have not already been used in other films. Then we are confronted with America, the adaptation work begins and we double. Maybe then we need to update the dubbing, based on the processing. We update the work, and check the completed version”Guadagno explains. “I don’t know who listens and decides in the USA, they certainly make choices based on what they perceive. And then they judge the level of interpretation. It’s not just a skill factor”.
Considering Marvel, Marco Guadagno edited over thirty films. But which was the most complex to adapt? “The last Avengers. They were divided into two parts, there were callbacks and connections. You had to be careful. After all, I have the impact of the original film, and it is a different impact from what the audience receives. At the cinema, the spectator has a different vision. It’s an emotional discourse, and I have to respect the wishes of the authors. It’s a responsibility, but also a game… I’m thinking about the choice of Thanos, I didn’t feel like simply translating the phrase ‘I’m inevitable’, and I chose ‘ineluctable’. Liked the thing! Then, the complexity in this type of film is historical memory. And Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame have a lot of them”.
Funniest characters to voice? “Guardians of the Galaxy are so much stuff. James Gunn is great. Guardians and even Iron Man are the funniest. And I add Spider-Man”. Speaking of Spidey, Guadagno talks about how it was dealing with the return of Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man: No Way Home: “Lorenzo De Angelis and Marco Vivio have maintained a beautiful voice, very young. Let’s just hope that Tobey Maguire’s Spidey never meets Chris Evans’ Captain America (they have the same voice actor, ed.)…”.
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“Dubbing is like a musical score”
Marco Guadagno then reflects on the state of the art of Italian dubbing: “There have been some epochal changes. The adaptation of John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy was the emblem. Before the voice actors were often actors. They came from the cinema or the theater. Private TV has changed the rules. There are then there were lucky cases, but the more it becomes an industry, the more quality is damaged. And today we find ourselves in a finite sector, in part, in the hands of numbers. With 3Cycle, I set up a training school, between actors and dialogue writers . I hope to have introduced promising young talents into the market. The market is shrinking, even if it has much more visibility. However, attention has been brought back to the original version of the film, raising the threshold of attention. Netflix and Prime Video are raising the bar, despite today there are budget problems, preferring speed to quality”.
But what does Marco Guadagno answer to those who say that seeing a dubbed film is like seeing a half-finished film? “Dubbing starts from a translation. And the translation is close to the linguistic root of betrayal and tradition. By betraying, I continue to convey the knowledge of the language. Judas betrays Christ, and Christianity is born. Then… The most beautiful dubbing is what you don’t feel, which isn’t forced. Of course, I glue one thing on top of another. And if I’m discreet, the less the glue is visible. The original version remains unattainable, we try to do our best: recreate and restore something in a another language. Like a musical score”.