The Go-To Firm: Charles Darby & Tim Werenko, Co-founders 3Beep

Charles Darby and Tim Werenko of 3Beep, talk about the idea behind their new venture, future plans and what makes them different from others.

Within a very short span of time, 3Beep has carved a nice for itself in creative services. Its ability to focus on this business has generated a number of new clients and it has busy offi ces and studios in the heart of Times Square and Broadway

3Beep is the new kid on the block for creative services (Voice, Script, Stories) space. How has the company evolved since it was started and what was the inspiration behind this new formation?

In 2015, DuArt’s owner put his daughter in charge of the business. We soon realized we had no interest in working for her. So, we left to start our own shop. Thankfully, our clients joined the exodus too. Our ability to focus on this business has generated a number of new clients, including DQ. It took a few months to build the new business, but now we have busy offices and studios in the heart of Times Square at 51st Street and Broadway in Manhattan.

Charles and Tim are known faces at MIPCOM. What’s your objective and focus at MIPCOM?

We are coming to MIPCOM with a better ability to make deals as we no longer have a board of directors to answer to. For example, we are open to investing our services in exchange for participation. We want to become the “go-to” firm for English language dubbing and creative services in the US. A lot of our work involves basic dubbing — just like our competitors SDI and Deluxe do routinely. But that’s not all that 3Beep can offer. We have a team of writers that can re-write and punch up a script, add jokes and puns if appropriate — a team of directors and Broadway actors that can lift a project to another level. That is what we think differentiates 3Beep from its competitors and why we dislike calling ourselves a dubbing firm. We offer so much more creativity. We also pride ourselves on good communication with the client and meeting our deadlines. The owners answer the phone.

Does Americanizing still work in the digital world for animation projects?

We use the term Americanizing loosely. In generally, we find the verbal and visual pace of many projects a bit slower than we are used to in the United States. So, our writers will often add offcamera lines and utilize other tricks to maintain lip flap, and at the same time create a richer and faster paced show. I have never heard an audience complain about a show being too fast paced — too slow we hear all the time — so, I think what we do has currency on any platform and for an audience in any country.

What’s your media management service all about?

Our team has a lot of experience in the postproduction work including in the areas of closedcaptions, various languages other than English, and video/digital deliverables. We think it is important to offer our clients one-stop shopping for all their foreign delivery needs.

With Netflix and Amazon Prime seamlessly streaming content in over 100 markets what’s the value add from 3Beep? Give some examples.

As veterans in the business we’ve been through the deliverable process for Netflix, Amazon and even Google Play. We’ve forged great relationships with them over the years. We believe Netfl ix and Amazon are contributing to media globalization. There is not a lot of foreign produced content available in the United States. Networks in the US generally prefer home-grown productions. Netflix and Amazon don’t seem to have the same resistance to foreign productions. So, this should be an opportunity for 3Beep on a number of fronts, such as, to Americanize foreign animated shows and do basic dubbing into English. We just finished a feature film for Netflix — from Farsi into English.

What’s the talent pool and human resources strength of 3Beep?

In addition to Tim and Charles leaving DuArt, all the voice directors came with us. Our writing staff also stuck by us. So, we have the same great team in place. All the actors are freelance and travel around the Times Square neighbourhood on a daily basis voicing TV commercials, radio spots and performing on Broadway shows. That was why it was important to put our studios in Times Square. You need to be close to the talent.

What are the major changes happening in the media service business?

In general, we believe that technology keeps getting more user-friendly, and this is driving many post-production service firms to close. Fortunately, technology can’t yet replace voice acting, directing and creative writing, so we’re confident 3Beep has a future. What we have seen, especially in Europe, is a consolidation of dubbing firms. We believe this is being driven by Netflix and Amazon. They don’t want to hire seven different firms to dub a show into seven different languages. That is why quality firms such as VSI have offices all over Europe and the world. The unaffiliated local dubbing fi rm in Europe may be a doomed creature.

How can 3Beep help clients save money and control costs in creative services, media management and digital services domain?

Prep, Prep, Prep. Build time into to the schedule for creating a solid fully approved script. If the script is good everything that follows is easier and better. We have certain restrictions on costs. We try to keep our fixed costs low — but the acting talent charges what the talent charges. That said, the best way to save money is to give us as many shows/episodes to record at one time. We are currently working on a five-minute animated series with 104 episodes. We record them in batches of 10 so that we can be very effi cient with the acting talent. We must pay them one hour minimums – so if they come in for 10 minutes of work they still get an hour of pay. By recording 10 episodes at a time we do our best to fill that hour with actual work. Volume – that is the way to save.

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15 Feb 2018 Issue

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