EGA Licenses Spirits of Greenwood Cemetery for localization research and education
Los Angeles, CA, March 5th 2021 — The Entertainment Globalization Association (EGA) today announced it has entered into a license agreement with Hollywood Graveyard to license its twelve minute short film “The Spirits of Greenwood Cemetery” to conduct research in the areas of localization and its impact to viewing experiences and customer satisfaction. The period supernatural drama takes place in the 1930’s and features a young woman forced to work for a wealthy family in town to support her family’s farm. The plot thickens when she finally decides to take a shortcut through the cemetery one evening. This film is not only a high quality and entertaining piece, but it features several highly challenging elements which make it a difficult film to localize.
“I’m a big fan of the director Arthur Dark and his Youtube channel, so when I saw this film and the high caliber execution, I really felt like it was the perfect material for EGA and the test set we were hoping to find. It has historical vernacular, songs, voice-over, lip-sync dialogue, stylized images for audio description testing. I really couldn’t have produced a short from scratch that was as perfect as this and the fact that it’s super entertaining and watchable makes it the perfect specimen for our research” said Chris Fetner, EGA’s Managing Director.
Ironically, Hollywood organizations and even the studios suffer from a lack of clearable material that can be used for conducting any kind of real research because of all the legal ramifications associated with union rules, music rights, location rights and the myriad of other very necessary protections around IP. What this ultimately leads to is a scarcity of material that can be used for scientific research which consequently leads to slow forward movement of localized viewer experiences and making entertainment localization more efficient and enjoyable to global audiences.
“It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation with research in key areas, no one can get the material to test, so we don’t get wiser on areas and the innovation never comes. We end up defaulting to dogma, opinions and traditions, many of which haven’t ever been tested or not tested for long periods. By having material that’s unencumbered by the complexities of big budget features and television, we can unlock all kinds of insights that will ultimately lead to more viewing joy and better methods for artists hoping to have their stories shared across different cultures and languages.” said Fetner.
The film will go through all of the traditional distribution preparation steps to create a complete set of testing assets including being localized in about seven languages, closed captioned and audio described. Once this work is complete, these control assets will be used against various other assets to investigate areas of machine translation, synthetic voices, artificial intelligence, impact of audio descriptions on viewers with developmental issues, innovative workflows and error tolerances.
“Even though localization is a longstanding artform, there’s still a great deal we don’t know. Having this material is the foundation for so many exciting research projects and it’s essential to getting on with the work of understanding our art from an empirical and scientific perspective” said Matteo Natale, Chairman of EGA’s Insights Committee.
It’s not every filmmaker that’s willing to allow their passion project to enter the lab and Arthur Dark is not your average filmmaker. The USC Film Scoring Program graduate is an accomplished film composer, writer and Youtube Channel personality entertaining nearly 200k subscribers with his tours of famous cemeteries and their star studded occupants. Because of his vast sound experience, the assets for “Spirits” were in ideal condition to conduct the research EGA hopes to undertake. When asked why he’d allow his film to become part of EGA’s research set he said this.
“As a filmmaker you want your films to be seen, it’s why you do it. This film will now get seen and enjoyed by thousands of more people because of the localization research EGA will do with it, so for me it was opening up a bigger, broader audience than the film might have gotten on its own. And if my work can contribute to some important breakthroughs in understanding on how to entertain global audiences, well that’s pretty cool too” said the director.
Although this is the first film the EGA has licensed for research, there are plans to license about three to four more shorts for additional research and genre specific insights. The ultimate goal being to have a broad enough spectrum of material to conduct credible real world research that’s representative of popular material consumed by average audiences. Research with the material will begin sometime in Q3 of this year.
ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT GLOBALIZATION ASSOCIATION
The EGA is a California-based trade association primarily focused on building a stronger connection with the creative talent that entrusts them to “retell” their stories for audiences in different cultures and languages. Their main areas of focus are creating standardization, conducting localization research, creating industry education opportunities and celebrating high quality localization. The organization is narrowly focused on entertainment localization as defined by audio localization (dubbing), subtitling, audio description and graphic replacement for episodic, feature-length and gaming entertainment. For a complete listing of the member companies and individuals visit our website https://www.egassociation.org/membership-directory/corporate.
ABOUT HOLLYWOOD GRAVEYARD
Hollywood Graveyard is the brainchild of Arthur Dark, a LA-based film composer and USC Scoring Program graduate. His Youtube Channel has 200K subscribers and features tours of the final resting places of the deceased famous. In addition to his Youtube work, Arthur is a writer and filmmaker. He’s currently in discussions to have his first middle-grade novel Zombie Junior optioned into a feature length animation.