You may not know this, but Strommen has helped make some of your favorite Film and TV shows. Strommen is located in Los Angeles, so makes sense that we would be contacted by film and television productions for our expertise. One of the first movies we worked on was Brüno, with Sasha Baron Cohen. At the time our German teacher had no idea what he was walking into (if you are familiar with his work you know that he has a penchant for catching people off guard). We helped him to form his character and learn some rather odd nursery rhymes and words that he liked for the character. From that moment on we have done increasingly more work in the industry and we now have a team of experienced dialect coaches that help productions in a variety of ways.
First, we make sure that we understand a productions’ needs. We make an effort to establish the exact language variant, accent or dialect that needed. For example, when we worked with Keanu Reeves on his film 47 Ronin, he needed Medieval Japanese Dialect. When we worked on the Captain America Super Soldier video game they needed German with a 1940s feel. Often the languages aren’t even spoken anymore. When working on True Blood we helped them with many languages including ancient Aramaic. The requests can be challenging, but we are always happy to oblige and guarantee authenticity.
Next, we create the tools help the actors prepare. At Strommen we like to make it as easy as possible for actors to have an authentic accent. Just like with our regular students, we take extra care in preparing materials and addressing the individuals needs. Ideally, we like to approach the language like we do with our normal students, giving actors an understanding of the language, its grammar, and pronunciation rules. Sometimes scripts are changed at the very last minute and it is a little harder for actors, and the dialect coaches to deliver a perfect performance.When pressed for time we use some tricks, like Mp3s, phonetic spelling, and expert coaching to get the job done!
The last step is filming. Our coaches show up early on set to work with actors before filing starts. They also remain for the duration of the shoot to provide feedback to the director and give the actors notes between takes if needed. We have had dialect coaches work for a few hours, or even a few months. We find it very rewarding to see actors we have worked with deliver perfect performances.
If you are curious about the projects we have worked on check out our partial resume here or some clips from projects we have worked on below (read the comments to see people’s appreciation of the accents and authenticity!)
Nathan Fillon Speaking Mandarin Chinese:
Jeremy Piven speaking Italian:
Aramaic in True Blood: