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  • Writer's pictureMaria Tran

Post-Production of 'Echo 8' and the subtitling Process

The movie "Echo 8" highlights the presence of talent within the community, with Nguyen Ha Vy Pham showcasing her skills. With a background in social entrepreneurship and mental health advocacy, she is a TEDx Speaker (2023), a recipient of the Western Sydney University Community Scholarship (2017-2021), and holds an International Business background. Nguyen Ha Vy Pham played a crucial role as the project translator, responsible for creating subtitles and captions for the movie before its distribution. Explore the details of her involvement in the process below.

What inspired your translation of "Echo 8," and how did you approach translating an action movie into Vietnamese?

I learned about “Echo 8” and the upcoming trilogy at a film workshop led by Phoenix Eye CEO Maria Tran in September 2023. Maria's daring spirit in making a movie in just 14 days with a $10,000 budget inspired me. Witnessing the community engagement and collective effort behind the initial movie motivated me to contribute. This marks my first time translating an action movie into Vietnamese. I rewatched it multiple times to capture the characters' essence and storyline before translating their scripts comprehensively from English to Vietnamese.

I felt the characters come to life through the actors' interpretations

Can you share challenges faced during the translation, especially in the specific genre of the movie? How did you overcome them?

The main challenge was ensuring every character's words were captured, accounting for potential improv. However, this made my job exciting, as I felt the characters come to life through the actors' interpretations. Growing up with Hong Kong comedy-action movies helped, allowing me to assimilate the translation, considering both verbal and written language, making it more natural.

How do you ensure cultural nuances are accurately conveyed, particularly in action scenes?

Being Vietnamese at heart is an advantage. I stay updated on Vietnamese trends and viral phrases through user-generated content on platforms like YouTube and Vietnamese Facebook pages. Matching energies with other Vietnamese creators' work helps capture cultural nuances. When translating intense scenes, I say the Vietnamese translation out loud, embodying the character, ensuring the intention and context aren't lost.

Any particular scenes or moments in "Echo 8" that stood out during the translation? How did you capture their essence in Vietnamese? Spoiler Alert*

Many scenes stood out, and I even cried at the movie's climax. A funny moment involved Delta 1 and Echo 8 getting late-night kebabs after a mission, perfectly reflecting the local Australian context of the Fairfield area. This added a human dimension to the characters, showing they aren't just ruthless assassins.

As a translator, how do you balance staying true to the original content while adjusting for Vietnamese audiences?

First, I experience the movie as an audience to understand its impact. Watching it multiple times, I analyze the characters and script details. I create a draft, seeking feedback from international students and younger Vietnamese, ensuring relatability. The process took about a week, allowing me to enjoy and be inspired by the work rather than viewing it as a laborious task.

The distribution phase of the "Echo 8" movie is currently underway, concurrently, scripts have been penned for the upcoming 'Echo 8 Trilogy,' and various business partnerships are in the process of being finalized and explored.

The Echo 8 Trilogy represents a collection of urban action assassin films with a female-led perspective, crafted under the creative direction of Maria Tran and penned by Elizabeth H. Vu. This trilogy takes audiences on three distinct cinematic journeys: "Echo 8" (2023), "Five By Five" (2025), and "Echo 8 Beyond" (2025).

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