Staff Spotlight: Meet Ambra Ravaglia, Recording Studio Manager for Keywords in Italy
We sat down with Ambra Ravaglia, Recording Studio Manager for Keywords in Italy, to discuss her journey into Audio Localisation, changes in the gaming industry and what it’s like working at Keywords.What inspired your journey into the Audio Localisation space for video games?
I started this journey in 1998, a couple of weeks after my graduation. My first experience was in text proofreading since I love linguistics. I then gradually moved into the audio space which fascinated me as not only do words and languages have to read well, they also have to sound good too!Describe what a day in Audio Localisation looks like at Keywords.
It can be very hectic! We have to work fast and be at our best to ensure the correct end result for our clients. We usually start with a massive casting session and pre-production planning, then go through any recording issues that may arise such as actors losing their voice, arriving at the wrong studio, contracting Covid…the list is endless. After sorting through that and recording, we then begin our different post-production processes. There’s also the admin side of things - invoicing, cost analysis, KPIs, actors social security management etc.What’s your favourite part of the Audio Localisation process?
The best part of my job is getting to map out all the tiny little details, then watching the project rolling smoothly through the different stages towards the result we envisioned.How has Localisation for games evolved as an industry since you started?
Video games have moved from pretty basic dubbing to a more holistic, cinematographic process. From a time when games featured only a brief selection of spoken lines, we now find ourselves in a world where video games have full scripts featuring some often tricky dialogues.
To give you an idea, in 2000, a major video game might feature about 25,000 spoken words whereas today, that figure can be upwards of 2 million. Another key difference is that all of these localised assets now evolve with the game development process itself, working directly alongside production. Before, we worked on finalised assets with the US versions of the game often already in stores!What do you like best about working for Keywords Studios?
I love the informal environment, the flexibility and above all, our wonderful Audio team. We are a solid, dynamic group and we always help each other. This kind of teamwork is what I love the most.Tell us an interesting fact about you!
I am not what you would expect from a person who decided to work in video games. I do not play games or read comics. I studied glottology (the science of tongues or languages), lived in Canada, am the mother of a ballerina & water-polo player, the wife of a lovely game designer and mommy of 2 super-energetic hunting dogs.
I love trekking, reading a good book, going to see an opera or ballet, and watching TV series and movies - dubbed of course, I also do some talent scouting during my entertainment time!And finally, what advice would you give to someone considering a career in Audio Localisation or gaming as a whole?
The very same advice I would give to anyone at any time – travel, discover and have great experiences. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas and your opinions. Enjoy yourself, open your mind, always learn and bring everything back to your country, your job and your life.