What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

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What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by Zestanor » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:42 pm

Was it a project initiated partly by the original Ocean VAs, wanting another stab DBZ, perhaps with the intention of besting the ‘99 Funi dub? Or was it initiated mainly by Westwood? Why did Canada need an alternate dub? Did they yearn for homegrown VA talent after hearing the Schemmel-Sabat-Faulconer take on the Freeza Arc?

What prevented Funimation from re-hiring the Ocean VAs for their dub that was not an impediment to Westwood getting the same actors? The Westwood dub doubtfully had more of a budget.

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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by MasenkoHA » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:59 pm

Zestanor wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:42 pm
Was it a project initiated partly by the original Ocean VAs, wanting another stab DBZ, perhaps with the intention of besting the ‘99 Funi dub? Or was it initiated mainly by Westwood? Why did Canada need an alternate dub? Did they yearn for homegrown VA talent after hearing the Schemmel-Sabat-Faulconer take on the Freeza Arc?
From my understanding it had something to do with the french-based AB Groupe having distribution rights of Dragon Ball in Europe it was somehow cheaper to hire the Vancouver actors to do an alternate dub. Forget the semantics

The dub wasn’t produced primarily for Canada but the UK. AFAIK Canada continued to air the Funimation dub until the Cell Games. Having a dub that would count as Canadian content probably was a good incentive to switch to the Westwood dub though.

What prevented Funimation from re-hiring the Ocean VAs for their dub that was not an impediment to Westwood getting the same actors? The Westwood dub doubtfully had more of a budget.
Funimation wanted to be cheap. It was cheaper to do the dubbing themselves rather than to outsource it to Vancouver. Plus they were apparently having Barry fly back and forth from Texas to Vancouver to oversee the dub so saving on flight cost probably helped.

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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by Dragon Ball Ireland » Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:34 am

We may never know the full story but my educated guess would be Westwood Media knew YTV was getting frustrated with Funimation sending tapes too late and decided to create an alternate version, AB got wind of this, so upon realizing they had no legal obligation to use Funimation's version, and knowing Turner UK had their own issues with Funimation (unlike YTV, they went out of their way to rerun episodes that debuted in Funimation's dub with Ocean, they also said if they aired Kai they would go for Ocean's dub) they made both Westwood Media and Turner an offer they couldn't refuse to distribute this new dub in the UK, Ireland and Holland.

All that said it's still very strange that the Westwood dub didn't air in Canada until the later part of the Cell games, so maybe YTV bought a certain number of episodes from Funimation and weren't willing to double dip on them, but it may always be a mystery to us.
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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by NitroEX » Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:03 am

Zestanor wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:42 pm
Was it a project initiated partly by the original Ocean VAs, wanting another stab DBZ, perhaps with the intention of besting the ‘99 Funi dub?
The Vancouver voice actors had little insider information on what was going on with post-Saban DBZ dub, aside from perhaps Terry Klassen (who, as far as I'm aware, once admitted to directing a few TV episodes & is known to have chipped in on Funi's adapted scripts). Ian Corlett had only previously had a hand in the production of the BLT and Saban dub due to owning a company that I believe helped with localising or adapting anime, but he seemed to have turned down an offer to reprise Goku for the Westwood dub and only said that he had "heard of this" in reference to the dub starting production in Vancouver in 2000. Ian's prior disagreements with Ocean/IPP over not being properly paid for his screams in the Saban/Funi dub were also likely a contributing factor for his lack of involvement this time around.

On the Funimation side of things, the Texas actors were completely left in the dark about the Westwood dub, so much so that Chris Sabat dismissed it as "complete bullshit" when Sonny Strait asked him about it, this was the same year production started.
wrote:Or was it initiated mainly by Westwood? Why did Canada need an alternate dub? Did they yearn for homegrown VA talent after hearing the Schemmel-Sabat-Faulconer take on the Freeza Arc?
Evidently Westwood Media produced it, although it is said to have been recorded at a few different studios in Vancouver such as Airwaves Sound. Much like the later Calgary based Blue Water Studios, Westwood Media appears to have been a sister studio of Ocean Group so their hand was in all of these dubs from a production standpoint, everything from sound effects used to a shared library of Anitunes produced music tracks (some of which also featured in other Ocean-based projects such as Megaman and Monster Rancher) were all a result of Ocean overseeing things.

The reason for the Westood dub is obviously unclear however we do have some clues that give us an idea;
1) Despite Funimation dumping the Vancouver cast for cost reasons, a business relationship between Ocean and Funimation still continued. We know this because the Canadian DBZ broadcasts of the Funimation in-house dub include elements not seen in either the US Toonami or UK broadcasts. The most relevant change to Canada's version was the use of additional sound effects which were a key feature of Ocean's dubs of Dragon Ball. Music placement was also occasionally altered which suggests Ocean had been given Funi's music and voice tracks separately to mix together and compile in order to meet YTV's standards. All of this points to Ocean still handling post-production for Funimation. This working relationship gives us a better idea of how the Westwood dub was able to use Funimation's footage, title cards and scripts when they started dubbing their own version.

The next logical question is; Why didn't Funimation step in and insist they use the Texas cast?
This one is harder to speculate on and I don't know for sure but my guess is that they probably had no right to make such a demand. You have to remember that when Funimation entered into agreements to start dubbing and distributing DBZ with various companies like Pioneer and Ocean Group, due to being a new company with a still unproven product, they may have had to make compromises in order to get the show out there. In Pioneer's case, we know that for some reason they agreed to let Pioneer produce an uncut version intended for home video that appears to have been produced independently of them with no involvement from the likes of Barry Watson (who infamously enforced the wrong pronunciation of Kaioken among other things). The only things kept consistent were voice cast as well as character & attack names, but the product itself was a stark contrast to what Funimation was doing with the franchise at the time, and how they later produced their own movie dubs.

Using that knowledge and extrapolating further, we can assume that the deals Funimation made with Ocean in the 1990s may have included Canadian television distribution (which would explain the post-production tweaks made to YTV's version of the Funi dub) as well as Ocean's later disregard for the Funimation version entirely - because they were not bound by any contracts to stick to that version, only to facilitate DBZ to Canadian TV. I would also add that the cast changeover in 1999 was not something either company foresaw happening when the initial agreements were made. I doubt any party would have thought to specify a detail as to which cast must be used, particularly since the 1999 cast hadn't even been assembled yet (Hell, the Ocean cast technically WAS the Funi cast, they had simply abandoned them!). The terms were likely very vague, which probably allowed Ocean the freedom to do as they wanted.

2) The Westwood dub premiered in the Netherlands first with the UK airings happening about a month or two afterwards. Despite the dub starting during just before the Android saga, Canada continued airing the Funimation version well into the Cell Games before finally making the switch over. This suggests that AB Groupe may have been the catalyst for the dubs production in some way rather than it simply being created because of any imposed CRTC regulation. Perhaps the dub was started because AB Groupe felt that leasing the Funimation in-house dub was (or had become) too expensive and that Funi had too much leverage over them in this area (since they possessed the only English version of the series at the time), instead feeling that it would be cheaper to fund an alternative version. It's possible that other reasons could have been the cause instead; there were issues with episode delivery time, which we have heard was eventually an issue Canada's YTV encountered - one that may have been the deciding factor for them to finally switch.

AB Groupe was no stranger to English dubs either, at the time AB had full control over the Dragon Ball franchise in France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, and they used that to self-produce and release their own English versions of Dragon Ball Z movies (now referred to as the "Big Green" dub). These dubs were hastily recorded prior to the Westwood dub and started being released in the Netherlands on home video under Bridge Entertainment (and eventually some saw release in the UK, but were quickly discontinued). The existence of these European English dubs tells us that AB did have an interest in producing an English version, but saw Ocean as a much more adequate vendor for that service. How they came into contact with Ocean is anybody's guess, there have been rumours of fan complaints in the UK regarding the initial cast switchover in the Funi produced dub which may have clued someone in at Cartoon Network UK to investigate, which then could have made it's way to AB (the UK distributor) but, unfortunately, none of this is really provable.
wrote:What prevented Funimation from re-hiring the Ocean VAs for their dub?
Funimation was notoriously cheap in their early days. This is the reason they dropped the Vancouver cast in the first place. The evidence of this is numerous and well documented; They hired local Texas actors who had virtually no experience at that point and directed them to imitate the previous cast as best they could to maintain some semblance of an illusion that they were selling the same product, even though it was basically being produced by amateurs.

I could go on but, I think I've said enough.

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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by MasenkoHA » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:10 am

NitroEX wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:03 am

Funimation was notoriously cheap in their early days. This is the reason they dropped the Vancouver cast in the first place. The evidence of this is numerous and well documented; They hired local Texas actors who had virtually no experience at that point and directed them to imitate the previous cast as best they could to maintain some semblance of an illusion that they were selling the same product, even though it was basically being produced by amateurs.

I could go on but, I think I've said enough.
It’s especially funny because they initially outsourced the ADR work to Vancouver, BECAUSE of Canada’s cheap dubbing rates. It was already being cheaply produced clearly once they had used some of their profits to buy discount recording equipment at radioshack they decided it would be even cheaper to move production to Texas. Although I think the switch over was partially to save even more money and partially because Funimation wanted full control of their product(they also started distributing the series on television and home video themselves at that point instead of using Saban and Pioneer).

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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by 10gigtriforce » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:45 am

MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:10 am
NitroEX wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:03 am

Funimation was notoriously cheap in their early days. This is the reason they dropped the Vancouver cast in the first place. The evidence of this is numerous and well documented; They hired local Texas actors who had virtually no experience at that point and directed them to imitate the previous cast as best they could to maintain some semblance of an illusion that they were selling the same product, even though it was basically being produced by amateurs.

I could go on but, I think I've said enough.
It’s especially funny because they initially outsourced the ADR work to Vancouver, BECAUSE of Canada’s cheap dubbing rates. It was already being cheaply produced clearly once they had used some of their profits to buy discount recording equipment at radioshack they decided it would be even cheaper to move production to Texas. Although I think the switch over was partially to save even more money and partially because Funimation wanted full control of their product(they also started distributing the series on television and home video themselves at that point instead of using Saban and Pioneer).
That really is what it looks like. outsource to the cheapest possible people to get some start money then do it cheaper in house. thats why sabat voiced so many people too, he was cheap because he was salaried if memory serves

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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by Dragon Ball Ireland » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:57 am

Another thing that should be mentioned, because it's brought up often is that the Westwood dub was almost certainly not made to fit Canadian content requirements. YTV had already been getting Funimation's dub (both Saban and inhouse) up to Episode 168 (183 uncut) so Dragon Ball Z was already airing with American replacement scores and mostly American actors for the vast majority of the run in Canada. If anything the inclusion of Canadian actors and Canadian replacement music in the Westwood dub was an afterthought for economic reasons that incidentally cut the dub's production costs and YTV's royalty bills by a not insignificant amount.
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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by Robo4900 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:25 pm

The story behind the Westwood dub is only complex in that there are several things about it we don't understand; everything we do know about it is quite straightforward.

Somehow, the rights were acquired by the relevant companies such that Westwood Media were able to produce Dragon Ball dubs recorded at Ocean. Most likely, Westwood Media simply negotiated the rights from Toei to produce a second English dub for European markets, with AB Groupe distributing it. AB and Ocean already had distribution rights, so all that was needed was approval to produce a second English dub. Probably this involved paying some royalties to Toei, and Toei saw no reason not to have a second English company giving them royalties.

Understand this: Toei has consistently allowed Funi to screw the west over with shitty home video that directly defies everything we've been saying to them for like 13 years, and they've never stepped in to stop Funi's shitty dubbing practises, many of which continue to this day ("I forgot my tractor!", "I came from HFIL...", "Let's go visit Yamcha!", "I just wanted you to be a strong boy", "I totally pwn'd you in this fight!"), so clearly Toei doesn't care.
And back in 2000, they cared even less. So... A second company comes along looking to do a second dub for Europe? Whatever. Long as they're paying their royalties, the westerners can do whatever the hell they want.

A lot of people like to think there was some shady back alley deal involving black magic that got the Westwood dubs up and running, but realistically, it was almost certainly a fairly straightforward thing.
The reasons WHY it was produced, we can only guess at, but we can guess pretty well; by all rights, Funi were charging a frickin' fortune for DBZ at the time, Turner allegedly paying several million dollars for "season 5" despite them penny-pinching in every way they could, so it seems reasonable to assume that Westwood and Ocean saw an opportunity to get the Ocean cast back to record a dub sold for cheaper with the established cast that the fans were already attached to from the first two seasons, and took that opportunity.
Initially, the dub was only produced for Europe, so it's possible AB Groupe were somewhat involved in the initial talks, saying something like "Hey, these Funimation efforts are costing a fucking bomb, if you'll pardon our French, so maybe you could do it cheaper?" And then, of course, they provided their video masters for the last four episodes of Z, as well as the entirety of DB+GT, but it's known that the actual production work on this dub was carried out by Westwood.
Sadly, Westwood wasn't doing too well in the '00s, and only a couple of years after Dragon Ball ended, they shut down.

Anyway, Westwood Media got producing this dub with Ocean; Ocean was already getting the editing materials and scripts from Funi's dub, so they fast-tracked production in terms of getting their actors back, probably they recorded as fast as they could whenever they got a batch of materials so they could rush the episodes out to YTV and Toonami.
For the score, they most certainly would have had the Faulconer score on hand, but licensing it would have cost a LOT of money, and most likely they didn't have the Kikuchi score on Funi's masters, so they just threw on some library tracks Ocean had and could use for free (all composed by Anitunes; songs from Mega Man, Monster Rancher, et al. were used); later on, they'd commission Anitunes to compose some original tracks for the show too, but once they got to GT (and after that, DB), they switched to using the Kikuchi score, which was on the M&E masters AB Groupe were sending them.

Funimation was significantly behind Ocean when GT went into production, so Ocean wrote their own scripts for it, based on their own translations of the Japanese dialogue.
GT initially entered preproduction with the assumption it would record in Vancouver; they even held casting sessions for it.
But, at the last minute, the head of Ocean, Ken Morrison, ordered it moved to the cheaper Blue Water studio. Essentially he didn't like that the union in Vancouver was changing some rules to prevent some of the penny-pinching that went on at Ocean, so he opened up the Blue Water studio and wanted that to be the NEW Ocean, so shows could be done cheaper.
So, once again, the Vancouver cast were screwed over by shitty pennypinching.
Still, DB & GT were quite well-done dubs aside from this; the voice acting was often quite amateurish, but the scripts were very good (GT's scripts in particular; not only were they accurate, but the dialogue was really well-written. DB's were still written well, but weren't as accurate). It sort of feels like a really, really well-done fandub in a lot of ways.

The real mystery is Ocean Kai. We don't even know how that one was produced.
NitroEX wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:03 am
Evidently Westwood Media produced it, although it is said to have been recorded at a few different studios in Vancouver such as Airwaves Sound. Much like the later Calgary based Blue Water Studios, Westwood Media appears to have been a sister studio of Ocean Group so their hand was in all of these dubs from a production standpoint, everything from sound effects used to a shared library of Anitunes produced music tracks (some of which also featured in other Ocean-based projects such as Megaman and Monster Rancher) were all a result of Ocean overseeing things.
Westwood Media was never a "sister studio" of any kind, this is misinformation that grew out of Westwood Media going defunct in the early internet days, and an unrelated "Westwood" recording studio existing in Vancouver.

I'll also say this: The Westwood Z dub was not recorded at "a few different studios", it was almost all recorded at Airwaves Sound. A small bit of the recording happened at the main Ocean studio, but 99% was Airwaves. So it was just those two studios, mainly just the one, though.
NitroEX wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:03 am
The next logical question is; Why didn't Funimation step in and insist they use the Texas cast?
This one is harder to speculate on and I don't know for sure but my guess is that they probably had no right to make such a demand.
You're right, but not for the reasons you think; the Westwood dub was an entirely distinct production from Funimation, so Funimation had no right to say or do anything at all. The only influence Funi had was that Ocean were using Funi's scripts and video master.

Other than that, really great post there, Nitro. :)
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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by MasenkoHA » Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:53 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:25 pm
,
Initially, the dub was only produced for Europe, so it's possible AB Groupe were somewhat involved in the initial talks, saying something like "Hey, these Funimation efforts are costing a fucking bomb, if you'll pardon our French, so maybe you could do it cheaper?"
I assumed it was entirely AB Groupe’s decision to make an alternate dub.

Actually, if Funimation had continued to use the Vancouver cast in the Toonami era (as they should have) I wonder what would have been done to save money on Funimation’s exorbitant distribution fees? Probably have the Big Green cast dub an alternate English Z dub


.
Anyway, Westwood Media got producing this dub with Ocean; Ocean was already getting the editing materials and scripts from Funi's dub,
Terry Klassen and Ward Perry were staff writers for the in-house Funi dub too so that probably helped.

For the score, they most certainly would have had the Faulconer score on hand, but licensing it would have cost a LOT of money, and most likely they didn't have the Kikuchi score on Funi's masters, so they just threw on some library tracks Ocean had and could use for free (all composed by Anitunes; songs from Mega Man, Monster Rancher, et al. were used); later on, they'd commission Anitunes to compose some original tracks for the show too
I was curious why they didn’t just keep the Kikuchi score (it would have put the Westwood dub even further ahead than the Funi dub in terms of quality) I figured it was a consistency thing as different as the Wasserman/Faulconer/Anitunes music sound they’re still in the ballpark of kidvid schlock music instead of kung fu music. I suppose it also makes sense if they never had the Kikuchi music to begin with if they were working on Funimation’s masters.
But, at the last minute, the head of Ocean, Ken Morrison, ordered it moved to the cheaper Blue Water studio. Essentially he didn't like that the union in Vancouver was changing some rules to prevent some of the penny-pinching that went on at Ocean, so he opened up the Blue Water studio and wanted that to be the NEW Ocean, so shows could be done cheaper.
So, once again, the Vancouver cast were screwed over by shitty pennypinching.
Could you imagine a Dragon Ball and GT dub with the Vancouver cast. I wish they had been able to do the entire trilogy from start to finish.

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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by Robo4900 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:00 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:53 pm
I assumed it was entirely AB Groupe’s decision to make an alternate dub.
No way.
AB's only involvement was providing masters, and distributing it to Europe. They had no involvement in its actual production. It was Westwood who actually produced the dub, thus Westwood who decided to make it.
MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:53 pm
Actually, if Funimation had continued to use the Vancouver cast in the Toonami era (as they should have) I wonder what would have been done to save money on Funimation’s exorbitant distribution fees? Probably have the Big Green cast dub an alternate English Z dub
Probably nothing, because Westwood wouldn't have any opportunity to produce an alternate dub.
MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:53 pm
Terry Klassen and Ward Perry were staff writers for the in-house Funi dub too so that probably helped.
Probably. Would've meant they'd have had the scripts and video sooner than if they'd only got them from the work editing Funi's episodes for YTV, at least, which may have sped the recording along.
MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:53 pm
I was curious why they didn’t just keep the Kikuchi score (it would have put the Westwood dub even further ahead than the Funi dub in terms of quality) I figured it was a consistency thing as different as the Wasserman/Faulconer/Anitunes music sound they’re still in the ballpark of kidvid schlock music instead of kung fu music. I suppose it also makes sense if they never had the Kikuchi music to begin with if they were working on Funimation’s masters.
Yeah, they almost certainly wouldn't have had Kikuchi's score. I doubt consistency was a problem; the Westwood score is SO different to the Wasserman and Faulconer scores, I doubt that was a concern.
MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:53 pm
Could you imagine a Dragon Ball and GT dub with the Vancouver cast. I wish they had been able to do the entire trilogy from start to finish.
Yeah. Would've been pretty damn near perfect. One of many, many, MANY ways we'd have got an infinitely better Dragon Ball experience in the west if not for fucking ridiculous nonsense from those in charge.
Westwood should've said "No" to Ken Morrison, but it seems they didn't care.

Honestly, though, this goes back way further than that: Funimation should have NEVER been trusted with the Dragon Ball license back in '94, and them getting it is a perfect example of how bad nepotism can be. They were a new, unproven company who consistently fucked up. Their only successes came about from outside help, and right now, their fans despise them -- for good reason.
Things would've been much better if Viz had acquired it instead. And that way, it would have most certainly still been dubbed at Ocean, just in the correct order, and done uncut and faithfully.
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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by MasenkoHA » Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:09 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:00 pm


No way.
AB's only involvement was providing masters, and distributing it to Europe. They had no involvement in its actual production. It was Westwood who actually produced the dub, thus Westwood who decided to make it.
I know they weren't involved in the production, but I was under the impression they were the ones who made the call to have it done since they had licensing rights in Europe and left Westwood and Ocean to do the dubbing? Guess not.


Honestly, though, this goes back way further than that: Funimation should have NEVER been trusted with the Dragon Ball license back in '94, and them getting it is a perfect example of how bad nepotism can be. They were a new, unproven company who consistently fucked up. Their only successes came about from outside help, and right now, their fans despise them -- for good reason.
Things would've been much better if Viz had acquired it instead. And that way, it would have most certainly still been dubbed at Ocean, just in the correct order, and done uncut and faithfully.
Pioneer or Viz either would have produced a well done dub. Though with Pioneer they probably would have used a California based cast (I think that's what they usually do?) even an alternate universe where Pioneer takes over the dubbing from Funimation starting with season 3. Inheriting the Ocean cast from Funimation but doing a faithful dub ala the movies and going back to redub the first 67 episodes uncut would have been nice.

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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by Robo4900 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:17 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:09 pm
I know they weren't involved in the production, but I was under the impression they were the ones who made the call to have it done since they had licensing rights in Europe and left Westwood and Ocean to do the dubbing? Guess not.
It would be INCREDIBLY weird if AB's distribution rights and French production rights allowed Westwood & Ocean to produce a dub.
It's possible that Westwood approached AB, and sublicensed the relevant rights from them, I suppose?
But essentially that would just be AB taking the role of Toei in my above theory on Westwood just casually strolling to the rightsholder and asking for them.
MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:09 pm
Pioneer or Viz either would have produced a well done dub. Though with Pioneer they probably would have used a California based cast (I think that's what they usually do?) even an alternate universe where Pioneer takes over the dubbing from Funimation starting with season 3. Inheriting the Ocean cast from Funimation but doing a faithful dub ala the movies and going back to redub the first 67 episodes uncut would have been nice.
Yeah.

Though, I think if anyone took it, it would've most likely been Viz. They were doing Ranma 1/2 just before DB was on the table, so I think it would've been a fairly natural follow-up for them.
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Debate the plot, characters, adaptations, dubs, etc., criticise the home video, but never lose sight of the fact that it's all just entertainment. You're supposed to enjoy it. If you're not enjoying it, just walk away.

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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by Dragon Ball Ireland » Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:30 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:17 pm
MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:09 pm
I know they weren't involved in the production, but I was under the impression they were the ones who made the call to have it done since they had licensing rights in Europe and left Westwood and Ocean to do the dubbing? Guess not.
It would be INCREDIBLY weird if AB's distribution rights and French production rights allowed Westwood & Ocean to produce a dub.
It's possible that Westwood approached AB, and sublicensed the relevant rights from them, I suppose?
But essentially that would just be AB taking the role of Toei in my above theory on Westwood just casually strolling to the rightsholder and asking for them.
This is exactly why fans are so fascinated by this dub. It's production may have been straightforward, but even at it's most basic it's still a more interesting story than Funimation just cheaping out on their inhouse dub because of all the extra negotiations that would have had to occur for the Westwood dub to be a thing.

Even if Westwood just casually approached TOEI to get the greenlight for producing another dub the fact it aired in the country it was made so much later than Europe means there was more to it than just being a more cost effective alternative and begs the question how did the Dutch and UK branches of Cartoon Network come into the picture.

When it comes to Dragon Ball's history in both countries whether or not our license holders had a say in influencing Westwood, or potentially even the mystery company who produced Ocean Kai matters, because they are the ones who in theory make these things possible. We don't know for a fact the Westwood dub episodes of the Artificial Humans arc, much like Ocean Kai would have ever seen the light of day if it was exclusively Westwood's idea.
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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:02 pm

I wonder who saved money by using the Vancouver cast, though.

The reason I say that is because the Westwood dub was a union dub (using ACTRA, the Canadian union), whereas FUNimation's dub was and continues to be a non-union dub. Maybe it was a case of the Vancouver actors being more expensive, but the overall distribution rights being cheaper? Hard to say for sure.
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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by NitroEX » Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:16 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:25 pm
Westwood Media was never a "sister studio" of any kind, this is misinformation that grew out of Westwood Media going defunct in the early internet days, and an unrelated "Westwood" recording studio existing in Vancouver.
Well, first off I don't think anyone has the facts or sources to definitively claim one way or the other about what Westwood Media/Westwood Studios were, I merely said "appears to have been" and left it at that. All that I've dug up on them has lead me to believe that they produced nothing independent of Ocean, much like how Blue Water operates. They essentially appear to have been a Vancouver based anime arm of Ocean/IPP that was there to handle most of the dubbing work that Ocean's main studio either couldn't handle due to scheduling conflicts or simply because the projects were too low budget to warrant recording time at the main studio. It seems pretty evident to me why all of these listed Westwood projects were all given to Blue Water, and that's because all these companies were most likely connected by a single overseer - which I still believe to have been Ocean. For what it's worth, this article also names them as a sister studio, and that will remain my position on it unless you have proof pointing otherwise.
Robo4900 wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:25 pm
Somehow, the rights were acquired by the relevant companies such that Westwood Media were able to produce Dragon Ball dubs recorded at Ocean. Most likely, Westwood Media simply negotiated the rights from Toei to produce a second English dub for European markets, with AB Groupe distributing it. AB and Ocean already had distribution rights, so all that was needed was approval to produce a second English dub. Probably this involved paying some royalties to Toei, and Toei saw no reason not to have a second English company giving them royalties.
This theory operates under the assumption that Westwood was above Ocean as some sort of independent producer/distributor with their own separate license to produce dubs similar to Funimation or AB Groupe. I personally find that hard to believe as I have yet to find any evidence of Westwood being independent.

What we do have evidence of is Ian Corlett referring to Ocean/IPP here as a possible explaination for the Westwood dub
Quote:
Ian James Corlett wrote:"I heard of this. It's a weird anomaly of distribution rights or something... I think IPP/Ocean sound has the Canadian rights to record shows, so it's independent of Funimation."
Robo4900 wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:25 pm
Understand this: Toei has consistently allowed Funi to screw the west over with shitty home video that directly defies everything we've been saying to them for like 13 years, and they've never stepped in to stop Funi's shitty dubbing practises,
...
And back in 2000, they cared even less. So... A second company comes along looking to do a second dub for Europe? Whatever. Long as they're paying their royalties, the westerners can do whatever the hell they want.
I agree with this, but I think their negligence was largely to do with Toei not yet having a base of operations in the US or Europe, which would naturally limit their communications with western companies as they would be relying on individuals from within Japan to communicate and approve things from Funi, AB or whoever else... So essentially ill-prepared to do their jobs. If they were approving things like the Big Green dub and sending Funi broken English translations to adapt for their scripts I think it's safe to assume they may not have had someone on hand to understand the nuances of English and possibly other languages as well. We also have to factor in the lack of full streaming video at that time which probably meant they weren't doing much (if any) watching of internationally dubbed material until much later.

In regards to the modern stuff with Funi, if I had to guess, I'd suspect it's more the case of Toei looking at the current situation and thinking "The western audience likes these changes?... I suppose it has the quantitative data to back it up. And at this point, it's become what the audience expects moving forward so... We probably shouldn't meddle and start changing things now. Just smile and nod approvingly!"
Robo4900 wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:25 pm
GT initially entered preproduction with the assumption it would record in Vancouver; they even held casting sessions for it.
But, at the last minute, the head of Ocean, Ken Morrison, ordered it moved to the cheaper Blue Water studio. Essentially he didn't like that the union in Vancouver was changing some rules to prevent some of the penny-pinching that went on at Ocean, so he opened up the Blue Water studio and wanted that to be the NEW Ocean, so shows could be done cheaper.
I think the Vancouver cast were screwed out of work with GT (as well as G-Gundam and other shows that went to Blue Water) but I don't think their aim was to replace Ocean for all anime dubbing, we did get Vancouver dubs from them after that point, and into the 2010s we observed a change in their methods; allowing cross-pollination of the Calgary and Vancouver casts in the same production, presumably allowing costs to stay low enough to keep dubbing cost-effective for them while still being able to use the best Vancouver talent at the forefront.

I can believe there was some penny pinching going on, especially from what I've heard regarding pay for screams (although to my knowledge those rules were eventually changed, thanks in part to anime like DBZ, which didn't really exist to that extent before in places like Vancouver) so I can pass some of that off as ignorance, but I am also sympathetic to Vancouver based studios (not just in voice-over) feeling the pressure to keep costs down in order to stay competitive against US-based studios, which was probably more-so the mindset of those at the forefront of a company like Ocean. Which at the time of the early 00s had its hand in far more lucrative projects than just anime dubbing (Marvel, Mattel & Hasbro shows among others) and probably weren't as desperate as Funi was.

So yeah, basically what I'm saying is that I sympathize with both sides on this and think the unions may have partially been to blame for not fully understanding that anime work was its own unique thing but at the same time was also still a bit of an unstable new industry and that moving the needle one way could inadvertently cause the work to dry up in Vancouver and force those jobs elsewhere, whether that be to Calgary or the US. Obviously it's a more complicated issue than that, as the eventual closure of big players like Bandai and Geneon, as well as fluctuating exchange rates, had their own part to play in the loss of anime work. But I don't really see them being as penny-pinching as Funi were.
Robo4900 wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:25 pm
NitroEX wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:03 am
The next logical question is; Why didn't Funimation step in and insist they use the Texas cast?
This one is harder to speculate on and I don't know for sure but my guess is that they probably had no right to make such a demand.
You're right, but not for the reasons you think; the Westwood dub was an entirely distinct production from Funimation, so Funimation had no right to say or do anything at all. The only influence Funi had was that Ocean were using Funi's scripts and video master.
Sure, but it didn't start out as an "entirely distinct production from Funimation" which is where the confusion begins. I think Ocean were always responsible for facilitating a Canadian version for YTV under whatever agreement was made with Funimation when they began in the Saban era. I think this because If Ocean went completely independent from the start then Funimation would have presumably had no reason to send them any video, script or soundtracks, logically it just wouldn't have happened unless the initial contracts stated they still had to see that agreement through to the end.

Whether Funi still approved of what was going on by the point of Blue Water's GT (a dub with unique scripts and French sourced footage) is another question but the whole thing definitely started with them providing work for Funimation's in-house version and getting that version to local TV. Either this was a job Funi paid them for, or (what I think is the more likely scenario) is that Ocean was granted the rights to do this from the 90s onwards, and Funi essentially screwed themselves by giving them the freedom within those rights to make their own version, so not too different from what Pioneer was allowed to do but different in that this would take on a life of its own in a way that Funimation would never have predicted. Which, in a funny way, means they're to blame for the Westwood dub existing due to abandoning their initial cast and allowing them to be rehired under new circumstances.

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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by Planetnamek » Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:05 pm

Fascinating story, this explains a lot. As for Funi, personally in spite of their faults and missteps i'm glad they did get their hands on DB. At the very least they gave us proper subbed versions of the original and stopped with the censorship once they left syndication(movies 1-3 excluded since they weren't censored to begin with), and i'm not so sure the other companies that were jockeying to dub DB would've done those things. Maybe they would've, but we'll never know for sure.
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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by Robo4900 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:50 pm

Planetnamek wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:05 pm
Fascinating story, this explains a lot. As for Funi, personally in spite of their faults and missteps i'm glad they did get their hands on DB. At the very least they gave us proper subbed versions of the original and stopped with the censorship once they left syndication(movies 1-3 excluded since they weren't censored to begin with), and i'm not so sure the other companies that were jockeying to dub DB would've done those things. Maybe they would've, but we'll never know for sure.
If Viz had got it, we'd have had the Ocean cast dubbing it accurately all along (probably akin to the Pioneer dub, and/or their dub of Ranma 1/2), and we would've had attainable subbed releases FROM THE BEGINNING, rather than having to wait until 2008 (yes, we did have the first run of subbed DVDs in 1999, but the first 67 episodes of Z and the first 13 of DB were unavailable until about 2008, and before 2008 the only DVDs/VHSes were small, inconvenient, expensive singles containing about 3 episodes a pop, so not only would you be missing 80 episodes, but you'd have to pay a fucking fortune to get it all, so for all intents and purposes, subbed Dragon Ball became available in 2008, with Z only available via the shitty cropped DVDs).

in addition to them, there's Pioneer, and a number of other anime distributors who would've done it justice. But because 4Kids and Saban were the hallmarks everyone currently tends to think of when you think back to the Toonami days, people tend to ignore that there were a lot of other options. (Animaze (Cowboy Bebop), ADV (Evangelion), Viz, Pioneer AKA Geneon to name but a few)

As Kunzait has pointed out before; a lot of people think if it wasn't Funi, it would've been 4Kids or Saban, but there were plenty of fish in the sea of anime distribution who could -- and sure as fuck WOULD -- have done Dragon Ball justice. And Viz in particular was doing Ranma 1/2 in the early '90s with Ocean, and thus had experience dubbing Shonen anime well, and were quite well-regarded/respected/established, and clearly would've gone with a cast we know would have worked...
But unlike Funimation, who only got it because of nepotism (Toei outright refused initially; they correctly thought it was a stupid idea to give one of their flagship properties to a no-name startup, but Gen Fukunaga's uncle saw to it that his nephew's company got the big one), Viz wouldn't have dumped the cast after three years, replaced the score on the dub, held up any kind of subbed release for around five years, an uncut release of Z 1-27 for ten years (would've been 1-67 but, surprise surprise, Funi fucked up, and cancelled the UUE line early), or held up a full subbed release for thirteen years, and -- most critically -- they wouldn't've screwed us over with the fucking Orange Bricks, Season BDs, and 30th anniversary sets; we'd have actually had GOOD home media. And they wouldn't be inserting dumb shit like "I forgot my tractor!" "Let's go visit Yamcha!" "I've totally pwn'd you in this fight!" or the Cell Games re-enactment as intended (yes, I know it's a funny scene; it's also 100% pure memes, which is stupid as hell, and really goes to show how much Funi care about actually rendering the original show into English accurately) into their dubbing to this day.
Funi hasn't just had faults and missteps, their idea of brand management is a string of laugably bad, grossly incompetent messes, to the point that they literally skipped 140 episodes of the show at first, and then practically completely buried it from that point on, making no effort to actually sell this entire first half of this franchise.

Funimation should not have got the license, and IMO, defending them, saying the competition could have been worse, is very flimsy, and essentially just purely an appeal to "how we got it was good and doing it differently would be bad." See also: "Ocean were good for seasons 1 and 2, but Funi were better for the rest." Yes, of course you like it that way, because that's the way you were initially exposed to it during your impressionable youth.
But let's be real here: If one of the actually good companies from back then, like Viz, had got the license, things would have been infinitely better than what we got out of the incompetent, inconsistent, money-grubbing mess Funimation's presentation of the franchise turned out to be.

Apologies if this comes off too harsh, but I'm honestly just sick and tired of people defending Funi's shitty treatment of this franchise. We drew a very short straw when they got the license. Perhaps not exactly the shortest, but certainly one of them. Almost any other option would've been better.
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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by MasenkoHA » Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:32 pm

More than likely we would have gotten a better dub if Funimation hadn’t played nepotism. Pretty sure Pioneer had expressed interest in it, as Robo said it fit in Viz’s Wheelhouse.

About the only good thing Funimation did was eventually release subtitle releases. But most dubbing companies at the time that weren’t like Saban or Harmony Gold did that.

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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by SuperSaiyaManZ94 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:40 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:32 pm
More than likely we would have gotten a better dub if Funimation hadn’t played nepotism. Pretty sure Pioneer had expressed interest in it, as Robo said it fit in Viz’s Wheelhouse.

About the only good thing Funimation did was eventually release subtitle releases. But most dubbing companies at the time that weren’t like Saban or Harmony Gold did that.
It would be very interesting to see if it had happened like that back then with either of those two companies getting it over FUNi, and the series done on the level of Ranma 1/2 or some of their other dubs which also had the Ocean Group cast. Pioneer's later dubs of Z movies 1-3 in particular showed just what they were capable of in having good scripts and everything else which made them so highly regarded even to this day.
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Re: What is the story behind the Westwood Dub?

Post by MasenkoHA » Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:11 am

TheBlackPaladin wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:02 pm
I wonder who saved money by using the Vancouver cast, though.

The reason I say that is because the Westwood dub was a union dub (using ACTRA, the Canadian union), whereas FUNimation's dub was and continues to be a non-union dub. Maybe it was a case of the Vancouver actors being more expensive, but the overall distribution rights being cheaper? Hard to say for sure.
It was almost certainly a matter of the distribution rights being cheaper.

The Vancouver cast may have been more experienced than the Texas cost but they were hardly well-paid. Funimation went to Vancouver because of cheap rates and Ian left because the pay was crap.

It just really speaks about Funimation that the dub was already being produced on the cheap and then they decided “But what if we saved even more money?!?”

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