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Axis International was a dubbing studio based in Hong Kong which specialized in dubbing Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, and Hong Kong films. Most of these were from Toho, Shaw Brothers, Golden Harvest, And various smaller companies. They are notable for being the very first professional dubbing studio in Hong Kong. Notable works include Gamera vs. Barugon, Gamera vs. Gyaos, The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Godzilla vs. Gigan, Godzilla vs. Megalon, Hanuman and the Seven Ultramen, and Space Firebird 2772.

Background[]

Axis International was founded by former British Naval Intelligence officer and sports commentator Ted Thomas. In the late 1950s, After a couple years of working in broadcasting, Ted was commissioned by Run Run Shaw too help dub films from his company, Shaw Brothers, into English. Ted enjoyed his experience working on Shaw Brothers’ films, Which would make him later open his own dubbing company in the early 1960s.

In the early 1960s, East-asian companies realized they could make more money out of their films if they exported them overseas with an English dub ready-made. Axis International was the first and the cheapest, Making them the go-to dubbing company for several film companies. Most writing sessions would begin with a company calling up and commissioning a film to be dubbed. Then, a translator (usually Ron Oliphant) would record what scene needed to be dubbed and would count the syllables and pauses for what was needed to lip sync in the scene, Which would become the basis for the English script.

The dubbers themselves were only required to know how to do two things, have fast reactions and a unique voice with good inflections, with actual acting part of it being seen as additional. Most dubbing sessions would begin by bringing in male and female broadcasters from Radio Hongkong, their spouses, or actors who had applied via a newspaper advertisement that asked for help. A clique quickly started to grow which Ted and Ron would gather together for dubbing, which from the very beginning had a bit of an RHK influence.

The voice group was represented by Hong Kong expats of many nationalities. Microphones and tape for the film to be recorded on would be set up by engineers, and the films would be recorded in the conventional looping format. Because of the tight schedule, Axis usually didn’t have time to re-record a loop or even review it, as it might halt production on another dub they had to finish. Most dubbing sessions would take around 12 to 20 hours in total, With dubbers working from around 6 PM to midnight. With this schedule, Around six or seven films could be finished in a month.

After the dubbing sessions were complete, The dubbed reel would be sent over to whichever company had commissioned the dub. The company would then pay back about 9,000 HKD and the dubbed film would be copied so it could be shipped to the distributor that had bought the rights to that film in whichever country the company was based in. The dubs would also be used in export prints.

Axis International had many locations throughout the years, With them either being in Kowloon's walled city, Small houses on the edge of town, Or a flat with the living room made into a studio and the bedrooms being the projector rooms. However, It wouldn't be until the mid-late 70s until Axis had a designated recording studio. In the mid-late 1970s, Shaw Brothers had commissioned Axis specifically to dub their films and the films they distributed into English. At the same time, The casting process started to become more professional. Interviews for dubbing would be held at Shaw House with Ron Oliphant seeing what a new intern could do and if they met the requirements.

By the early 1980s, Axis had been losing traction due to other dubbing companies being more successful and more professional in the eyes of companies, which caused Axis to be considered obsolete. This, combined with the dwindling number of actors, caused the company to go defunct in 1982.

Films dubbed by Axis International[]

Anime Films[]

  • The Littlest Warrior (1961)
  • Adventures Of Sinbad (1962)
  • The Legend Of The Chinese Gods (1975)
  • Space Firebird 2772 (1980)

Live-Action Films[]

  • The Secret Of The Telegian (1960)
  • The Weed Of Crime (1962)
  • Matango (1963)
  • Atragon (1963)
  • Dogora (1964)
  • Judo Showdown (1965)
  • Gamera Vs. Barugon (1966)
  • The War Of The Gargantuas (1966)
  • Return Of Daimajin (1966)
  • Secret Agent 101 (1966)
  • Gamera Vs. Gyaos (1967)
  • One Armed Swordsman (1967)
  • Trail Of The Broken Blade (1967)
  • The Assassin (1967)
  • Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell (1968)
  • Genocide (1968)
  • Golden Swallow (1968)
  • The Sword Of Swords (1968)
  • The Bells Of Death (1968)
  • The Swordsman Of All Swordsmen (1968)
  • Ninjascope, The Magic World of Ninjas (1969)
  • Crimson Bat, The Blind Swordswoman (1969)
  • Trapped, The Crimson Bat (1969)
  • Watch Out, Crimson Bat (1969)
  • Return Of The One Armed Swordsman (1969)
  • The Flying Dagger (1969)
  • Have Sword, Will Travel (1969)
  • Crimson Bat - Oichi Wanted, Dead or Alive (1970)
  • Heads for Sale (1970)
  • Vengeance! (1970)
  • The Chinese Boxer (1970)
  • Valley Of The Fangs (1970)
  • The Heroic Ones (1970)
  • The Chinese Boxer (1970)
  • The Big Boss (1971)
  • Battle Of Okinawa (1971)
  • Human Target (1971)
  • The Invincible Iron Palm (1971)
  • The New One Armed Swordsman (1971)
  • The Anonymous Heroes (1971)
  • Duel Of Fists (1971)
  • Deaf Mute Heroine (1971)
  • The Ghostly Face (1971)
  • The Duel (1971)
  • Godzilla Vs. Gigan (1972)
  • Chase That Man (1972)
  • Fist Of Fury (1972)
  • 10 Fingers Of Steel (1972)
  • King Boxer (1972)
  • Fury Of King Boxer (1972)
  • The Avenger (1972)
  • Duel In The Tiger Den (1972)
  • Furious Slaughter (1972)
  • The Big Fight (1972)
  • The Good And The Bad (1972)
  • Tough Guy (1972)
  • The Boxer From Shantung (1972)
  • Way Of The Dragon (1972, English speaking characters in Mandarin cut)
  • Hapkido (1972)
  • Lady Whirlwind (1972)
  • Godzilla Vs. Megalon (1973)
  • Professional Killers: Assassins Quarry (1973)
  • A Girl Called Tigress (1973)
  • Black Panther (1973)
  • Bloody Ring (1973)
  • Dragon Blows (1973)
  • End Of The Wicked Tigers (1973)
  • Fist Of Unicorn (1973)
  • The Girl Named Iron Phoenix (1973)
  • Knight Errant (1973)
  • Kung Fu's Hero (1973)
  • The Rage Of Wind (1973)
  • Smugglers (1973)
  • Stranger From Canton (1973)
  • The Black Belt (1973)
  • The Chinese Dragon (1973)
  • The Chivalrous Line (1973)
  • The Dragon And The Tiger (1973)
  • The Iron Man (1973)
  • Tiger Jump (1973)
  • Iron Ox: The Tiger's Killer (1973)
  • Honor And Love (1973)
  • Hanuman And The Seven Ultramen (1974)
  • Tornado Of Pearl River (1974)
  • Tiger From Hong Kong (1974)
  • Five Shaolin Masters (1974)
  • Tornado Of Pearl River (1974)
  • The Big Showdown (1974)
  • The Angry Dragon (1974)
  • Hanuman And The Five Kamen Riders (1975)
  • The Supergirl Of Kung Fu (1975)
  • The Flying Guillotine (1975)
  • Outlaw Cop (1976)
  • Mars Men (1976)
  • Wonsan Operation (1976)
  • Bruce's Deadly Fingers (1976)
  • The Killer Meteors (1976)
  • Great Hunter (1976)
  • Shaolin Temple (1976)
  • Fist Of Fury 2 (1977)
  • Last Fist Of Fury (1977)
  • Invincible Armour (1977)
  • Duel With The Devils (1977)
  • Along Comes A Tiger (1977)
  • 10 Magnificent Killers (1977)
  • The Shaolin Invincibles (1977)
  • The Flash Legs (1977)
  • Shaolin Kung Fu Mystagogue (1977)
  • Men Of The Hour (1977)
  • Strife For Mastery (1977)
  • Double Double Crosser (1977)
  • The Dragon, The Lizard, And The Boxer (1977)
  • The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin (1977)
  • Executioners From Shaolin (1977)
  • The Fight For Shaolin Tamo Mystique (1977)
  • Lady Exterminator (1977)
  • Five Deadly Venoms (1978)
  • Snake And Crane Arts Of Shaolin (1978)
  • Deadly Strike (1978)
  • My Life's on a Line (1978)
  • Unique Lama (1978)
  • Stranger From Shaolin (1978)
  • Dual Flying Kicks (1978)
  • The Eighteen Jade Arhats (1978)
  • Snake In The Eagle's Shadow (1978)
  • Shaolin's Born invincible (1978)
  • Kung Fu Master Named Drunk Cat (1978)
  • Assassin (1978)
  • The Crippled Avengers (1978)
  • Invincible Shaolin (1978)
  • Heroes Of The East (1978)
  • Death Duel of Kung Fu (1979)
  • Dance Of Death (1979)
  • Mystery Of Chess Boxing (1979)
  • Hell's Wind Staff (1979)
  • Marvelous Stunts Of Kung Fu (1979)
  • The Kid With The Golden Arm (1979)
  • Cute Foster Sister (1979)
  • King Of Fists And Dollars (1979)
  • Dance Of The Drunk Master (1979)
  • Secret Message (1979)
  • Gamera, Super Monster (1980)
  • Challenge Of The Tiger (1980)
  • Deathquake (1980)
  • Super Power (1980)
  • Snake In The Monkey's Shadow (1980)
  • The Kung Fu Warrior (1980)
  • Return To The 36th Chamber (1980)
  • Jaguar Force Thunderbolt (1981)
  • Kung Fu Zombie (1981)
  • King Of Prodigal Boxers (1981)

Talent Pool[]

Voice Actors

  • Angel Chapman
  • Andy Chworosky
  • Barbara Laney (†)
  • Bruce Lee (Director, actor in Chinese dubs of Way of the Dragon only) (†)
  • Barbara Walter
  • Barry Haigh (Director, Voice Actor) (†)
  • Carol Levine
  • Chris Hilton (†)
  • Daniel Oliphant
  • Gary Sauve
  • George Montgomery
  • "Gengo"
  • Graham Earnshaw
  • Harvey Gamecock (Tony Moore)
  • Hal Archer (†)
  • Ian Wilson (†)
  • Jack Murphy
  • Jack Moore (†)
  • John Wallace (†)
  • Linda Masson
  • Lynne Wilson (†)
  • Mandy Cooke
  • Michael Kaye
  • Michael Ross
  • Nick Kendall (Director, Voice Actor) (†)
  • Ron Oliphant (†)
  • Rick Thomas
  • Rex Ellis (†)
  • Peter Boczar
  • Penny Archer
  • Saul Lockhart
  • Simon Broad
  • Sidney Oliphant
  • Ted Thomas (Director, Voice Actor) (†)
  • Warren Rooke

† deceased
*

Sources[]

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