By Stephanie Ciccarelli
June 15, 2008
I had a chance to catch up with my friend Charlie Bennett to see what was cooking.
Turns out, he's been doing a lot of video game voice acting lately for companies who supply games to Nintendo!
Charlie was kind enough to answer 10 questions for me to share with you here at VOX Daily. Enjoy!
VOX: What videogames are you working on with Nintendo right now?
CHARLIE BENNETT: First of all, the videogames that I have done and are doing are not created by Nintendo but by a great game company who supplies Nintendo. The company is called Cat Daddy Games. I finished the first of three a few months ago. It's called "Carnival Games" for the Nintendo Wii system. I am the voice of the Carnival Barker who introduces all the games and how they play. Just a few weeks ago I completed the main character voice, once again the Carnival Barker for the Carnival Games, this time for the Nintendo DS system which is the handheld version. At the end of this week I expect to start on the next game which is called Carnival Games GOLF which will be for the Wii platform. As you can tell they have more or less franchised the Carnival Barker character to create a theme among several games.
VOX: Good to note! Tell me a little about the characters you have voiced.
CHARLIE: The character voice that I supply is the old fashioned Carnival Barker from the old days of county fairs and carnivals that many of us attended as kids. He's kinda sly and pushy and taunts the customers. You know "hurry hurry hurry, step right up and win a fabulous prize" Of course in real life he would have said anything to get you to spend your money.
VOX: What are sessions like recording for Nintendo? Do you have to go to a recording studio to record or are you able to do the voice over from your own?
CHARLIE: I have my own recording studio at home. Cat Daddy supplies the script and I record each line, listen back, and re-record until I'm personally satisfied with the results. Then I make each line or paragraph into a separate .wav file and send it to them.
VOX: What has been the most interesting aspect of voice acting in videogames for you, Charlie?
CHARLIE: I find the whole process interesting from interpreting the character to trying different inflections, accents etc. and then hearing the whole thing after it's finished, and realizing that I created that character and brought it to life.
VOX: How did you get the gig to work for Nintendo in the first place?
CHARLIE: It was just a simple audition for character voices that I sent in on Voices.com. They called me and asked if I could do a barker voice and also gave me the descriptions for three other minor characters and I ad-libbed something for each and ended up getting the main character!
VOX: If I were to play the games, would I see your name at the end in the credits?
CHARLIE: Yes I have on screen credit at the end of the game and I am also given credit in the booklet that comes with each game inside the box.
VOX: Are there any dream characters you would like to voice?
CHARLIE: Not so much dream characters as dream jobs. I would love to have a role in an animated motion picture or TV show. Especially since reading that the Simpsons voices are now getting $400k an episode! One of the major hurdles in "big" jobs is that they require you to be a member of SAG or AFTRA or both, of which I am not and it's difficult and expensive to join. I have done several character voices for other types of media including a bingo caller on a bingo game in Poland, The voice of a Lion who sounds like Elvis in Europe and I'm even the voice of MTV in Turkey! So there's no one dream character, but plenty of dream opportunities.
VOX: What kind of input do you have with regard to creative direction for your voice over lines?
CHARLIE: As far as Carnival Games and Cat Daddy Games, the guys have been wonderful. They have told me what in general they want and then let me put my own spin on the character. It's been basically my call as to what I think would sound best.
VOX: Is most of the VO gameplay or are there cut scenes as well?
CHARLIE: It's almost all gameplay with some action in between but not a lot.
VOX: Are you a gamer yourself? If so, have you played any of the games you have performed voice over for?
CHARLIE: I hate to admit this but I don't have a system as of yet so I have not played the games I did the voices for. I am planning on getting one in the near future but I don't think I'll ever be a true "gamer".
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