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Pat Fraley Workshop Coverage : The Serious

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

August 20, 2008

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Game controller

Want to get into Character Voice Acting for Interactive and Gaming?

In this article, we'll talk a bit about the market and how the acting style of Realism rules this exciting and fascinating genre.

Also, find out how to avoid silly (yet common) mistakes that most actors fail to realize at the onset. Be one of the smart ones and read this article first before going to the studio!

Interactive / Gaming Voice Overs

According to Pat Fraley, interactive / gaming projects are 80% drama driven. Also, 95% of all game tracks are recorded talent by talent and not in an ensemble setting.

There usually isn't much by way of direction, so if you find yourself auditioning for one of these jobs, you need to guess and rely on instinct.

During the recording sessions once you've landed the gig, the director will be a source of great knowledge and assistance, providing context for each and every line of dialogue.

Realism Rules This Genre!

Nobody likes a faker, especially people who play the games (those people are called gamers), and they can sniff a faker out a mile away.

Authenticity is very important for interactive / gaming voice overs so it is up the voice actor to project a realistic persona for their characters and play your actions out based upon motivations. The only way to deliver a realistic performance is good acting.

Being authentic is related to making real choices. There are two kinds of actors, smart actors and stupid actors.

Here Are Some Tips on How To Be a Smart Actor:

๏ When called to sigh, sigh on the the line. Most actors will sigh at the beginning of the sentence or line and it's way too predictable. Sigh on the line.

๏ Abide by the Series of Three when delivering your lines. Pat has mentioned this before but it is good to review. You can use the Goldilocks method of "Too Hot, Too Cold, Just Right", or any other combination of relative feelings toward whoever it is you are talking to in the script, perhaps "Love, Like, Hate", or Like, Impartial, or Dislike".

๏ When you need to speak to small groups of people, don't yell if it's an intimate setting; make sure that your voice and its projection is equal to what one would expect in real life. Similarly, if you're addressing groups of 20 - 50 or larger groups, oh let's say 10,000 people in an army, be mindful of the scope and project as necessary.

๏ If you are recording for an older character, don't make them sound like they have one foot in the grave. People in their 50s, 60s, and in even their 70s still have a robust quality to their voices. There's no need to sound 100 years old when it calls for a mature, senior voice.

๏ Don't touch microphones in the studio but ask for assistance. More on that below.

Microphone Technique

๏ 5 fingers, hand width away, then 5 fingers open for further distance.
๏ For intimate conversations get closer, as close as 3 fingers distance.
๏ Never touch the microphone or adjust the pop filter / wind screen. If you want it moved, ask the recording engineer to make the adjustment. You can move the script or script stand.
๏ Get a comfortable headphone mix. Try putting one head phone on, and the other side of the headphone off so that you hear your true self.

This is also a good technique if you are recording in a group. It's easier to communicate in group, by listening directly and not through the headphones.

Words of Wisdom from Pat Fraley

In relation to character voice acting :

"Never give up your power until you have to."

"To realize a really good choice, you have to work the mic."

What Are Your Thoughts on Interactive / Gaming VO?

I'd love to hear from you so leave a comment!

Best wishes,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/AF-studio

Related Topics: how to, interactive / gaming, Microphones, Pat Fraley, pop filter, the serious, voice acting, voice over, voice overs, workshop


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