Friday, January 5, 2018

Interview with Griffin Puatu - Moving to (and living in) LA as a voice actor

Griffin Puatu is a voice actor based in Los Angeles. He has a pretty extensive voice over work history on games such as Shadowverse, the upcoming CyberThreat, and Zodiac-Axis (hey, I'm in that one!) as well as anime like One Punch Man and Charlotte, plus probably a ton of other things coming out he can't tell anyone without subsequently killing them. He's also responsible for scripting and directing my very own character voice over demo.

The decision to move to a new location to expand one's voice over career is always a weighty one, especially when that location shares space with Hollywood. To learn more about this process and how to make the most of it while avoiding costly mistakes, I spoke with Griffin for just a little over an hour to learn some very valuable things.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

6 things you should know about living with a voice actor

Are you a voice actor? Do you live with one? Are you about to live with one and you're concerned every other sentence they utter will be in a foreign accent or an impression of Yakko Warner? Or are you just curious what life with a voice actor is like?

At the end of the day, voice actors are just people with a really cool job. My day often consists of a lot of emailing, researching, recording, editing, writing, and setting milestones to get ahead in my career, but this is punctuated by playing video games, watching way too many meme compilation YouTube videos, hanging out with friends, and browsing social media. Ultimately, we're not too terribly different from your average roommate.

But we are different in some ways. Here's what you may want to bear in mind regarding this whole “rooming with a voice actor” thing.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

How to Find Voice Actors For Your Indie Project, Part 3 - Once You Have Your Actors

Today we review the final part of this three-part series on how to cast voice actors for indie projects like video games and web animations. You can read the first part detailing how to prepare for casting here, and the second part on holding auditions and finding voice talent here.

Part 3 is about how to manage your voice actors once you've got your cast, maximizing efficiency and minimizing miscommunications and stepped-on toes. Your auditions are done, you've spoken to the people you believe are the right fit for your characters, and you're ready to move onward. ...How?

Friday, December 1, 2017

How to Find Voice Actors For Your Indie Project, Part 2 - Holding Auditions

Last time, I waxed briefly on some expectations and guidelines of the voice over casting process, at least as it pertains to indie projects like video games and web series. If you haven't already read it, I highly recommend you do, as it focuses on a different aspect of casting, that aspect being how you should prepare before opening auditions.

Today, however, we're talking about actually holding auditions. It is entirely possible to contact voice actors directly and therefore skip the open audition process altogether, which is sometimes preferable if you're trying to keep certain parts of your project under wraps. (For instance, there were no open auditions for Quantum Suicide, a video game wherein I play charismatic medical officer Nikolas Vogel, as the game developer wanted to keep the English voice acting a secret until a specified date.) You'll still probably want to ask them to audition, though, rather than outright hiring them unless you know beyond a shadow of a doubt they're the vocal embodiment of your character. Regardless of which method you use, consider the following pointers to make the casting process far smoother.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

How to Find Voice Actors For Your Indie Project, Part 1 - Before You Begin

So you've got yourself a video game. No, not from the store – this game you're developing. You've got coding, animation, music, writing, everything you need to make your vision come to life. But you're going to take it a step further – you're going to incorporate voice acting. Words will spew from your characters' mouths, players will hear them, and they will love them. (Hopefully.)

Ah, yes. Hmm. Voice acting. A new beast to be tamed. You conquered coding, you recruited animators, you have a regular A-team going, but mayhap the whole VO thing is uncharted territory for you. Where do you even begin?

Now I know if any agencies or experienced game developers are reading this, they might scoff, throw back their manes of hair (because they're sassy, you see, possibly also from an 80s hair band), and say, “You think we don't know any of this?! You sad, silly little man!” However, a lot of indie game developers just don't quite know where to begin, and even if they do, they often accidentally step on a lot of toes. A friend of mine once lamented that there was no template for indie game developers to hire voice actors, leading to a lot of confusion, misinformation and wasted time. This article is my attempt to correct that.

You may also consider reading Tamara Ryan's own article on hiring voice actors for indie projects, as it offers some new perspectives and insight this article might not spend as much time on. (You remember Tamara - we just interviewed her a month or two ago.)

This whole series will be split into three parts focusing on three different areas - Before You Begin (what to expect and how to prepare), Holding Auditions (rules and guidelines for finding voice acting talent), and Once You Have Your Actors (advice for efficiently getting the reads you need from your hired actors). Today we're focusing on what you should bear in mind before throwing wide the doors to your auditions.