Voice acting

Voice acting is the art of performing voice-overs or providing voices to represent a character or to provide information to an audience or user. Examples include animated, off-stage, off-screen or non-visible characters in various works, including feature films, dubbed foreign language films, animated short films, television programs, commercials, radio or audio dramas, comedy, video games, puppet shows, amusement rides, audiobooks and documentaries. Voice acting is also done for small handheld audio games.

Performers are called voice actors or actresses, voice artists or voice talent. Their roles may also involve singing, although a second voice actor is sometimes cast as the character's singing voice. Voice acting is recognised in Britain as a specialized dramatic profession, chiefly owing to the BBC's long tradition of radio drama.[1]

Voice artists are also used to record the individual sample fragments played back by a computer in an automated announcement.

Atunda Ayenda Cast
Voice actors in the Sierra Leonean radio soap opera Atunda Ayenda
Chinese actors dubbing a television show as others look on 1987
Actors dubbing a television show in China while visitors look on, 1987

Types

Character voices

The voices for animated characters are provided by voice actors. For live action productions, voice acting often involves reading the parts of computer programs, radio dispatchers, or other characters who never actually appear on screen. With a radio drama or Compact Disc drama, there is more freedom in voice acting, because there is no need to match a dub to the original actors, or to match an animated character.

Producers and agencies are on the look out for many styles of voices such as booming voices, which may be perfect for more dramatic productions or cute, young sounding voices that are perfect for trendier markets.

Some just sound like regular, natural, everyday people and all of these voices have their place in the Voiceover world, provided they are used correctly and in the right context.[2]

Narration

In the context of voice acting, narration is the use of spoken commentary to convey a story to an audience.[3] A narrator is a personal character or a non-personal voice that the creator of the story develops to deliver information to the audience, particularly about the plot. The voice actor who plays the narrator is responsible for performing the scripted lines assigned to the narrator.

In traditional literary narratives (such as novels, short stories, and memoirs), narration is a required story element; in other types of (chiefly non-literary) narratives, such as plays, television shows, video games, and films, narration is merely optional.

Commercial

One of the most common uses for voice acting is within commercial advertising. The voice actor is hired to voice a message associated with the advertisement. This has different subgenres; television, radio, cinema, and web-advertising. The subgenres are all different styles in their own right. For example, television commercials tend to be voiced with a narrow, flat inflection pattern (or prosody pattern), whereas radio (especially local radio) commercials tend to be voiced with a very wide inflection pattern in an almost over-the-top style.

Markerters and advertisers use voiceover all over their projects, from radio, to TV, to online and more! Total advertising spend in the UK is forecast to be £21.8 billion in 2017.[4]

Voiceover used in commercial adverts also is the only area of voice acting where de-breathing is used.[5] De-breathing means artificially removing breaths from the recorded voice. This is done to stop the audience being distracted in any way from the commercial message that is being put across.

Translation

Dub localization is a type of voice-over. It is the practice of voice-over translation altering a foreign language film, art film or television series by voice actors.

Voice-over translation is an audiovisual translation[6] technique, in which, unlike in Dub localization, actor voices are recorded over the original audio track, which can be heard in the background. This method of translation is most often used in documentaries and news reports to translate words of foreign-language interviewees.

Automated dialogue replacement

Automated dialogue replacement (ADR) is the process of re-recording dialogue by the original actor after the filming process to improve audio quality or reflect dialogue changes (also known as "looping" or a "looping session").[7][8] ADR is also used to change original lines recorded on set to clarify context, improve diction or timing, or to replace an accented vocal performance. In the UK, it is also called "post-synchronization" or "post-sync".

Automated announcements

Voice artists are also used to record the individual sample fragments played back by a computer in an automated announcement. At its simplest, each recording consists of a short phrase which is played back when necessary, e.g. the "Mind the gap" announcement introduced by London Underground in 1969. In a more complicated system, such as a speaking clock, the announcement is re-assembled from fragments such as "minutes past" "eighteen" and "p.m." For example, the word "twelve" can be used for both "Twelve O'Clock" and "Six Twelve."

Automated announcements can also include on-hold messages on phone systems and location-specific announcements in tourist attractions.[9]

Voice acting by country

Japan

Seiyū (Japanese: 声優) occupations include performing roles in anime, audio dramas and video games, performing voice-overs for dubs of non-Japanese movies, and providing narration to documentaries and similar programs. Because the animation industry in Japan is so prolific, voice actors in Japan are able to have full-time careers as voice-over artists. Japanese voice actors are able to take greater charge of their careers than voice actors in other countries. Japan has approximately 130 voice acting schools and troupes of voice actors, who work for a specific broadcast company or talent agency. They often attract their own appreciators and fans, who watch shows specifically to hear their favorite actor or actress.

Many Japanese voice actors frequently branch into music, often singing the opening or closing themes of shows in which their character stars, or become involved in non-animated side projects such as audio dramas (involving the same characters in new story lines) or image songs (songs sung in character that are not included in the anime but which further develop the character).

United Kingdom

From 1988 to 1994,[10] the United Kingdom banned broadcasting of the voices of people linked to violence in Northern Ireland; television circumvented this using actors' voices synchronized to footage of prohibited people speaking.

Brazil

Although voice acting is criticized heavily in Brazil, most of the films in the theaters are dubbed in Portuguese, and most Brazilians prefer watching movies in their native language. Voice acting in Brazil has been highly acclaimed by other countries. Many voice actors are also dubbing directors, people that direct other voice actors, and translators. To become a voice actor in Brazil, you need to be a professional actor and attend dubbing courses. Celebrities in Brazil have done voice acting, although Brazilians generally do not like when celebrities who are not actors do voice acting.

Colombia

As Colombian Spanish is considered one of the most clear forms of Spanish, a great deal of Spanish language voice acting is in Colombia using local voice talent. Colombia voice over services are one of the most popular followed by synchronization and subtitling, according to Alexander Torrenegra .

Voice acting in video games

Across many of the main game-manufacturing countries, in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan, actors often lend their voices to characters in games and some have made a career of it. Their names have sometimes been linked to a particular character they have voiced. Among the many noted video-game voice actors are Maaya Sakamoto (the Japanese voice for the Final Fantasy XIII character Lightning[11]), Tatsuhisa Suzuki (the voice of Noctis Lucis Caelum in Final Fantasy XV), Miyu Irino (the Japanese voice of Sora in the Kingdom Hearts series), Troy Baker (English Snow Villiers, Joel in The Last of Us), David Hayter (Solid Snake and Big Boss of the Metal Gear series), Steve Downes and Jen Taylor (Master Chief and Cortana from the Halo series), Nolan North (Nathan Drake from the Uncharted games and Desmond Miles from the Assassin's Creed game series), Charles Martinet (the voice of Mario, Luigi, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi in Nintendo's Mario franchise), Liam O'Brien (the voice of Caius Ballad in Final Fantasy XIII-2 and War in Darksiders), and Jonell Elliot (the voice of Lara Croft from 1999-2003). Other actors more linked with the film, radio or television industry have also voiced video game characters. These actors include Mark Hamill (The Joker, Wolverine and the Watcher from Darksiders), Michael Dorn (various characters from World of Warcraft and Gatatog Uvenk from Mass Effect 2), Claudia Black (Chloe Frazer from the second and third entries in the Uncharted series, Morrigan from Dragon Age), Camilla Luddington (the voice of Lara Croft in 2013), Kristen Bell (Lucy Stillman in the first three mainline entries in the Assassin's Creed franchise), DB Cooper (BioShock 2, Grand Theft Auto series), and Ikue Ōtani (the voice of Pikachu).

See also

References

  1. ^ "Soundstart - Acting for Radio". Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  2. ^ How to be a voiceover in todays world "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-09-18. Retrieved 2017-07-09.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Hühn, Peter; Sommer, Roy (2012). "Narration in Poetry and Drama". The Living Handbook of Narratology. Interdisciplinary Center for Narratology, University of Hamburg. Archived from the original on 2015-02-18.
  4. ^ "Industry insights – The Voice Finder". thevoicefinder.com. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Debreath your Voiceovers the Human Way". Gravy Times - Voiceover Blog. 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  6. ^ USA, Translate. "Voice-over Translation". USATranslate.com. Archived from the original on 31 December 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  7. ^ Cowdog (2009). "ADR: Hollywood Dialogue Recording Secrets". Creative COW Magazine. Creative COW. Archived from the original on 15 August 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  8. ^ Masters, Kim (31 January 2008). "The Dark Knight Without Heath Ledger: How will Warner Bros. sell a summer blockbuster marked by tragedy?". Slate. The Slate Group, LLC. Archived from the original on 20 June 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  9. ^ "Benefits of Phone Automation & phone patch". 27 March 2014.
  10. ^ Williams, Rhys (16 September 1994). "Broadcasters welcome end to 'censorship'". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2016-10-09. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  11. ^ Square Enix (March 9, 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360.
Adventures in Voice Acting

Adventures in Voice Acting is a 2008 documentary DVD produced by Bang Zoom! Entertainment, featuring interviews from actors and crew members on the craft of voice acting. It was initially released as a set of DVDs, and has since been adapted into workshops and classes around the U.S.

Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production

The Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production (or Annie Award for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production) is an Annie Award awarded annually to the best animated feature film and introduced in 1998. It rewards voice acting for animated feature films.

Awards for voice acting were awarded at the Annie Awards previously to 1998, but the category was a catch-all for film and television. The award as it is now was divided in two separate sub-categories for males and females in 1998, 2000, and 2001. It was called Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production from 1998 to 2001, and Outstanding Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production from 2002 to 2004.

Dee Bradley Baker

Dee Bradley Baker (born August 31, 1962) is an American voice actor. His major roles, many of which feature his vocalizations of animals, include animated series such as Avatar: The Last Airbender, American Dad!, Codename: Kids Next Door, Gravity Falls, Steven Universe, Phineas and Ferb, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, Ben 10, The Legend of Korra and The 7D, live action series such as Legends of the Hidden Temple and Shop 'til You Drop, films such as The Boxtrolls and Space Jam and video games such as Halo, Gears of War, Viewtiful Joe, Spore, and Overwatch.

Frank Welker

Franklin Wendell Welker (born March 12, 1946) is an American voice actor best known for his role as Fred Jones from the Scooby-Doo franchise since its inception in 1969 and as the voice of Scooby-Doo since 2002. He is also known as the voice of Megatron in the Transformers franchise and as the voice and vocal effects of Nibbler on Futurama.

In 2016, Welker was honored with an Emmy Award for his lifetime achievement.

Freddie Prinze Jr.

Freddie James Prinze Jr. (born March 8, 1976) is an American actor. He has starred in films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), She's All That (1999), Summer Catch (2001), Scooby-Doo (2002), and its sequel Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004). Prinze has also had recurring and starring roles in television shows, including Friends (2002), Boston Legal (2004), Freddie (2005–06) and 24 (2010). He also provided the voice of Kanan Jarrus in the Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels.

Jason Douglas

Jason Douglas (born February 14, 1973) is an American actor and voice actor, known as Tobin on AMC's The Walking Dead, as the voice of Beerus in the anime series Dragon Ball Super and Krieg in the video game Borderlands 2.Douglas is noted for his appearances in films, including Sin City, Parkland, Two Step and No Country for Old Men as well as recurring and guest appearances on hit TV shows such as The Leftovers, Breaking Bad, Nashville and The Night Shift.

In addition to the role of Beerus in the Dragon Ball franchise, his prolific voice acting career includes roles in My Hero Academia, RWBY, Attack on Titan, One Piece, Fairy Tail, Psycho-Pass and Parasyte.

Kerry Godliman

Kerry Anna Godliman (born 17 November 1973 in Perivale, London) is an English comedian and actress. She played Hannah in Derek  and plays Nicky Rawlings in Bad Move.

MBC Voice Acting Division

MBC Voice Acting Division (Hangul: 문화방송 성우극회) is a South Korean voice acting company known for its work on movies, anime, documentaries, among other media. It is headquartered in Seoul, the capital of South Korea.

It is a part of the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, a South Korean public broadcaster.

Mark Hamill

Mark Richard Hamill (; born September 25, 1951) is an American stage, screen and voice actor. Hamill is best known for playing Luke Skywalker in the original and sequel Star Wars trilogies. He is also known for his voice acting in animation and video games, especially for his portrayal of the Joker, beginning with Batman: The Animated Series in 1992.

Marvel Avengers Academy

Marvel Avengers Academy was a freemium mobile game for iOS and Android, based on the characters featured in Marvel Comics. It was released on February 4, 2016. The game was shut down on February 4, 2019. Despite the name, the game was not related to the comic series Avengers Academy.

Phil LaMarr

Phillip LaMarr (born January 24, 1967) is an American actor, voice actor and impressionist, who was a featured cast member on the sketch comedy series Mad TV and has had an extensive voice acting career, with roles in animated series including Justice League as well as Justice League Unlimited, Futurama, Samurai Jack, Static Shock and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. He has provided voices for video games such as Metal Gear Solid 2 and 4, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, the Jak and Daxter series, Darksiders, Final Fantasy XII, Infamous, Dead Island and the Kingdom Hearts franchise.

Rick and Morty

Rick and Morty is an American adult animated science fiction sitcom created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon for Cartoon Network's late-night programming block Adult Swim. The series follows the misadventures of cynical mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his good-hearted but fretful grandson Morty Smith, who split their time between domestic life and interdimensional adventures. The series premiered on December 2, 2013, and the third season concluded on October 1, 2017. In May 2018, the series was picked up for an additional 70 episodes over an unspecified number of seasons.

Roiland voices the eponymous characters, with Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer and Sarah Chalke voicing the rest of the family. The series originated from an animated short parody film of Back to the Future, The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti, created by Roiland for Channel 101, a short film festival co-founded by Harmon. When Adult Swim approached Harmon for television show ideas, he and Roiland decided to develop a program based on the short. The series has been acclaimed by critics for its originality, creativity, and humor.

S. P. Sailaja

Sripathi Panditaradhyula Sailaja is an Indian singer and actress who has lent her voice to Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada films. She has sung about 6000 songs to date.

Seiyu Awards

The Seiyu Awards (声優アワード, Seiyū Awādo) are award ceremonies for the recognition of voice acting talent (known as seiyū in Japan) for outstanding performance in anime and other media in Japan. The first Seiyu Awards were held on March 3, 2007 at the 3D Theatre of the Tokyo Anime Center in Akihabara.

Tara Strong

Tara Lyn Strong (née Charendoff; born February 12, 1973) is a Canadian–American actress who has done voice work for numerous animations and video games and performed in various live-action productions. Many of her major voice roles include animated series such as Rugrats, The Powerpuff Girls, The Fairly OddParents, Drawn Together, Ben 10, Chowder, Teen Titans and its spin-off Teen Titans Go!, DC Super Hero Girls and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic as well as video games such as Mortal Kombat X, Final Fantasy X and X-2 and the Batman: Arkham series. Her portrayals have garnered nominations in the Annie Awards and Daytime Emmys, and an award from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.

Tom Kenny

Thomas James Kenny (born July 13, 1962) is an American actor and voice artist. He is known for voicing the title character in the SpongeBob SquarePants TV series, video games, and films. Kenny has voiced many other characters including Heffer Wolfe in Rocko's Modern Life; the Ice King in Adventure Time; the Narrator and Mayor in The Powerpuff Girls; Carl Chryniszzswics in Johnny Bravo; Dog in CatDog; and Spyro from the Spyro the Dragon video game series. His live-action work includes the comedy variety shows The Edge and Mr. Show. Kenny has won a Daytime Emmy Award and two Annie Awards for his voice work as SpongeBob SquarePants and the Ice King.

Voice acting in Japan

Voice acting in Japan is acting as a narrator or as an actor in radio plays or as a character actor in anime and video games. It also involves performing voice-overs for non-Japanese movies and television programs. Because Japan's large animation industry produces 60% of the animated series in the world, voice acting in Japan has a far greater prominence than voice acting in most other countries.

Some voice actors—especially certain voice actresses—often have devoted international fan-clubs. Some fans may watch a show merely to hear a particular voice actor. Some Japanese voice actors have capitalized on their fame to become singers and many others have become live movie or television actors.

There are around 130 voice acting schools in Japan. Broadcast companies and talent agencies often have its own troupes of vocal actors. Magazines focusing specifically on voice acting are published in Japan, with Voice Animage being the longest running.

The term character voice (abbreviated CV), has been commonly used since the 1980s by such Japanese anime magazines as Animec and Newtype to describe a voice actor associated with a particular anime or game character.

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