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June 15, 2008

Not a bad Father's Day at all.

Wife and kiddo took me out for steak & eggs, then to see Iron Man. Apart from a plot hole or two, a highly entertaining film.

(It also had the added benefit of showing this trailer. Check out the opening gag and see if you can name that non-Don LaFontaine trailer voice.)
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June 13, 2008

Ouch.

 

 

 

 

Turns out I have more in common with Daniel Craig than just a similar vocal quality:

 

Daniel Craig Injured While Filming Bond 

 

The report states that Craig "sliced the tip off of one of his fingers during the shooting of an action scene". As it happens, years ago I sliced the tip off of one of my fingers during the shaving of an action figure.

"Huh?" You're no doubt asking. Long story short: Once upon a time, customizing action figures was a hobby of mine. An attempt to slice away some excess plastic from one such superhero resulted an errant slip with an Exacto knife. (If you've never had the pleasure, I can guarantee you that a brand-new Exacto blade is sufficiently sharp as to cut flesh without any pain --- at least for a few seconds, after which the pain pretty much leaves no doubt you've been cut. I do not recommend the experience.) 

An ER doc managed to sew the disc-shaped piece of skin back where it belonged, but it would literally be one year before the nerves healed completely.  

I'm sure you'll agree that all this is further proof as to why I'm a perfect substitute for Daniel Craig.

/sarcasm off 

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June 12, 2008

Still Has That New-Car Scent...

The main site has a new look and feel.

It may yet get a few tweaks here and there, but I think it works. It was time for a change. 

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June 08, 2008

Behind the Scenes: Hulk VO Actors

 

 
 

 

 

IGN pulls back the curtain on voiceover recording sessions for the new Hulk video game (based on the upcoming movie starring Edward Norton):

 

VE3D Video for The Incredible Hulk (PC) - Dev Diary Vid #4 

 

Short but revealing interviews with the actors (including William Hurt, Tim Roth and Liv Tyler) give an insight into the approach taken to performing their characters, and also to the surprises that even experienced film actors encounter when voicing a game --- get ready to grunt and scream for your supper!

In light of some of my recent posts, I think this video only serves to underscore that voice acting is more than just saying one's lines when the red light goes on.

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June 07, 2008

The Perfect (?) Human Voice

From the BBC, by way of VoiceOver Times, comes an interesting study:

Formula 'secret of perfect voice'

Researchers say they have worked out a mathematical formula to find the perfect human voice. The study, commissioned by Post Office Telecoms, asked people to rate 50 voices then analysed the results.

It found the best female voice to be a mixture of Dame Judi Dench and Honor Blackman. Alan Rickman and Jeremy Irons did best for the men.

Judi DenchHonor Blackman
Alan Rickman Jeremy Irons

The research was conducted by linguist Andrew Linn, of Sheffield University, and sound engineer Shannon Harris.

The pair worked out their formula based on the combination of tone, speed, frequency, words per minute and intonation.

They concluded the ideal voice should utter no more than 164 words per minute and pause for 0.48 seconds between sentences. Sentences themselves should fall rather than rise in intonation.

Vocal traits associated with positive characteristics, such as confidence and trust, scored highly with listeners. Professor Linn said: “As humans we instinctively know which voices send shivers down our spine and which make us shudder with disgust.

“The emotional responses panellists had to the voices were surprising and go some way to explaining how voiceover artists or radio DJs are selected, or why particular celebrity voices appeal.”

He said most men found presenter Mariella Frostrup’s voice “mesmerising” because it was deep, slow and confident.

Actor Jeremy Irons came very close to the ideal voice model, speaking at 200 words per minute and pausing for 1.2 seconds between sentences.

Professor Linn said this explained why his “deep gravelly tones” inspired trust in listeners.

He said: “This formula gives us an exciting glimpse into the way voices work and what makes them appealing or repelling.”

The formula showed the BBC’s Jonathan Ross, on the other hand, spoke too quickly, with very short pauses between sentences.

The researchers said the presenter’s varied range of voice, with frequent highs and lows was associated with expressiveness and intelligence. But his rising intonation was usually linked with someone weak or unsure.

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June 06, 2008

MobileAdmin VO

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June 04, 2008

More D'oh! for Homer.

...and for his family, too.

 

 

 

 

Per their new deal with FOX, the lead actors on The Simpsons (Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith and Hank Azaria) will be paid nearly $400,000 per episode.

I haven't (and probably won't) check out the inevitable internet comments decrying them as overpaid, but I imagine they'll probably go something like this: 

"Voice acting is just talking into a mic! Besides, my brother's friend's cousin can do all the Simpsons voices perfectly and would be thrilled to do it for the low low fee of (A) a daily bag of Cheetos and (B) Jessica Alba's phone number."

Okay, I have to admit, I might do it just for the last item. 

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June 02, 2008

More Than Movie Memories Lost in Universal Fire

 

 

 

 

It's been widely reported that the recent blaze at Universal Studios Hollywood destroyed several well-known movie sets, including the town square from Back to the Future. The cause of the fire has been traced to an accidental spark from a blowtorch used on construction of a nearby set.

What hasn't been reported in the mainstream press is the loss of a veritable treasure trove of original music recordings. From Deadline Hollywood Daily:

 

...inside the video vault that was billowing thick black smoke were 1000's of original Decca, MCA, ABC recording masters from the last century including a wide range of music from Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters to Judy Garland and The Carpenters. "This is a tremendous loss in music history. A very sad day indeed. It's too bad they saved the videos that they have backups on instead of the master recordings in which they do not, although they may not have had a choice since the fire had already engulfed much of the music side of the vault," a source just told me. Universal Studios can't confirm what has been damaged or destroyed music-wise at this point because it doesn't yet know what exactly was housed in the storage rented to Universal Music.

 

It's a real tragedy, even in the digital age, that these master recordings weren't better protected. 

 

 

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