FaffCon is a voiceover "unconference"; instead of being locked in to seminar or workshop content dictated by others, you get to choose what aspect of voiceover work gets discussed/worked on/et cetera. Congrats to FaffCon's organizer, Amy Snively, on the success of the (un)conference!
There aren't many dedicated sites featuring production music that's both free and royalty-free; JewelBeat.com is one such site, and there's a nice selection of short SFX as well. Definitely worth a visit if you need production elements for a quick job.
In this Backstage.com article, award-winning casting director Sarah Noonan and animation voiceover actor Bob Bergen (the voice of hundreds of characters from Porky Pig to Luke Skywalker) offer tips on nailing your animation audition. Required reading for anyone with an interest in cartoon VO!
Here are a couple of scenes I'm in, from ALTITUDE FALLING. Released today on DVD, it's set in the year 2029; I play an overworked government agent. For the full story, feel free to check out the whole film.
In a previous post about my experience working on the film "ExTerminators", I included a pic of my fellow 'police officer' Ro' Black with the caption "Smart, opinionated and funny. You saw her here first." After working with her and getting to know her a bit, I had a feeling that bigger and better things were not far away for my new friend, and I don't mind bragging that I was right.
Ro' takes the lead in Keepin' the Faith: Momma's Got a Boyfriend, an indie film from Lightyear Entertainment. Serious props to Ro' on this gig; with her work ethic, talent, and personality, I suspect she'll be going from DVD releases like this to the big screen with a quickness.
We've all been there. Whether it's an acting audition, a presentation in front of a group of people, or any important task we want to (or have to) accomplish, all of us have confidently stepped forward only to fall firmly on our faces --- although, few of us have done it quite as firmly as actor/stuntman Mark Hicks. Observe:
If you didn't watch the clip, or even if you did, read on. You might know Hicks better by his unintended nickname "Afro Ninja". (I confess that I hadn't seen the astonishingly popular clip until the Current TV piece aired recently.) The great thing about Hicks' audition isn't that it inadvertently led to publicity and an indie film --- though those things certainly aren't bad for him --- it's that after the spectacular face-plant and subsequent crashing stumble, he got up, gave it another shot, and landed the gig. Few could have blamed him if, after the disaster, he'd left the audition while apologizing for wasting everyone's time. Instead, he managed to forget about the mistakes and deliver a performance that earned him the job.
This, naturally, is not to say that every producer or casting director will overlook mistakes of such dangerous magnitude. I'm sure some would have crossed him off the list no matter how superb a second try he turned in. But if he hadn't given it another shot, with all the confidence and skill he could muster, he'd never have known.
Remember this the next time you find yourself going blank or mangling words at an audition. If that guy was able to put that beginning out of his mind and start over, surely you can do the same. Probably without even smacking yourself in the face.
Just when I started to think my near-gig experience with the 007 franchise had firmly settled into the archives, a funny thing happened.
Without going into details that can't be revealed (for various official purposes): a good friend of mine and his wife were in London recently on a mini-vacation. There, she met up with a friend who works in the same rather important line of business. The talk somehow turns to my Bond near-gig, and it's learned that the London friend's boss communicates directly with Daniel Craig on a fairly regular basis.
My friend, tongue firmly in cheek, asked that Mr. Craig be informed of his inadvertent burgling of a nifty gig from a poor, hungry actor. While I have no doubt that he delivered the request properly, the way these things go, by the time it gets to Mr. Craig --- if and when it actually does --- he's likely to have been told that some sod named Davis in the city of Houston has invited him to go on a dig.
That would be in keeping with my luck regarding the whole affair.
Here's the audition that landed me the James Bond videogame gig back in 2007.
(In a nutshell, for those who may be new to this blog: In 2007, I got a gig to be a voice match for an unavailable Daniel Craig in what was to be a Casino Royale video game from Activision. The recording sessions were suddenly put on hold, after which I sat on ice for months before finally learning that Craig had agreed to voice the part after all. By that time, the game had become a tie-in for the following Bond film, Quantum of Solace.)
The audition itself isn't a perfect voice match, but I'm still happy that it was close enough to get the nod.
(If the Flash player doesn't work, you can download the mp3 here.)
This past January, I auditioned for a voice role (Library Skull) in the Will Ferrell movie Land of the Lost. I didn't land the gig --- that honor went to voice actors Adam Behr and Daamen Krall --- but it was fun to give it a go.
Film critics may tend to frown upon VO narration in films, but The Independent's Chris Maume defends the rightful place of narration in a screenplay. It's a brief but insightful read. The author cites the film Heartburn as an example; off the top of my head, onscreen narration works well in films as diverse as 300 and Little Children.