how NOT to make it

notes from a working actor

The trials and tribulations
of Mike Vaughn

(this guy)

Caught this clip a couple of weeks ago on G4 and was happily surprised by Amy Henning (creative director) and Naughty Dog’s approach to the voice acting in Uncharted 2.

Check it out – specifically around 4:10:
http://g4tv.com/videos/43254/Best-of-2009-Game-of-the-Year-Acceptance-Speech/

Quick background: About two years ago I got up the nerve in a VG voice session to ask why lines are read lines from a spreadsheet (versus a script) with an occasional short description of what the line should sound like. The answer, “because the engineers programming the game need the audio clips individually and in ‘blocks’ to work in the interactive environment” made total sense to me. Got it. Cool. Ok, back to work…. 300 Spidey lines later and I’m done for that day.

I always wondered and hoped that somehow the tools of good acting (pre- reads, full scripts, rehearsals, actors in the scene together recording in the same the room, improvisation, etc.) would merge with what programmers and game designers need to make it all work.

Then hearing Amy Henning talk about how they did exactly just that, makes me very, very excited for the things to come in the interactive world. I’m also super psyched that some AVO cohorts are in that game. Congratz, Mr. Horan, Mr. Gough, and Mr. Atkin Downes. You too Mr. Blum. Nice.

I truly enjoy working on videogames. Ok, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. 1. They can be a challenge, 2. the results can be quite fun to watch, and 3. I’m a dorky Atari kid from the 70’s. What did ya expect? But to be 100% honest, the union contracts could use a little tweaking (pssssst… the rates are a little low).

Whoah… hang on… did you just hear the part about how the goal is to make a game that’s more of a cinematic experience? Seems like it sure is getting close. Oooooh! Just got an IDEA: what if our Acting guild reps (SAG, AFTRA) could come up with contracts that are similar to the ones in TV and Film since games are already headed in that direction? Naw, they’re probably too busy fighting each other and being afraid to think that far ahead. Oh well.

For more on that issue…. Well… there’s this:
A Video Game Star and His Less-Than-Stellar Pay

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One Response to “Voice acting done right in G4’s game of the year: Uncharted 2.”

  1. Ugh, I liked! So clear and positively.
    Have a nice day
    Kicker

    Kicker

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