Monday, June 27, 2016

Matching Voices to Faces

I always wondered how animated characters match their voices so well. It always seems that they just go together, and I always thought well, I guess I don't know any better to think any other way! It just so happens that a lot of thought and work goes in to choosing just the right voice to match an animated character, especially for big budget films. The book uses John Travolta as an example, when he voiced the character Bolt. The first step is to brain storm what type of actor is most similar to the character they need voiced. Once they have ten to twenty actors in mind, a sound editor will pull together audio clips from each actor's past work. Then they listen, and listen, and listen. It is easy to pick out the actors who are wrong for the part, sometimes based on age, or a rasp to their voice. Once they are down to two or three actors, the debate is on. When you think about how many characters are in a movie, and then the process in which they choose voices, it seems like endless work! Actors will also voice their lines independently, and when the editors have to make it sound like they are having a dialogue, this could be difficult. This disrupts the actors imitation of speaking rate, intonation, and manner in which they interact. This is when the sound editor really gets to shine! All of the lines must flow fluently, or the movie will sound jarred and unnatural.

Rosenbaum, Lawrence. See What I'm Saying: The Extraordinary Powers of Our Five Senses. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2010. Print.

1 comment:

  1. I could not believe how much work went into picking a voice for an animated character! I never thought much about the voices, I figured that they just autotuned their voices to fit a perfect voice, but clearly was wrong! It does seem like endless work.