The beauty of working with animation is that the dialog is (usually…) nicely recorded in a quiet, sound proofed studio with candles, cushions, personal assistants to mop your brow or whatever else your diva’ish tendencies may require. In general, a lot of VO work is recorded one by one instead of as an ensemble performance which can sometimes lack a sense of unity and fun as there is no one to react to. Of course the good ones will still animate themselves with gestures and alike so the performance doesn’t ‘sound’ too sterile but two of this winter’s better films have taken animated voice performances to a new level - and it turns out the secret was to treat it more like a live-action film shoot!
Firstly, Where The Wild Things Are, Spike Jonze’s adaptation of the childrens book came up with a pretty novel way of reflecting the ‘young-at-heart’ sense of adventure in the voice records - and it makes pretty funny video too, kinda odd seeing Tony Soprano bouncing about the place!
And of course where would the world be without mash-ups so here’s Tony Soprano…as a Wild thing! Expect some swearing colourful language…
There’s a nice article here on how they transferred the lip sync and facial expressions onto the flat suits, probably not technical enough for a lot of ye but it worked for me. Avatar recorded their dialog in a similar fashion to the wild things too, although i doubt it was as much fun as they were having…
Secondly, in Wes Anderson’s take on Roald Dahl’s classic Fantastic Mr Fox, he took a pretty stellar cast and put them in very unusual surroundings (for voice recording anyway…) - unconventional as it was, it did seem to add a fun, animated, slightly ‘unhinged’ but nonetheless authentic quality to the voices.
Not sure how much bouncing around the place we’d manage in our VO booth but I’d sure love to give it a try…
How the heck did they do that on Mister Fox without the sound of rustling pages all over the soundtrack???8 April 2010 by Doc
There’s some extraordinary hardware and software out there that regularly gets rid of whole heaps of things for live action dialog - there’s even guys who view it as a competition!!
There’s even things that use ‘spectral repair’ where you can ‘see’ the noise - http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/RX/
Luckily the most i’ve had to deal with is a bit of wind or traffic on my outdoor sfx…8 April 2010 by Dominic