Developer Diary: The Voices That Matter

by on Mar.19, 2013, under cognition, developer diary

This past Sunday, we wrapped up the recordings for our cheap viagra online canada voice actress for Erica Reed, the extremely talented Raleigh Holmes. After four episodes, I felt a little sad as we wrapped the last few lines of the episode and called it done. For us, we still have to walk this road until we release the episode to all of you, but for Raleigh, today was her last day on the job.

One of the most satisficing aspects about game development for me as a designer is drug viagra the joy of hearing the lines I wrote take life in someone as talented as Raleigh. Extremely professional and completely dedicated to making things as perfect as possible, in this episode Raleigh just flew through her lines. And although Michael Fortunato, our voice over director, plays a big role in such a great performance, Raleigh was so comfortable by now that you could feel her transformation: She has actually become Erica!

And to bring a character to life through voice overs is not an easy task. Actors normally always have the energy of the stage, the set, or other actors to bounce off from. In voice-overs, they are alone with their microphones in a little booth, and everything happens in their imagination. So kudos to them!

We recorded in two sessions. On Saturday we went through the first two acts and part of act three. We skipped all the sections that would be hard on Raleigh’s voice, such as some of the skin-crawling screams you’ve heard from her in previous episodes, or sections that were so action-oriented they would put a strain on her voice. We saved all of that for Sunday, towards the end of the recording, in case they made Raleigh lose her voice. We have to be very careful in general, as Raleigh’s other passion is singing and she has an upcoming gig at Jane Jensen’s Open House event, so we definitely didn’t want Raleigh to hurt her voice for that! So we took it slow, while Raleigh took sips of her tea to help her keep her voice in check.

Katie joined us as always to make sure Raleigh kept her Bostonian flare. I normally just keep quiet, letting Michael do the direction and sometimes taking over for him when baby Sebastian, his son, needed attention. In those occasions, I would normally ask Raleigh to go to a safer place (such as the inventory lines) because I really prefer Michael to work with Raleigh to get Erica down to the great character we all love. He has such an easy way to get people to read the lines the way they are meant to be written, that I feel nervous that by taking over the more dramatic sessions, we wouldn’t get the best of the best. In those cases, I normally keep to myself unless I feel really strong about how to read a line, or when I need to come in to explain the motivation behind a particular session, behind the character’s thoughts or history that helps the actor understand the characters better. And, sometimes, also as lines are being read, sometimes they don’t feel quite natural once we hear them aloud, so Katie and I are normally there to go over the script and try new lines that feel better for the character or the situation.

To round out the team of people behind the recordings, we had our own Austin Haynes under a different hat, on the technical side, running the recordings in L.A. with Raleigh, and setting everything up so that the rest of us can listen in from our locations in Boston, Montreal, and California. Technology allows us to do this the same way as if we were in the studio with them! Austin especially takes care of things so that the volume doesn’t peak and distort as Raleigh screams or is not too low when she’s whispering, making sure that everything is balanced.

In film, there’s a term called “The Martini Shot” which refers to the last shot done before it’s a wrap . I called it as Raleigh was doing her final screams. I hope (and beg) that we can share many more of those Martini Shots with Raleigh in many productions to come! Talents like hers are rare, and we are very lucky to have her helping make of Erica such a compelling character. Thank you, Raleigh!

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