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We were asked to provide VO (Voice Over) services for our client who was looking to adapt the game into French.
There were several stages that we went through with this project and we are very happy with the end result.
Here is how it all went:
1.Quoting the project
The quote process for the project was fairly complex and quite long-lasting. The client wasn’t sure of how many main and secondary characters were involved in the game, since this was still being developed while we started quoting for it.
After a lot of back and forth, which meant amending the quotes to reflect all the requirements that the client had and that were changing weekly, we finalised the quote so that the client could plan ahead and understand the costs involved in adapting their game for the French community.
To make things even better, we provided the client with a contingency plan, essentially giving them a heads-up that if the project ended up requiring more time in the studio and with the actors, then that extra cost would already be reflected in the quote, and it would not come as a surprise.
2.Casting the actors
The client provided us with all the English (US) voice samples from the actors that were used for the original English recordings. That helped us understand the type of delivery and voice that they had in mind for each of the characters that needed to be dubbed into French.
Since the client is based in the US, they trusted us in the selection process of the French voices since they don’t speak French themselves. Having had free reign on this particular process, as a team we made sure that the talents suggested for each voice would be suitable for that role.
Some of the roles required actors who could project their voices in a variety of ways; some of the roles also included lots of shouting and growling, which can be tiring on the voice after some hours.
After carefully selecting each talent and assigning them to the characters that they could play, we submitted our casting proposal to the client, which was later approved quite smoothly.
Once the voices had been selected, we started contacting all talents and making them aware of the upcoming projects. We also had to find out their availabilities, potential holidays, and locations of the actors who were outside of London due to the pandemic.
That meant having to align our studio’s availability (or studios in other locations) with the actors and the director, as well as the French lead linguist from the client’s side who was responsible for all of the French translations.
3. Finding the perfect director
Once we became aware of the full scope of the project, we had to make sure a French director be present during all the recordings, to help the actors make their characters come to life. Because the game includes a lot of non-human characters (i.e. goblins, trolls, dragons, etc.), we had to ensure that the language director responsible for this project was capable of adapting the flavours and characteristics present in the English version of the game and replicate/adapt those for the French market. That meant, for example, ensuring that certain speech patterns would come through when specific group of characters would speak. Our wonderful director Stéphane Cornicard was able to do all of the above without over-complicating things and always being on the ball with everything, as well as going the extra mile in order to make the characters and the world truly come to life.
With 18 actors involved in the project, one of the main challenges was booking the talents to come to the studio and ensure that all the material was provided to them in advance and that the engineers involved in the project had everything set up nicely and with easy access. Despite being hard work, all of the actors involved in the project said how much fun it was to work on such a project with many different non-human characters. One indispensable asset in the recording process was having the client’s linguist remotely attending every session so that she could amend the script on the go as opposed to having to wait for approval to make changes to the script.
Some of the challenges that we faced started when the script had to be changed in some instances because of changes to the story or to the characters; as well as some of the video assets for the cinematics that we were not provided with during the first few weeks after the recording started.
This meant having to call back the actors to re-record lines and slightly delaying our delivery to the client.
Overall, working on this project was a fantastic experience for all parties involved. The project went fairly smoothly in our delivery to the client; however it required a very large amount of admin time spent in preparing the script for the voice actors and the engineers; distributing the material to every talent; checking their availability and booking them in the studio; ensuring that the amount of lines that needed to be recorded with each actor were completed in the allotted time. Things were delivered on time and in an organised manner which avoided confusion and too much back and forth with the client!
If you are looking for voice over services to complete your project, then give us a call on +44 (0) 203 744 3558 or contact our friendly team via our website here.