Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Stories From the Golden Compass Video Game

A pretty good article written up by "Asset Wrangler" David Allen, on producing the voice over portion of The Golden Compass video game.
...Before we get into that, I’m going to tell you a bit about the process
involved in doing voice-overs for videogames. I totally underestimated
how time consuming and complex this process is, especially on a game
that’s going to be as BIG as The Golden Compass (I hope), where you’ve
got a myriad of languages to translate during production. It’s a big
deal and it’s the single thing on the project that has taken up most of
my time. Apart from eating the excellent lunch on the movie set. Did I
mention that already? I don’t think even my colleagues realize how much
time is involved in doing the voice-over -- apart from Gabriel, the
game’s producer (big cheese), Josh who helped us out in managing the
process and Katrin who is in charge of all the localization needed for
foreign language versions of the game.

Gabriel fully shared the pain, and then some, in getting this part
of the project off the ground. I naively thought that we’d make a few
calls, chew the cud with a few Hollywood types, maybe do lunch and get
the job done. Oh no my friend… A LOT of work. A LOT of back and forth.
A LOT of to-ing and fro-ing. Voice-over was one the first things I
started working on when I first set foot on American soil back in
February. We did the final record session in the middle of September.
Yep, it took that long to get it all together. I don’t want to bore you
with too much detail but there are so many things to deal with when
managing the voice-over process. This is even before you get to the
good bit of sitting outside a glass box watching someone pretend to be
a dying Tartar while wearing headphones and shouting into a microphone.
There’s a certain way of doing things in this business that I don’t
really understand. There’s a lot of negotiation and maneuvering. You
need people who know how to play the “Hollywood” game. I definitely do
not have the patience for it. Fortunately, the guys at Blindlight --
whom we enlisted to help us -- know the game well and they’ve been
through this a million times.

Cool, Shout-out for Blindlight (who are really awesome to work with BTW), but I wish the article had at least mentioned one VO talent by name...


Anywho, the article is a good read, if nothing else then to get a sense of the scale involved in putting these things together.

Yup It's movie big now...


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