“Incredibles 2” cast gives voice acting tips

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V-Oh!: Tips, Tricks, Tools and Techniques to Start and Sustain Your Voiceover Career

A lot went into the making of the biggest animated movie of the year, and it starts with the voice work. The cast of “Incredibles 2” took Deco behind the scenes and reminded us that, while you might be able to wear your pajamas to work, voice acting is actual work.

Holly Hunter (as Elastigirl): “Bye, sweetie.”

Craig T. Nelson (as Bob Parr): “I’ll watch the kids, no problem.”

You can’t have a successful animated movie without great voice actors, and those voice actors can’t be successful without a great script.

Holly Hunter: “There was no script.”

Wait, what?

Holly Hunter: “We would just come in and there’d be these pieces of cardboard on a music stand.”

Craig T. Nelson: “Yeah, it was terrible. I still wanna see a script! I just wanna see how close we came to what we thought we were gonna do.”

They’re not joking! It turns out that Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter’s job of bringing Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl to life is more complicated than you’d expect.

Craig T. Nelson: “You’re just getting little bits and pieces.”

Holly Hunter: “Basically Brad [Bird] just describes to us what the scene is about.”

Brad Bird: “So it’s sort of impressive at first, and then you realize it’s a highly impractical house.”

Holly Hunter: “Right.”

Brad is writer/director Brad Bird, who actually guided his voice actors through the entire movie.

They had the lines…

Craig T. Nelson (as Bob Parr): “The fresh air is especially good tonight.”

But he had all the context to fill in the gaps.

Brad Bird: “Maybe make it a little bit like a commercial.”

Craig T. Nelson (as Bob Parr): “The fresh air is especially good tonight!”

Brad Bird: “Excellent!”

And while the cast wasn’t necessarily thrilled about being left the in dark, they trusted the process.

Brad Bird: “Then Bob says, ‘Well, where’d you go today? I noticed you missed all the fun.’”

Samuel L. Jackson: “Don’t be mad because I know when to leave a party!”

Take it from Samuel L. Jackson, who reprised his role as ice-shooting superhero, Frozone.

Samuel L. Jackson: “They’ll say shoot the ice flow with a ‘haaaaaaaaaaa’ and not a ‘taaaaaaaaa’ and you’re just like, ‘OK, so I’m not quite sure what Brad’s looking for sometimes,’ but you just do it.”

In a way, the cast knew about as much about the movie as the audience did.

Holly Hunter: “Seeing the film really for the first time, it was mind-blowing.”

Craig T. Nelson: “That’s territory I don’t like being in. I like knowing where I’m a. But it turns out being incred … Incredible.”

“Incredibles 2” is out in theaters now.

V-Oh!: Tips, Tricks, Tools and Techniques to Start and Sustain Your Voiceover Career

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3 Major Voice Acting DONT’s

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The 3 Major Dont’s

  • Don’t just read, act! Read as though you are talking to someone or an audience of people. Add emotions, crescendos and onomatopoeias!
  • Avoid nose and tongue jewelry. A slight motion will cause the accessory to sound or harm your speech and it will be hard for the editor to remove these noises from the audio files.
  • Steer away from using smart phones or electronic devices. This will create background noise giving the editors a hard time.

If you find yourself currently doing any of the listed above I urge any Voice Actor to re-evaluate their process and practices. Also to gain knowledge in voice overs by watching videos or even reading books. The first book I would recommend is Voice Acting for Dummies.  A hyperlink will be provided to where you may find this book below.

 Voice Acting For Dummies

Respecting those rules and with the right voice pitch you can do wonders. Yes, your voice conveniently used has the power to make believable any scenario you can imagine.

Key To Perfecting Your Voice

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Voice: Onstage and Off

The voice is a complex thing. You could spend years studying sound and still not know how to produce a voice over that’s near perfect….

Having said that, with the right knowledge and skills you can quite easily learn how to record and mix voice overs that sound better than 99% of the voice recordings out there.

The internet is full of low quality videos, podcasts and voice overs.

But you can be different…

Warming Up The Voice

Warming up the voice is important and helpful for professional voice users (singers, actors, and broadcast personalities), for occupational voice users (teachers, salespeople, for example), for those with injured voices, and for anyone who is preparing to give a presentation or wants to make a good impression with their voice. Allow approximately 20 minutes to perform a complete warm up. Ideally, warm-ups should be performed leisurely, but with good mental focus and attention to detail. Make sure you are well hydrated – drink lots of water before and during your warm-up exercises. Pay attention to your posture while you do warm ups. Good (but relaxed) posture is important for full and easy range of motion of the muscles of the articulators and full breath support. There are many vocal exercises that can be used for warming up the voice. A simple exercise for preparing for a presentation is to practice the talk – out loud and at the pace and loudness level you expect to actually use during the actual presentation or performance.

Breath Support

We carefully regulate the amount of air in the lungs when speaking. (Think about what you would do if you were told to yell – you’d start by taking a deep breath.) A specific level of air pressure from the lungs is required to initiate and to maintain vocal fold vibration (depending upon the pitch and loudness level, among other factors) When we start out speaking on a lung volume that is above the resting lung volume level, then the natural tendency of the external intercostals muscles and diaphragm is to relax. This makes it rather easy to maintain adequate air pressure for speech. Once we begin to speak below resting lung volume, we must use active muscle contraction to force more air out and hence to maintain adequate air pressure. Therefore, speaking becomes more effortful. And speaking moderately loudly, such as during a presentation to a group, is even more effortful and difficult. There is a natural tendency, in these cases, to increase the rate of speech in an effort to “get the words out” before the speaker runs out of breath. This is a poor strategy that rarely, if ever, works.

The simple solution is to take slightly deeper breaths at the beginning of a phrase, and to take short “replenishing breaths” throughout the phrase. It will naturally allow you to keep your voice louder, prevent you from fading out as much, and indirectly, it will slow your rate of speech. Adequate breath support for speech will also provide the speaker with the flexibility to increase the range of inflections

Voice: Onstage and Off

The above methods stated are guaranteed to improve and perfect an individuals vocal performance. As well as the highlighted information novel which states the basics and more tips on finding your perfect voice for vocal performances.  Highly recommend giving it a read.

Voice: Onstage and Off

Training Your Voice

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The Use and Training of the Human Voice: A Bio-Dynamic Approach to Vocal Life

It is important for anyone within the voice acting field to realize the dynamics of their own vocal life. Improving the voice and articulating speech will lead to better performance.  Here are a few pointers that help in regards to training the voice!

Successful voice actors are always in control of their voice; that is they can control their pitch, their volume, and their breath. They control their pitch by understanding intonation, realizing that there are many musical applications to the spoken word.
They control their volume by understanding that volume for the most part has to be consistent. It’s their intensity that varies throughout a read, and they maintain excellent breath control by constantly replenishing the amount of air they need in order to get through words and phrases confidently. And they put all of these skills to use when they need to do any pickup phrases or insertions so they can match what they have recorded before.

The best think you can bring to any VO session is confidence, true confidence, not a false sense of bravado. Confidence comes from being prepared, understanding the subject, anticipating the dynamics of the studio session between the actor, director, and engineer, and many times, the presence of the client either in person or on the phone.
You can hear confidence in an actor’s voice, in their phrasing, presence, and overall performance. Confidence gives you stamina and believability, and makes it easier to work with the director who may sometimes be giving you a lot of conflicting direction. Confidence also gives you patience, which can really come in handy in many a recording session.

If researching voice training on articles online doesn’t help, we recommend this good as a good read for more in depth methods on overall voice training.

The Use and Training of the Human Voice: A Bio-Dynamic Approach to Vocal Life

Best Microphones For Voice Overs

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This is a brief overview of a few microphones that work best for the voice acting craft.

When choosing the best microphones for voice over work, a lot rides on that purchase, including—someone has to say it—careers. Pick the wrong mic, and bookings dry up because great voices aren’t served well by crappy microphones that produce muddy or tinny sound.

Want high-quality recordings? Invest in high-quality equipment. Fortunately, a decent mic doesn’t have to come with a huge price tag.

The most important consideration when looking for a mic is your unique voice, and how you’ll be using it. Some mics will fit your voice better than others. Like if you have flat feet, sure you can wear sky-high heels, but they’re going to hurt.

Think about the acoustics in your recording studio—even if it’s a sound-proofed closet. Is there background noise? Choose a mic that minimizes pick up. Will the recording be done on the fly? Then portability and easy set-up are nonnegotiable. Will the require a lot of post-recording clean-up? Okay, skip that one. The best microphones will reduce the amount of necessary work after recording.

Clarity, brightness, warmth, sound quality, and durability rule. Picking up higher registers—read, female vocals—is trickier, so bear that in mind when shopping, and seek a mic with a wider dynamic range.

The bottom line when it comes to buying a microphone? Go for the completely necessary features. Then add bells and whistles as budget permits. Try out a number of mics—be super picky—and see which one makes you sound the best before forking over your credit card. Understand the return policy when buying online.

Rode NT1A Anniversary Vocal Condenser Microphone Package

This microphone costs around $229, so it’s definitely budget-friendly for beginners. Quiet and neutral sounding, it creates high-quality recordings with a wide dynamic range. It comes packaged with a shock mount and an exclusive “studio secrets” DVD, offering recording tips and techniques. Many are available here

SE Electronics sE2200a II C Large Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphone

This model has super vocal isolation, filtering out a lot of background noise. No case is included, but it does come with a rugged shock mount. It sells for $299. Users praise its warm and clean sound, and its ability to deliver clear and dynamic recordings of various voices and tones, female and male alike. Many are in stock here

Art of Voice Acting + 5 Practice Scripts

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First things first, voice acting is a true art form/craft and should be treated as such. Just as a guitarist practices using a guitar, a voice actor will have to practice their vocals as well as many other mouth techniques that you may not know about.  Here is a great read that helps with understanding the true art of Voice Acting.

The Art of Voice Acting: The Craft and Business of Performing for Voiceover

We want to give you some first hand examples of how to practice voice acting. It can be fun, sometimes frustrating but so rewarding and fulfilling. As you learn you to master your voice, you will gain confidence and start to realize the endless possibilities of a career in voice over. In this post from our series on how to become a voice actor, you will learn the essentials of how to practice voice acting.

Practice ! Practice ! Practice !

When you voice, your job is to communicate the message contained within the words, and bring them to life – make them sound like they are your own words and not something you are just reading.

Different scripts will require you to interpret them differently. This is one of the first areas you need to focus on. Learn how to interpret and deliver a script. Bear in mind that every script is written for a purpose and you must be able to find that purpose, your role in it and give meaning to those words.

5 FREE Practice Scripts

Commercial TV
Interview Trailer
Fibre Bars

Commercial Radio
Car Loans
Finders Keepers
Corporate Narration
Executive Search
Character Narration
Ghost Story

These will help you perfect and master a wide range of voice acting styles.

and if you feel the need to practice with a little more scripts..here’s 5000!

Voice Acting Help!

Being a successful voice actor takes time to figure out how to use your voice. We repeat an important message through this book: It’s not just about your voice, but also how you use it. Although you use your voice in voice acting, it’s much more than just talking, and the craft can bring you a lifetime of enjoyment.

The guidance you find in this book is similar to what you may receive from a voice coach or hear at an industry conference. By employing the tips and ideas here, you can improve your voice acting skills and experience a dramatic difference in how you approach the written word.

PROFESSIONAL VOICE ACTING SERVICES

 

Landing A Voice Acting Job

  1. Audition as much as possible. Some say that the real work of an actor is auditioning. This is because acting is highly competitive. You will likely need to go on many auditions to book just one gig, and then as soon as you complete your job, you have to start auditioning all over again. Therefore, you must learn to embrace the audition process and go to as many as possible. This will keep you sharp and your voice in shape for when you do land a job. The more auditions you attend, the higher chance you have of being hired.

2) Attend an open call. Even if you don’t have an agent and haven’t heard from a studio yet, you can still begin to attend auditions by going to open calls. An open call is an audition that anyone can attend. Be prepared for there to be many people at open calls and to be seen for only a short amount of time. Even if it isn’t very likely to book a role at an open call, it is still great practice and will help you get used to auditioning and start getting yourself seen by casting directors.

3) Audition online. Since voice acting can be done simply with a microphone, you can even audition from home. There are different job listings online, such as the ones at voices.com. The online marketplace is changing the way casting occurs, and auditioning online is a great option when you don’t live in a major acting city.

How To Get More Voice Acting Jobs: Marketing 101 for Actors & Voiceovers

 

 

3 Techniques That Improve Vocal Health

1. Glides Through a Straw
Blow air through a small stirring straw while phonating glides up and down through your range. The backpressure created by the resistance of the straw presses down on the vocal cords and helps decrease puffiness, a major source of vocal trouble.

2. Lip Trills
This is a variation of the straw exercise. Gently blow air through closed lips, keeping them relaxed, and sing an uh vowel underneath. Your lips should start to trill. The resistance of the bubbling lips helps maintain cord closure, an important element of good singing.

3. Creaky Doors
This is a great exercise to help build the coordination needed to maintain proper cord closure. Make a little edgy sound, like a creaky door or a rusty gate opening. Do a scale on this sound using very little air. The idea is to not let the sound get breathy or squeezed.

Vocalzone Throat Pastilles Helps Keep a Clear Voice 24 Throat Pastilles

Superior Vocal Health