Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Video Game Character Voice Actor - James Mason Impression

OK so I've just had an exciting gig doing voiceovers for multiple characters in the same video game, I was pretty confident with nearly all of them, Scottish, Cockney, Street Yoot, Movie Trailer Guy (Don LaFontaine) Yorkshire, Deep South USA, West Country, a parrot voice LOL a female (Python pepper pot) Mexican wrestler, Camp Old Wizard....all well within my comfort zone, they also needed a James Mason Impression and I have to admit that I struggled for some time to get his voice right and couldn't quite work out why, I kept sounding more like Prince Charles who has a very similar manner of speaking, I tried hard to drift out of the Prince Charles Zone and in doing so I drifted into Tim Shishodia territory, Tim is a lovely man and a rising star of the London stand-up comedy circuit, he won a few major competitions and was New Comedian of the year in 2010, here's a video of him performing at the awesome TNT Comedy Club when I was MC'ing there, his hilarious stage persona has quite a hint of James Mason in the voice at times

Oddly enough I find it easier to learn a new voice not by listening to the subject themselves but by listening to an impressionist mimicking them, I could barely find any inspiration on this front either, I watched a couple of old James Mason movies, his voice was very rich and he had quite a range, I struggled to find many videos of decent impressions of him though, there were only two half decent examples on Youtube who's attempts I would say bettered my own by only a tiny margin

Interestingly I found an Eddie Izzard routine where he uses Mason's voice as the voice of God, I was comforted that Izzard can't do a better Mason than me and he's mega successful ; o )

So, after sweating on it for quite some time I think I managed a noble attempt in the end, I won't be adding it to my voice reel as it's not as awesome as I'd like it to be, the client feedback has not mentioned it and I can rest in the knowledge that my effort, whilst a slight disappointment to me personally is better than Eddie Izzard's and certainly in the top 3 James Mason impressions I can find on the tubes

UPDATE June 2013 the game in question has now been pre-released in alpha mode so I'm permitted to talk about the voice acting and character development I did during the earlier stages of this video games development, I voiced all the character roles helping to develop an audio story board, flesh out the characters and build the narrative, below is the video showing a prototype cut scene from the development stage where I voice all the characters, a miner (South Yorkshire accent) Lumberjack (Deep South USA accent) Bernard, the games protagonist (Gruff cockney gangster a la Ray Winstone or Bob Hoskins) and Stone Mason (James Mason impression) The clip contains an interview with Games Foundry's project lead Simon Dean who speaks very highly of my talents, bless him

You can download and play this awesome new game on steam early access

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