Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Celebrity Voice-Match - a specialist niche area of the voiceover world

Before I ever did any form of voice-over work professionally I was doing impressions of famous people, I've always been a parrot, mimicking interesting sounds I heard daily and at least one of my kids is exactly the same

One of my VO pals was recently boasting about her versatility and she reeled off every single area of the Voice-acting / Narration / Voiceover canon she had worked in, claiming quite bullishly that it represented EVERY niche of commercial voice work

Sadly I had to disappoint her, she'd never done any Voice-Match work! this is where you become a voice double for celebrity voices that are commercially in demand but for one reason or another won't work for the product / money / principle of what's being offered, sometimes they are deceased and advertisers want their great voices to live on

Here's my latest reel showcasing a few of the famous voices I regularly voice match including Sean Bean, a man who not only shares my first name but my home town, Richard Burton & Patrick Allen, two of the greatest British voices ever who are now sadly long departed, Movie trailer legend Don Lafontaine and finally the always in demand "Voice of God" that is Morgan Freeman

I regularly get requests to impersonate celebrity voices in my home VO studio, if you've got a required get in touch, I'll see what I can do for you!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Award Winning Voice-Over Artist Sean Ruttledge Nominated for 2 Golden Trailer Awards


Many of you who know me as an actor, comedian and voice-over artist, will know that I'm not usually massively boastful or big into self promotion, it's not like I go around calling myself an "Award winning voiceover artist" even though I won the Voices Pro Radio Drama Competition back in 2013


When I learned I'd been double nominated for Hollywood's Golden Trailer Awards I think I was so excited I swore! then I posted repeatedly about it all over various social media outlets, much to the annoyance of many of my online "friends"

Don LaFontaine Award for Best Voice Over
Best Voice-Over for a TV Spot

Let me apologise in advance for further mentioning this accolade here, as an artist you experience many highs and usually an equal amount of lows, many voice actors and commercial voiceover artists I know in London, and for that matter most actors and comedians I've met on the UK comedy circuit often live a "hand to mouth" existence, humbly chasing a vocation that they love above any kind of lucrative material aggrandisement

So why shouldn't you capitalise on your high points?

Well, you should, I've been hungry and impoverished chasing voice acting fame in the past, I've had hundreds of audition flops and "Thanks, we'll be in touch" failures too, so I'm jolly well going to shout about this high point! here's the story ....

I was lucky enough to be chosen from 50 odd auditionees to voice a number of trailers for the movie Mortdecai, the chaps who chose me were from Burbank California, a super cool outfit called Tiny Hero who make kick ass promos and trailers for the TV & Movie industry

In actual fact they auditioned and re-auditioned me so many times that at first I thought it was a practical joke, it turns out they're just perfectionists, I love perfectionists, I'm a bit of a perfectionist myself, but perfectionists can wear you down with their constant "do it agains"and their unceasing "say it this ways" and "try it that ways" bless 'em!

Most professional voice-over talent will know what I mean here, you often feel that your first read "nailed it" and each subsequent read gets gradually less and less awesome as your confidence and patience wane, but as a professional you continue on and on and on as directed, you may then start to feel inadequate and can doubt your own talent, I've often left lengthy VO sessions with perfectionist producers feeling drained and incompetent 

But then the trailer comes out, you see the perfection in it, you understand why the auditions and recording sessions were so long and why so many re-runs and pick ups were needed, even though you suspect the takes they finally used were the first ones you ever recorded, the trailer is perfect!

The icing on the cake is when you later learn that this awesome work you all achieved together has been nominated for prestige industry accolades!

My great comedy hero Charles Chaplin was also a perfectionist, his feature films from the 1930's 40' & 50's would often take 2 years to shoot with some scenes being shot hundreds of times until he was finally happy, he also wrote the score, starred in, directed, and distributed his own movies via his company United Artists in order to have full creative control of his masterpieces, that must have been frustrating as hell for most of his coworkers but the end result was always perfection

The Golden Trailers are kind of like the Oscars for the Movie Marketing Industry, winning film & TV Promos and trailers are chosen by a panel of industry expert judges

The two I was nominated for were "Best Voice Over for a TV Spot" and the prestigious "Don LaFontaine Award for Best Voice Over" this is the one I'm most happy about

Don LaFontaine was another hero of mine, the original "Movie Trailer Guy" Voice, throughout the 80's 90's and noughties DLF as he was known voiced some 5000 movie trailers as the "voice of God" he passed away in 2008 yet his legend lives on, many movie trailer voice artists still imitate his deep amazing voice, its fair to say he created the archetypal trailer voice, he wrote the immortal line "In a world" and like Chaplin his life's work will transcend his mortality living on for many years after his earthly demise, as a voice-double I've been hired for a few voiceover gigs doing DLF style trailer impressions including one for Newsday on the BBC World Service that has a global audience of hundreds of millions of listeners

The great thing about my trailer voiceover in the Mortdecai promos though, is that it's not your typical archetypal North American movie trailer voice, it's in fact a character voice, based on a quintessentially British "Jeeves the butler" type character, to draw another Charlie Chaplin parallel, its a rare treat for a "Limey" to be making waves in Hollywoodland!

 I worked long and hard in partnership with the wonderful folks at Tiny Hero on this, they truly are perfectionists and I'm glad we've achieved a movie trailer masterpiece that breaks the mould and the cliches of the genre, winning the DLF award for a non-DLF style movie trailer voice-over would be a real coup, but one of the nominees is a female and we've all seen the film "In A World" haven't we!

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