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[I]Voice work in video games is coming under more and more scrutiny. As games become more involved and deeper productions, the role of the voice actor plays an increasing role. To that end, we contacted Mark Estdale, a casting director and founder of Outsource Media in the United Kingdom. He has worked on games since the early '90s and pulls no punches about his frustration with existing practices in the industry. He set up Outsource Media in 1996 to bring the audio craft in film and TV production to games. He has worked on such games Need for Speed III, Pac-Man , Wipeout, Timesplitters, Pro Evo Soccer, Wallace and Gromit, and many more. As you can see from his answers in this interview, he still beats a production values drum:[/I]

[B]GameCulture: What is the general process a video game company goes through to get voice actors involved in their project?[/B]

[B]Mark Estdale:[/B] I'm a casting and voice director, I also provide character and dialogue development support to developers and publishers, as well as coaching professional actors for working with games. Although I started off as an actor myself and occasionally get in front of a mic, my main roles are directing, casting and coordinating voice production.

It is common (and bad) practice to seek voice actors late in the development process when the script is almost finished when "getting the voices in" is high on the agenda. The process: get game working, rewrite voice script to match final gameplay, cast actors, record actors, get voice assets in game and get it mastered before the deadline.

A high percentage of my time is spent talking with dev teams and publishers regarding best practice as this common practice, deemed expedient, doesn't lead to good results.

[B]GC: Is it usually the developer or publisher that contracts the work?[/B]

[URL=http://www.gameculture.com/2010/03/23/gameculture-goes-inside-voice-actor039s-studio]read more[/URL]


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