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British Voice Acting!

Started by Chomba, 14 Aug 2021, 19:27

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Chomba

Hi all,

I'm casting a character of a British woman (she's a leading lady, I'm already in the last stage of casting) and I need to decide between 3 applicants. My hearing is not sharp enough to know which one could pass for a native British accent.

I am looking for native speakers who can help me decide. If you would be so kind as to give me a hand with that, that would be great!

Here is the Drive folder with the tests:
[Removed]

Danvzare

B sounds like an American to me.
I'm not sure whether A or V sounds more British. Maybe V. The voice actors are clearly going for a London accent and I'm from South Yorkshire, so I'm not exactly the best judge.

Chomba

#2
Thanks for the feedback!

QuoteB sounds like an American to me.
Yeah, I had the same impression about B, I hesitate about whether the accent is very subtle or just not there (in a previous test she did it quite a bit more pronounced).

QuoteI'm not sure whether A or V sounds more British. Maybe V. The voice actors are clearly going for a London accent and I'm from South Yorkshire, so I'm not exactly the best judge.
No problem mate, even if it's a London accent, you've probably heard it more than me haha.

Ali

I don't think any of them sound like natural RP English, I'm afraid. V is the best, but it sounds like a parody posh voice to me.

A doesn't sound British, and she reads 127 as "one hundred twenty seven" not "one hundred and twenty seven" which is a giveaway. B is clearly American / American-influenced English.

I would suggest auditioning actually British actors, sorry!

Chomba

#4
Thanks for the feedback Ali!

QuoteI don't think any of them sound like natural RP English
sorry, what does RP mean?


QuoteI'm afraid. V is the best, but it sounds like a parody posh voice to me.
Well, partly it's good because it's supposed to be posh, the character belongs to the upper class in the year 1937. Partly not so good because it's not supposed to be a parody either (or not so much).

QuoteI would suggest auditioning actually British actors, sorry!
Haha, it´s OK! I prefer honest opinions (without being malicious, of course).

Hiring a British actress would be the most logical thing to do, but I don't think it's within my means. I have a casual job (no bank, no credit card, no nothing) and I live in Argentina, which has a huge mess with currency and transfers abroad and all that.

So I guess I'm pretty much tied to what I can get for casting here. The other way out is to turn it into an American character (which with that accent is not so much of a problem).

Ali

Fair enough! RP means Received Pronunciation. It's the (somewhat euphemistic) term for 'proper' English or 'BBC' English. So it is what you're looking for if you're casting an upper class character from 1937. Good luck!


Danvzare

Quote from: Ali on 15 Aug 2021, 18:01
I don't think any of them sound like natural RP English, I'm afraid. V is the best, but it sounds like a parody posh voice to me.
I've actually once had a tutor whose voice sounded like a parody of a posh voice. She was a nice woman, but damn did she have a weird accent.

Quote from: Ali on 16 Aug 2021, 09:35
Fair enough! RP means Received Pronunciation. It's the (somewhat euphemistic) term for 'proper' English or 'BBC' English.
Ahh, "BBC" English. The reason why the accents of the assistants on the latest seasons of Doctor Who, ever so slightly annoy me. (I live close to Sheffield, and their accents are not even close to being in the same ballpark.)

Chomba

QuoteRP means Received Pronunciation. It's the (somewhat euphemistic) term for 'proper' English
Very interesting, thank you!

newwaveburritos

Well, let me start off by saying that I'm from the American Midwest and that's how I speak.  None of these voices are really passing for British to my ear but I haven't grown up hearing lots and lots of English voices.  I don't think any of them are even native speakers, actually, although they all speak very good English and are for the most part reading very well.  Personally, I found B to be the best because I found it to be the least distracting although she also sounded the least British to me as well.  I don't think that's necessarily a problem, though, but I also haven't read the whole script.  I think you should go with the voice actor you find to be the best and not worry as much about whether they sound perfectly British because there's a bunch of other factors to consider in voice acting and I don't think having the proper accent ranks as highly as others.  Just my thoughts on the subject.  I really am enjoying following the progress on this project.

Chomba

hey, thanks for the feedback!

B definitely didn't do a British accent on this occasion. None of them are natives, they are all Argentinian actresses with English studies.

QuotePersonally, I found B to be the best because I found it to be the least distracting

It is to be expected, the American accent for us would be the "easiest" not only because of the pronunciation of the words, but also because it is the one we are more exposed to in the media (here in Argentina it is more common to see films and series subtitled than dubbed).

Quotebut I also haven't read the whole script
It would probably be much easier for them to achieve and/or maintain the accent with the game script, as these are short sentences. This is a casting monologue I found on the internet, to be fair, it's a pretty tough test.

QuoteI think you should go with the voice actor you find to be the best and not worry as much about whether they sound perfectly British because there's a bunch of other factors to consider in voice acting and I don't think having the proper accent ranks as highly as others

Yes, I agree on that, there is more to it than the accent, but I would like it not to be an impediment to the enjoyment of the game (I also don't know how annoying accents like these can be).

QuoteI really am enjoying following the progress on this project.
Thank you! it means a lot!  :-D


Cassiebsg

Truth is that natives will always be able to identify if the person speaking is native or not (there might be exceptions though).
So at the end of the day, you have to figure out whom you think is best or try and cast a native that can do work with your budget...
There are those who believe that life here began out there...

newwaveburritos

I should add that none of these voice actors are so distracting I think it would work to the detriment of the game.

Ali

#12
Quote from: newwaveburritos on 18 Aug 2021, 03:30
I should add that none of these voice actors are so distracting I think it would work to the detriment of the game.

I'm afraid I would probably switch the VO off, so if budget is very tight I would suggest not casting voice actors at all. It can be a huge hassle and if you're working in a second language, proof-reading might be more helpful.

Quote from: Cassiebsg on 18 Aug 2021, 00:23
Truth is that natives will always be able to identify if the person speaking is native or not (there might be exceptions though).

I remember Chloe Moretz and Claire Danes both having very convincing English accents.

Danvzare

Quote from: newwaveburritos on 17 Aug 2021, 17:16
I think you should go with the voice actor you find to be the best and not worry as much about whether they sound perfectly British because there's a bunch of other factors to consider in voice acting and I don't think having the proper accent ranks as highly as others.
Agreed.
Also I think that if everyone at least has the same accent (regardless of what that accent is), most people probably won't even notice or care about the accents not being correct to the country or time period.
I've watched plenty of American movies set in Britain where everyone has an American accent, and I've not even noticed. I think it's more about consistency than accuracy. But that's just my opinion. I could be in the minority on this.

Chomba

Not all the characters will speak with a British accent, in fact there are only 3 of them and one of them is the girl I'm casting. For the men it's more possible to get native speakers (or at least I already have some).

The english translation is made by a professional friend of mine who works (among other companies) for Blizzard doing translations from english to spanish. But of course proofreading will always be beneficial.

There are actors who can easily pass as native speakers, but I doubt I'll be able to find them at the budget level I can manage and the kind of actor research I can do on my own.

Cassiebsg

Have you tried posting a thread on the recruitment forum? Just post that you are looking for want your budget is.
There might just be someone that'll take you up on your offer, and if they can deliver a good read does it matter if they're not voice actors?
There are those who believe that life here began out there...

Chomba

QuoteHave you tried posting a thread on the recruitment forum?
Actually, no. I didn't see a lot of activity out there, so it didn't really occur to me.

Quoteand if they can deliver a good read does it matter if they're not voice actors?
In theory no, but as it will be a long game, with many nuances in the performance and above all, discontinued in time (because now I will record the demo and the rest when I finish the game), I prefer it to be someone of profession, more than anything else for a matter of commitment and seriousness.

Chomba

Well, it's finally decided, she will be American. It doesn't affect the story too much and it takes a lot of problems off my shoulders :D (it's going to be V). I'm going to remove the tests out of respect for the applicants.