Working hard on the teaser trailer, new challenges
Another Saturday spent here at Scarecrow Studio, working on our Point-and-Click Adventure Game – ‘3 Minutes to Midnight‘. Some days, it is inevitable to look back at your life and remember, your first steps in the world of work. In my case, while I was attending college, I worked in a tiny warehouse. I used to spend the whole day piling up and wrapping products, for markets and groceries stores. At the end of the shift, a truck used to come to pick everything up.
Why am I telling you this? Well, in that job – even it was quite simple job – there was always something you forgot to pile up, or something you left unwrapped. Some things you did not think about until the very last moment, like if the shape you packed was a good fit for the truck. Well, sometimes you had to stay longer to rewrap and repack.
Anyhow… How is this in any way related to the making of the ‘3 Minutes to midnight’ trailer? I guess what I am trying to say is, that in every job there is always something left unthought-of. So this week, after preparing the script, shortening the script, painting the scenarios, separating the layers, illustrating the characters, preparing each part of the character to be animated, combining everything with the animation software, getting the voices ready, the translations, and the music… there was something left unthought-of.
The trouble is, although we got awesome voice actors for the game, the budget does not allow us to rent a big studio to do it professionally. If you want to do the voice over right, apart from getting great voice actors, the actors should be in the same room when they are reading their lines, especially when they are in interaction. Therefore, this was what we left unthought-of until we watched the first sample of the teaser.
At this point, I’m sure you understand the problem, so let’s move on forward to talk about how we are going to solve it within our tiny budget.
After spending the last 2 days reading voice over templates, examples, success cases, failure cases… we could discard several ways to get this done.
Don’t voice over the game yourself and send it to the voice over actors, it will take a lot of your time and resources that you could be using doing something else. (Apart from all the laughs at you from the voiceover community, you will get).
Don’t record the first part of every conversation, send it to the voice actor that goes next, get back to the first one, etc. It’s an endless process and the voiceover actors aren’t at home just waiting for you to give them a few lines.
The solution, like in most cases, is easier than you may think. Like most of nowadays problems, you are not the first one to encounter this problem.
The solution would be to summarize really well what’s going on. Give the right context to the voice actor. All comments must be short, no longer than a line or two. Don’t waste the voiceover actor’s time.
Before every sentence, give some guidance using [guidance]; if you want to empathize some words or part of the sentence, use cursive.
Don’t use “justified text”, it leaves too much space between words and tricks the voice-over actor into thinking those are pauses.
Indicate the pauses (1 sec. pause)
It goes unsaid that your grammar should be perfect or close to it. If you don’t punctuate right, the voice-over actor is going to read it as he understands it.
So let’s finish with an example:
Context: you are in the kitchen, cutting onions.
[You talk to the camera]: A lot of people cry when they cut onions. (1 sec pause) The trick is (1 sec pause) not to form and emotional bond.
I hope this post helps you a little! And don’t forget to check out our teaser! You got any questions? reach me on my Twitter @jankahuna