Jessica Green is a development executive by day, and an actress all other times. She’s also a good friend who helped me cast an amazing group of actors from The Groundlings Improv Company. Since The Alchemist Agenda script calls for nearly 70 roles with five spoken languages and nearly a dozen dialects, we needed versatile actors with a lot of range.
Our male lead was played by Jim Kane, a well-trained actor with a valiant voice. And the leading lady was played by Caudia Black (the voice of Angelique in “Rango”), an Australian actress who performed a perfect Israeli accent for us. The rest of our cast had to play multiple roles and did a great job making each character sound different.
I was lucky to get such a talented group, but the real challenge was working around so many actors’ schedules within such a short window. I had rented an audio studio for a half-day, and I probably could have used two full days for a 115-page script like we’re working with. But like they say, the amount of work fills the time allotted. And I’m not sure who “they” are, but they were right. We got everything recorded (with a little overtime added on).
Directing voices for animation is different than directing actors for live action. It’s important to know that the voices communicate the intended emotions clearly and will match the expressions in the drawings. I noticed that I closed my eyes or looked away when the voice actors performed so I wouldn’t get swayed by the expressions on their faces. I thought the actors did a great job and I can’t wait to see how their voices play to the drawn images. I plan on coming back to the recording studio one more time when picture is locked to re-record some lines and do a little loop group.