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Voice acting is the art of performing voice-overs to represent a character or provide information to an audience. Performers are called voice actors/actresses, voice artists or voice talent. In the UK, voice acting is recognised as a specialized dramatic profession, primarily due to the BBC's long tradition of radio drama production.
Examples of voice work include animated, off-stage, off-screen or non-visible characters in various works such as feature films, dubbed foreign-language films, animated films, anime, television shows, video games, cartoons, documentaries, commercials, audiobooks, radio dramas and comedies, amusement rides, theater productions, puppet shows and audio games. Voice actors are also heard through pre-recorded and automated announcements that are a part of everyday modern life in areas such as shops, elevators, waiting rooms and public transport. The role of a voice actor may involve singing, most often when playing a fictional character, although a separate performer is sometimes enlisted as the character's singing voice.
The voices for animated characters are provided by voice actors. For live-action productions, voice acting often involves reading the parts of computer programs, radio dispatchers or other characters who never actually appear on screen. With an audio drama, there is more freedom because there is no need to match a dub to the original actor or animated character. Producers and agencies are often on the lookout for many styles of voices, such as booming voices for more dramatic productions or cute, young-sounding voices for trendier markets. Some voices sound like regular, natural, everyday people; all of these voices have their place in the voiceover world, provided they are used correctly and in the right context.
In the context of voice acting, narration is the use of spoken commentary to convey a story to an audience. [ citation needed ]A narrator is a personal character or a non-personal voice that the creator of the story develops to deliver information about the plot to the audience. The voice actor who plays the narrator is responsible for performing the scripted lines assigned to them. In traditional literary narratives (such as novels, short stories, and memoirs) narration is a required story element; in other types of (chiefly non-literary) narratives (such as plays, television shows, video games, and films) narration is optional.
One of the most common uses for voice acting is within commercial advertising. The voice actor is hired to voice a message associated with the advertisement. This has different sub-genres such as television, radio, film, and online advertising. The sub-genres are all different styles in their own right. For example, television commercials tend to be voiced with a narrow, flat inflection pattern (or prosody pattern) whereas radio commercials, especially local ones, tend to be voiced with a very wide inflection pattern in an almost over-the-top style. Marketers and advertisers use voice-overs in radio, TV, online adverts, and more; total advertising spend in the UK was forecast to be £21.8 billion in 2017.[ citation needed ] Voice-over used in commercial adverts is also the only area of voice acting where "de-breathing" is used. This means artificially removing breaths from the recorded voice, and is done to stop the audience being distracted in any way from the commercial message that is being put across.[ citation needed ]
Dub localization is the practice of voice-over translation, in which voice actors alter a foreign-language film or television series. Voice-over translation is an audiovisual translation [ citation needed ]technique, in which, unlike in Dub localization, actor voices are recorded over the original audio track, which can be heard in the background. This method of translation is most often used in documentaries and news reports to translate words of foreign-language interviewees.
Automated dialogue replacement (ADR) is the process of re-recording dialogue by the original actor after the filming process to improve audio quality or reflect dialogue changes, also known as "looping" or a "looping session". [ citation needed ]ADR is also used to change original lines recorded on set to clarify context, improve diction or timing, or to replace an accented vocal performance. In the UK, it is also called "post-synchronization" or "post-sync".
Voice artists are also used to record the individual sample fragments played back by a computer in an automated announcement. At its simplest, each recording consists of a short phrase which is played back when necessary, such as the "mind the gap" announcement introduced on the London Underground in 1969, which is currently voiced by Emma Clarke. In a more complicated system, such as a speaking clock, the announcement is re-assembled from fragments such as "minutes past", "eighteen", and "p.m." For example, the word "twelve" can be used for both "Twelve O'Clock" and "Six Twelve". Automated announcements can also include on-hold messages on phone systems and location-specific announcements in tourist attractions.
Software to modify and generate human voices has become popular in the 21st century. AI startup Dessa created a computer-generated Joe Rogan's voice using thousands of hours of his podcast audio,while Ubisoft used speech synthesis to give thousands of characters distinguished voices in the video game Watch Dogs: Legion , and Google announced in 2020 their solution to generate human-like speech from text.
In movie trailers and television and radio commercials, voice actors are often recruited through voice acting agencies. Ernie Anderson, Dan Castellaneta, Don LaFontaine, Jim Cummings, Tony Anselmo, James Earl Jones, and others have made careers in this field.
From 1988 to 1994, the UK banned broadcasting of the voices of people linked to violence in Northern Ireland.Television circumvented this by using actors' voices synchronized to footage of the prohibited people speaking.
Voice actor (Japanese: 声優, Hepburn: Seiyū) occupations include performing roles in anime, audio dramas, and video games; performing voice-overs for dubs of non-Japanese movies; and providing narration to documentaries and similar programs. Japan has approximately 130 voice acting schools and troupes of voice actors who usually work for a specific broadcast company or talent agency. They often attract their own appreciators and fans, who watch shows specifically to hear their favorite performer. Many Japanese voice actors frequently branch into music, often singing the opening or closing themes of shows in which they star, or become involved in non-animated side projects such as audio dramas (involving the same characters in new storylines) or image songs (songs sung in character that are not included in the anime but which further develop the character).
Although voice acting is criticized in Brazil, most of the films in the theaters are dubbed in Portuguese, and most Brazilians tend to prefer watching movies in their native language.[ which? ] Many voice actors are also dubbing directors and translators. To become a voice actor in Brazil, one needs to be a professional actor and attend dubbing courses. Some celebrities in Brazil have also done voice acting.[ citation needed ]
Actors often lend their voices to characters in games and some have made a career of it across many of the main game-manufacturing countries, mostly the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Their names have sometimes been linked to a particular character they have voiced.
Notable video game voice actors include Maaya Sakamoto (the Japanese version of Lightning in Final Fantasy XIII ),Tatsuhisa Suzuki (Noctis Lucis Caelum in Final Fantasy XV ), Miyu Irino (the Japanese version of Sora in the Kingdom Hearts series), David Hayter (Solid Snake and Big Boss in the Metal Gear series), Steve Downes and Jen Taylor (Master Chief and Cortana in the Halo series), Nolan North (Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series and Desmond Miles in the Assassin's Creed series), Troy Baker (Joel in The Last of Us series) and Charles Martinet (Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi in Nintendo's Mario franchise).
Other actors more linked with film or television acting have also voiced video game characters, such as Ray Liotta (Tommy Vercetti in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Billy Handsome in Call of Duty: Black Ops II ), Michael Dorn (various characters in World of Warcraft and Gatatog Uvenk in Mass Effect 2 ), Kaili Vernoff (Miranda Cowan in Grand Theft Auto V and Susan Grimshaw in Red Dead Redemption 2 ), Ashley Johnson (Ellie in The Last of Us series), Kristen Bell (Lucy Stillman in the first three mainline entries in the Assassin's Creed franchise) and Kelsey Grammer (Sideshow Bob in The Simpsons Game ).
Dubbing, mixing or re-recording, is a post-production process used in filmmaking and video production in which additional or supplementary recordings are lip-synced and "mixed" with original production sound to create the finished soundtrack.
Voice-over is a production technique where a voice—that is not part of the narrative (non-diegetic)—is used in a radio, television production, filmmaking, theatre, or other presentations. The voice-over is read from a script and may be spoken by someone who appears elsewhere in the production or by a specialist voice actor. Synchronous dialogue, where the voice-over is narrating the action that is taking place at the same time, remains the most common technique in voice-overs. Asynchronous, however, is also used in cinema. It is usually prerecorded and placed over the top of a film or video and commonly used in documentaries or news reports to explain information.
Voice acting in Japan is an industry where actors provide voice-overs as characters or narrators in media including anime, video games, audio dramas, commercials, and dubbing for non-Japanese films and television programs.
Solomon Hersh Frees, better known as Paul Frees, was an American actor, voice actor, comedian, impressionist and screenwriter, known for his work on MGM, Walter Lantz, and Walt Disney theatrical cartoons during the Golden Age of Animation and for providing the voice of Boris Badenov in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. A contemporary of voice actor Mel Blanc, Frees was known as "The Man of a Thousand Voices".
Martin Jarvis OBE is an English actor, voice actor and producer of radio drama. After a varied career in film and television, he has become particularly noted for his voice acting for radio and audiobooks.
Tony Jay was an English–American voice, stage, film and television actor.
India Fisher is a British actress, narrator and presenter. Her father is the ex-MP Mark Fisher. She is also the stepsister of musician Crispin Hunt and of actress Francesca Hunt, who appears with her in the play Other Lives.
Kari Wahlgren is an American voice actress who has provided English-language voices for animated movies, TV series, and video games. She got her start in anime voice-overs as Haruko Haruhara in FLCL, and would later land major roles in a number of shows and films: Robin Sena in Witch Hunter Robin, Lavie Head in Last Exile, Fuu in Samurai Champloo, Scarlett in Steamboy, Pacifica Casull in the Scrapped Princess, Saya Otonashi in Blood+, Kagami Hiiragi in Lucky Star, Saber in Fate/zero, Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works and Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel, and Celty Sturluson in the Durarara!! series.
Robert Rietti, OMRI, was an English actor, voice actor, playwright and recording director of Anglo-Italian descent. With over 200 credits to his name, he had a highly prolific career in the American, British and Italian entertainment industries. He was particularly prominent in post-production dubbing both foreign and domestic, often overseeing the English-language dubbing of foreign actors' dialogue. He is known for his dubbing work in the James Bond series, Lawrence of Arabia, Once Upon a Time in America, and The Guns of Navarone.
Jack Angel is an American voice actor and radio personality. He has provided voice-overs for animation and video games. Angel has voiced characters in shows by Hasbro and Hanna-Barbera such as Super Friends, The Transformers and G.I. Joe and has been involved in numerous productions by DreamWorks, Disney and Disney Pixar. Before becoming involved with voiceover work, Angel was initially a disc jockey for radio stations, namely KMPC and KFI.
Sean Christian Schemmel is an American voice actor, anime dubber, musician, and writer who has worked for Funimation, OkraTron 5000, NYAV Post, 4K Media Inc., Central Park Media, and DuArt Film and Video. He has provided voices for English adaptations of Japanese anime, as well as various other animated series and video games. His most notable voice role has been the adult version of Goku in the Funimation dub of the Dragon Ball franchise as well as other characters such as King Kai.
Mega Babies is a Canadian–American animated children's television series created by the Tremblay brothers, Christian and Yvon, who previously had made the Hanna-Barbera show SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron. It is produced by CinéGroupe and Landmark Entertainment Group in association with Sony Wonder.
Stephanie Sheh is an American voice actress, ADR director, writer and producer who has worked for several major companies, including Cartoon Network and Sony. She is often involved with work in English dubs of anime, cartoons, video games and films. Her notable voice roles include Hinata Hyuga in Naruto, Orihime Inoue in Bleach, Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon in the Viz Media redub of Sailor Moon, Eureka in Eureka Seven, Mikuru Asahina in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Nui Harime in Kill la Kill, Mikan Tsumiki in Danganronpa, Mamimi Samejima in FLCL, and Mitsuha Miyamizu in Your Name.
Corinne Orr is a Canadian stage, radio, film, television and voice actress. She is currently living in the United States. She is best known for her work on the English version of the anime series Speed Racer.
Voice-over translation is an audiovisual translation technique in which, unlike in dubbing, actor voices are recorded over the original audio track which can be heard in the background.
John Hasler is an English actor and voice-over artist, who is best known as T-shirt in the children's television series T-Bag from 1985 to 1992. Hasler was the only character to remain with the show for its entire television run, starting as a young boy and leaving as a teenager, he's also known for voicing Thomas the Tank Engine in the UK dub of the children's television series Thomas & Friends.
Lionel Wilson was an American voice actor, reader of audiobooks, stage actor, and author of children's books. He was known for his roles from Tom Terrific through to his last role, voicing Eustace Bagge on the Cartoon Network's Courage the Cowardly Dog.
A fandub is a fan-made dub or redub of a live-action or animated production. Dubbing is the act of re-recording of a live-action or animated production, typically in a language other than the original. Most productions are translated from different languages, but some fandubs are for productions that were produced in the fandubber's native language. The dialogue can range from being a close translation to a completely-altered version of the original script's story and plots, as well as the personalities of protagonists.
Teresa Gallagher is an American-born British actress, voice actress, and singer.
Sound & Vision India is an Indian dubbing studio group in India, with their main studio located in Andheri West Mumbai. They have dubbed for many live action and animated theatrical or television films, series and documentaries.
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