A few angry words on the lack of love for voice acting
Today I got an e-mail from the number one movie theatre chain in Sweden, where I have a gold level loyalty card. They offered me the chance to “lend” my voice to one of the characters in Disney’s upcoming adventure comedy Big Hero 6.
According to the letter it wouldn’t be necessary to go through a painful, time consuming audition. All you had to do to participate in the casting was to record yourself with your cell phone, saying the line: “Hello, do you hear me? Do you know your name?” and then post it on Instagram. The winner would do the voice recording in Stockholm at a certain point. No economic compensation whatsoever would be paid, not even to cover travel costs.
The winner would get tickets to the premier of the movie. Yay.
I think this speaks volumes about how much certain elements of the film business care about the products they sell. As long as the sales volumes of popcorn don’t drop, they’re happy. Reading as reading. Any schmuck who can read the ingredient list from a package of cornflakes can read a few lines in an animated movie, according to their beliefs.
And it makes me so mad. It’s disrespectful towards train actors who do this for real, who put their heart into every role they make, no matter how small because they’re professionals. And it’s disrespectful towards the audience. When we watch a Disney movie, rightly or wrongly, we expect it to keep a certain level. That includes the dubbed voices we get in the Swedish release.
Motion caption actors
Motion caption actors have received a lot of love over the last few years. Every time a new part of the Hobbit or the Planet of the Apes franchises come out, someone will start talking about Andy Serkis and how much he deserves an Academy award for his brilliant body acting.
Don’t get me wrong. The computer generated creatures in movies become much more alive and believable thanks to the cooperation between the actors and the animators. I appreciate that. What I don’t get though is that voice actors aren’t given the same kind of attention and respect. One good voice actor can turn a movie into something completely different than what it else would have been. I don’t have to remind you about what Robin Williams was to Aladdin.
As a fellow film fan I can see why someone would enter the casting competition of Big Hero 6. Who wouldn’t like to be a part of a film recording? Even if I had to do it for free and even pay for my own train ticket to the studio, it would feel as if it was worth it.
However, as fun as it may be for the individual, it’s wrong to everyone else.
I don’t want to see another voice acting casting like this, ever.