Once you are in contact with your chosen VO artist(s), you can give a bit more detail about the project. I would normally ask for lines to be returned in blocks; that way, if there is a problem with them, the artist doesn’t have to sit down and redo 30 pages of dialogue, as you weren’t specific enough when you gave them their brief.
Always give a time scale for when you need the lines back by. Never just give them out, wait 3 weeks then start a torrent of mails demanding them back because they are holding up your production; that’s not a good way to establish a good image with your fellow artists!
When you get the lines back, always check them over. VO’s won’t mind on the whole if you ask them to redo lines (provided you haven’t asked them to do 30 pages of dialogue without asking for a sample back first!); of course there’s a line to draw here. Don’t keep asking for lines to be redone; if you have a specific way you want them done, SAY SO AT THE START! Don’t waste the artist’s valuable time doing lines over and over then change how you want them presented. That will only risk you losing their good favour for future projects
First, a big thank you to Chris and Killian for taking the time and trouble to generate this thread.
I'm starting to write my script for the first installment of The Commonwealth. I had originally shot the entire first part with subtitles (actually, with on-screen word bubbles), but that was a while ago and I've decided to try to make the picture a "talkie" instead.
Plus, a lot has changed in the past couple years with external editing being the norm, etc.
With one exception, my main characters are not envisioned as native English speakers. The first male lead is an Arab with a violent, tragic past. :osama: The first female lead is a tough, street-wise black woman. The second male lead is an alien. :alien: The second female lead is a Russian Jew (though I'm open to other ethnic groups with this last one, the first male and female leads aren't open to change or reinterpretation).
Since I live in a very diverse neighborhood, I know what I'm hoping to hear come out of my characters' mouths, but I am not sure what the etiquette is for asking for people who have specific accents or otherwise "fit" the character. Is it considered rude, or is it OK to be very specific?
Example: My native English-speaking main character is an African-American female. She's in late 30s and joined the military to escape from a life of poverty in a dystopian future Detroit. She's an officer, but she's self-made; no one ever thought she'd work her way up the ranks from NCO to a commission.
In my mind, I hear someone who speaks assertively, authoritatively, and economically because her "native" way of speaking is assertive and authoritative, but also confrontational and laced with profanity - a pattern she'll "default" to under stressful conditions. In any situation, the character speaks with an "urban" accent common among people of color, but not among other urban dwellers.
Here are my questions:
1) Where would I post this sort of request?
2) Should that much background on the character be included in the VO request or somewhere else?
3) Is the characterization offensive to anyone? :censored:
4) Assuming I got a response from a very well-intended person, but someone who totally doesn't fit the character, is it bad form to take a pass on those grounds?
Thanks in advance!