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AGDC08: The Screen Actors Guild wants you to hear its game voice(s)

Kevin Kelly

We've seen the Screen Actor's Guild booth at a lot of gaming and interactive events recently, from SXSW to GDC in San Francisco, so we finally decided to stop by and see what they're doing there. Normally, when you think about video game development, SAG isn't the first thing that springs to mind. It turns out that they have contracts that will allow developers with every type of budget to work with their stable of professional actors.

So, rather than having Bob from Accounting (sorry, Bob) record the lines of Beelzebub the Destroyer for your new MMO, you can hire someone who can really sound like something from the depths of hell. We sat down with actors David Sobolov and David Anthony Pizzuto and director of new media for SAG, Mark Friedlander, to find out what why SAG has been appearing at gaming events. Plus, the guys do some of their many voices. Check out the highlights, see a video of a typical day in the booth, and listen to the audio of the interview after the break.

  • Games are becoming more and more cinematic, and as a result the voices need to sound more and more professional. According to David Anthony Pizzuto, "We close the gap to breathe more life into their vision."
  • David Sobolov has been brought in on three different games where they had to throw out all of the voice-over work and start from scratch with actual actors.
  • The actors frequently don't have much time to work on their characters, and are often hired to do several voices. So, they have to be quick on their toes and be able to shift from a Minotaur to a Nerd at a moment's notice.
  • It's a male-heavy business, so girls ... you need to get in there and kick some butt.
  • Actors who haven't trained to do voice-overs for games can come in for a full session and burn their voices out quickly.
  • The two Davids don't game on their own, despite having been in iconic games like Call of Duty 4 and The Chronicles of Riddick.
  • You might be able to hire these guys for a hundred bucks and a bag of donuts.
Check out the full audio below, and if you're thinking about a career in game voice-overs, you might start gargling glass and smoking to lower your register. These guys have a pretty amazing range.

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