Voice actor Chris Edgerly is here once more with the fifteenth video in the #VONotes series and today he’s talking about looping in voice acting! The #VONotes series is a video series designed to answer questions that you may have about the voice acting industry and it provides some great tips and references for aspiring voice actors everywhere! If you missed the previous videos in the #VONotes series you can catch up on those here.
Voice Acting in Commercials: Commercial Voice Over Work #VONotes
Hey, what’s up, everybody? Today I’m gonna talk about looping!
What is looping, you ask? Well, looping is when you take a voice actor (or group of voice actors known as a loop group) and you fill in the background noise of a scene.
Sometimes it’s a crowded restaurant or a nightclub, or a subway station, or somewhere out at a baseball game. The reason why they don’t record this on the day is because if you have two characters having a conversation amongst a crowd of people if you have the crowd noise happening at the same time, you’re not gonna hear the conversation of the two actors. So, they do this separately.
They’ll have the crowd in the background making as little noise as possible so you can hear the two foreground characters. Later on in post-production, in comes the loop group to fill out the rest of the scene!
How do you get to be a part of a loop group? Well, versatility is key! Being able to speak a second, or third, or fourth language is a major plus, doing different dialects, accents, being able to change your voice as much as possible is really helpful! If you have an improv background, that’s great, if you have a stage background, just a general all-around good acting resume is very helpful because you’re going to have to sound like a lot of different people! One day it’s gonna be a Russian gangster, the next day it might be an Irish priest, and everything in between!
And another thing is – you’re going to have to be available! Many loop groups have work pretty much 24-7. You’ve got to be able to drop what you are doing and be available to work on that scene!
It’s also important to be able to know how to work well with others! Sometimes it’s good for you to be able to assert yourself and say “I can do that voice!” and other times it’s good to step back and let somebody else take center-stage and mix it up!
One example of this is, I was working on the movie Chappaquiddick, one of the scenes took place in a church during a funeral and an Irish priest was in the background and he was barely audible, but they needed to have somebody that could do the voice of the priest delivering a sermon. Nine years of Catholic school came in handy right there, let me tell ya!
It’s not always going to be the most glamorous job as far as getting recognized for it. A lot of the looping jobs I’ve done, I’ve never even made the credits, but I still got that all-important residual check!
The next time you’re out at the movies, take a look at the credits at the end and see the number of people that worked on the ADR or “looping”. Notice how many people that you see there! Sometimes it takes a village of voice actors to fill out a blockbuster movie!
In short, being versatile, working well with others, and being available make you a very valuable loop group member!
Hope this has answered some questions for you if you have more put them in the comments below and hit that subscribe button so you can see more of these #VONotes as I make them!