Today we’re covering the second video in the #VONotes series from Chris Edgerly, a series designed to give you answers about the voice acting industry, and today he’s explaining the difference between voice matching and doing impressions! If you missed the first video in the #VONotes series you can catch up on that here.
#VONOTES Video 2: The Difference Between Voice Matching and Doing Impressions
Hey everybody! It’s Chris Edgerly with another #VONote and today I’m going to talk about voice matching.
One thing voice matching is not is doing an impression.
Now, don’t get me wrong, impressions are a lot of fun to do…[As Sir Ian McKellen] “Thou shall not p…oh well you know the rest…” [As Billy Bob Thornton] “I got things I worry about that never even enter your mind…” [As Gary Busey] “Hey, you wanna know what Bible stands for? It stands for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth…” [As Chris Hemsworth] “Tony Stark has a lovely house but I live in Asgard…” [As Martin Scorsese] “A lot of times I wanna shoot movies right off the top of my head, go with my gut, go with my instinct, but then I gotta storyboard it for about six weeks…” [As Werner Herzog] “The voices in your mind are very much like the voices in my documentaries…” [As Jeff Goldblum] “Ahh, that’s really funny, the way you do the, eh, voices and you change, ah..ah..ah, the way you sound…hahaha”
But a lot of times with impressions and impressionists you take the technical aspects of a celebrity’s voice and you caricaturize them just a little bit to make it more fun.
Celebrities on the set when they’re shooting don’t sound as much like themselves as you might think…especially not in any particular scene where they might be whispering or running or shouting. Often times, you get a perfect scene, but some of the audio is just not very clear or, later on, the producers decide they want to change a line or two of the dialogue. That’s where the voice actor comes in!
Very often, a voice matching job will include taking R-rated dialogue and cleaning it up and putting in PG-rated words for TV. I once voice masked Paul Walker for the movie Running Scared, which is an R-rated, very gritty and dark movie. That was a really fun experience, however, Paul also shouted most of his dialogue in that movie and so I had to shout.
In short, voice matching is a really fun but highly technical facet of the voice over industry and if you have a background as an impressionist, you’ve got a headstart, you’ve just gotta learn to tweak your habits and make them more technical and less glamorous and fun.
Hope this has answered some questions for you! If you have any more, put them in the comments section below and hit that subscribe button so you can see more #VONotes as I make them! Thanks!