Thursday, April 23, 2009

Voice Work!

Tom Hanks (who has earlier remarked on how strenuous voice acting is) tells Empire magazine about his latest assignment for Toy Story 3:

"I have been in and done three big complete recording sessions and will probably have at least one more to do, possibly in about eight months," said Hanks .... "Then eight months after that I'll do a mop-up and have three more sessions after that. Those movies are beasts ..."

Hanks remarks that he, John Ratzenberger and Tim Allen sat in a theater and watched story reels of the film instead of read a script.

Of course, in the horse-and-buggy days of of 'toon voice recording (pre Jeffrey K.), there wasn't a whole lot in the way of scripts.

Woolie Reitherman and the crew would have a couple of sequences up on boards, the actor would come in, and Larry Clemmons would walk the talent through what was happening with the character.

Then the talent would look over the script pages stabled to cardboard (the better to prevent the horrid rattling sound) and go to work.

But the actors seeing the whole film up on story reels early on? Didn't happen. Woolfgang was still trying to figure out was going to happen in Sequence Three.

But maybe Woolie's biggest challenge, back in those olden times, was trying to figure out how to work around actor Joe Flynn's bad timing of drowning in the backyard pool before his part in The Rescuers was fully recorded.

It kind of ... ah ... stopped further dialogue revisions for the character Snoops. Happily, they had enough to continue.

A simpler, more innocent time, wouldn't you say?


Anonymous said...

"Hanks remarks that he, John Ratzenberger and Tim Allen sat in a theater and watched story reels of the film instead of read a script."

It always takes a whole lot more than just a script. Whatever it takes to put the story across, throw the kitchen sink in, whatever.

Anonymous said...

In the past, I've seen/heard the "scartch" voices for Woody and some of the characters. It's pretty amazing...especially the Tom Hanks/Woody impersonator.

It must be odd for those guys to sit and watch these reels with "their" voices scratched-in.

Floyd Norman said...

I was a story guy on"Toy Story2" and attended recording sessions at Walt Disney's Studio B back in the nineties.

This stuff is written, rewritten --and rewritten.
I guarantee the actors do earn their paychecks.

Anonymous said...

All I can think of is an interview with Joe Ranft where he's talking about his voice work(I think it was promotion for Bugs Life), and he leans into the camera and sage-whispers conspiratorially, "It's actually really easy!". Very funny and, well, to an extent, true. Joe knew. And of course on top of his voice work he was boarding fulltime, too.

I think the actors comment about it being such a go-round because they're shocked that the story/lines change so many times over several years. To them , it probably seems like it should be a straightforward dramatic reading as with a radio play-in one go-done, Maybe a few alterations, but that's it.

Anonymous said...

If 9 days in the studio is "a beast", I'm thinking Mr. Hanks has forgotten what it is like to work below the line.

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