Thursday, January 14, 2016

Voice Director For Cartoons

A journal of entertainment informs us:

When Disney Television Animation execs decided to create a series spinoff from the classic film “The Lion King,” they turned to veteran voice director Kelly Ward to ensure the vocal performances in “The Lion Guard” would roar to life. ...

Ward explains just how collaborative animated projects are, with each piece of the project informing the others. “There are many types of directing in animation. The first director is very legitimately the writer because a lot of what they write becomes translated into visuals by the storyboard artist, who becomes the second director because he’s directing the visuals and distilling the visuals into actual pictures,” he says.

“And then my job is to come in and help match and get the essence of the story in the vocal performances, which then inform the storyboard artists as well. It’s kind of a lovely ballet of interwoven parts where a knowledge of writing and a knowledge of storyboarding and drawing, a knowledge of editing all really help me do my job and convey to an actor exactly how to nuance their performance. ...

Mr. Ward knows whereof he speaks, as he began as an actor before migrating to Hanna-Barbera where he both wrote cartoon series and produced them. A couple of years back, he sat down to talk to us about where his career started, and where it had gone.

The fact that veterans who know how cartoons are put together continue to work in the industry is a very good thing.


Tom Ruegger said...

Voice Director Kelly Ward is the best in the business. He has been the voice director of "The 7D" animated series for the past 4 years and I cannot imagine the show succeeding without him. At every session, Kelly helps our brilliant actors find their perfect and hilarious cartoon voices. It's a true joy to watch and listen to Kelly and the cast bring the characters to life in the booth...with plusses and adjustments made to the scripts here and there to bring out new twists and turns in the characters. The sessions are like listening to comedy jazz being created right in front of you. For me, it's the best day of the week and undoubtedly one of the major highlight of the many-step process of making a (hopefully funny and entertaining) cartoon. Oh, and BTW, we record all our "7D" episodes at LA Studios on Cahuenga -- brilliant engineers and crew -- a great experience all around.

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