Ask a Casting Director


Ask a Casting Director

I've cast hundreds of computer games and directed thousands of actors. Voice acting is much more demanding than voice overs. Happy to help anyone interested.

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Started by Lani Minella. Last reply by Lani Minella Jan 31, 2012. 2 Replies

Character demo for games, cartoons etc

Started by Sini Manner. Last reply by Lani Minella Nov 15, 2011. 5 Replies

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Comment by Lani Minella on February 12, 2010 at 7:19pm
Here's a tip some of you might find silly, but in my opinion, if you have weird vocal exercises you do for warm ups, do them in your car, outside, or somewhere other then in front of your client. I find it hilarious to watch and quite amateurish.
Also I find it aggravating to have a talent stumble through lines as though they've never read them before, even though I've sent them the script days ahead of time and even asked them to please speak them aloud before they come to the session. One thing about scripts is not to mark them up and practice them to a point that you are in a rut and can't be directed in a different direction than you've practiced. Also you may be handed another updated script when you get to the session, so all your notes are for naught. However, I can easily tell if it's the first time a talent has read something. If you have script in advance, I don't care how experienced you are, you need to say it out loud at least once, so you don't stumble over words, or so you can come to the session and point out possible tongue twisters or words you might want to contract or change. Do your homework everybody! That's what you get paid for. :)
Comment by Lani Minella on February 8, 2010 at 11:51pm
Welcome Arthur. Hope the galactic world of games opens up a stargate for you!
Comment by David W Stone on February 3, 2010 at 11:24am
Hey Lani!
I am now, a Full Fledged Member!
Comment by Lani Minella on January 31, 2010 at 4:09pm
HI Sean, Welcome and best of luck to you. Let me know if I can help you further.
Comment by Sean Crisden on January 30, 2010 at 5:26pm
Hello everyone! I'm new to the group and am using this year to steer my career from mainly narration to more gaming and animation character work. Ah, excitement!
Comment by Lani Minella on January 29, 2010 at 4:27am
Shawn, I always despise demos since they can never cover everything and it doesn't tell me how long it took a talent to perfect that demo....nor does it tell me how directable they are or if they have a prima donna attitude etc. But game characters are slightly different than cartoon characters. I teach this in my coaching and I provided a character sampler earlier which you can find by looking back to my August 27th post. Don't put characters which sound similar. Show different ages, textures, attitudes etc. If your repertoire is not that big, keep the demo short and always leave them wanting more, than going on and on. No demo should be longer than about a minute and a half.
Comment by Shawn Maroney on January 28, 2010 at 9:49am
Hi Lani,
I hope you are enjoying the new year, so far. I have a couple of questions in regards to character demos.
How many characters should you put on a demo?
Which characters are in demand the most?
I appreciate any words of wisdom you could provide for me.
Thanks Lani!

Comment by Lani Minella on January 23, 2010 at 4:10am
Update.....AFTRA's atmospheric rate of $800 for up to 20 voices or 4 hours is only allowed if there are already 10 principal union actors on the job, Also the line count must be less than 30 per character to be considered "minor."
Comment by Lani Minella on January 14, 2010 at 12:47am
I've just updated union VO rates and info about Financial Core in my featured discussion in this group. There's a new fee of $800 paid to actors for what is being called "atmospheric" or minor roles. It allows a flat union fee to pay for as many voices as the client wants as long as they are considered minor. It's unclear if that is defined by line count or simply whatever a client says. If I find out more or if anyone else knows, please post. Thanks and good luck.
Comment by Lani Minella on December 30, 2009 at 5:53am
Don, if you mean putting music or effects behind segments of a demo, yes this is definitely a good idea. Often, agents can be impressed simply by production value. Don't make a story out of your demo. Do a zip zap smattering of bits that could be excerpts from an actual production. No one will know. Just like you should always put national names for commercial demos. No one knows it's fake until you start putting a consecutive batch of voices with no production value or if your ads speak of some local car dealership. You can pull music off CDs for 5 secs and no one will recognize it if it's just for ambience.

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