Today is the first day of recording at Epic Studios. I had booked the studio some time ago and had to cancel and reschedule it as the script was not ready. Epic is a huge place and it was very reasonably priced and very professional.
It went so well and we managed to record a lot of the script. We worked all day form 9am-6pm and it was really good fun. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Orna and Matt were both so professional that we got through most of it very quickly. They are absolutely perfect for the roles of Yessica and the Magician and I am so pleased as I feel that I made a good decision in finally selecting them both, it’s great when things finally start to go well after so many things have gone wrong. Their voices are incredible and it was a magical moment when I heard them both speaking the parts. When you have worked on something for so long over a long period of time and you just keeping reading words, to finally hear them come to life through a voice is really an amazing and special moment.
William Taitt is a sound engineer at Epic Studios and he helped us with the recording of the voices. He used a computer to connect to the sound booths and recorded the sound. He had to make sure the sound levels were correct and appropriate. He was a huge help and offered really good advice throughout. He was great to work with and we all had a lot of fun. I was sitting with him and was able to talk to the artists through a microphone. Will and myself had to go through the script sections at times to make sure and check that the artists were talking at the right speed and not going over the time specified for each section of speech. This was quite hard to do but Will was great and really helpful. We had to re-record several times to get the right pace. I think at times we were one or two seconds out so this might make the animation slightly longer.
A really special moment for me was when Orna was speaking a particular part in the script which was just random muttering. It was a piece that I had worked on myself a few nights before and just had randomly put down thoughts and words in no particular order. It was my feelings about what happened to me. I had written it one line after another with the intent that I would have a library of words and sentences which I could pick from and not necessarily use all of. When she started to speak it, I got quite emotional and I actually realised it worked quite well as a whole piece. I can’t put all of this in the animation but I intend putting extracts from it on the website as when the words are spoken, Orna’s voice is just so perfect, I love it. She has a voice you want to listen to. I think its because she was saying my feelings that made me so emotional. It’s funny as I spent the least amount of time on these words and yet because it’s so raw and not over processed it feels more real to me.
We had a lot of laughs with Matt, he has a great sense of humor and his voice was so perfect for the role of the Magician. He stood out right from the start when we were listening to the auditions and he was Oz’s favourite and also mine. He has an amazing range in his voice and he really got into the character. He can do so many different accents. His voice was so perfect for the role. He stood out as I wanted someone who could sound quite evil and menancing at times, quite persuasive. At the same time I wanted to find someone with a voice which did not sound pantomime but real.
The role of Yessica I found much harder to decide on as there were about 3 or 4 really good auditions. I took a longer time over the final decision for this. Again Orna’s voice stood out for me and she was also our favourite. I was looking for an innocent, naive and young voice and hers was perfect for the role. She has a lot of emotion in her voice.
After the first day we all went out for a meal in Norwich and I showed Orna and Matt around some parts of Norwich including the Cathedral and Elm Hill. When we got home I showed them their voiceover auditions and some of the other voiceover auditions which I was impressed with. I think it was fate as when I played Orna’s audition, Matt commented that the rhymes that Orna was speaking was not in the script. This was a set of rhymes from the very first script which Jane, Oz and I worked on. In the end I took this out as it would have made the animation too long so I had put a shorter narration piece in.