Voice-acting in a Second Life movie

When talking to Strawberry Linden in last week’s Lab Gab one of the questions was about the voice acting in STÖMOL and if we hired actors for that. The past year, when I told friends about what we were doing, this question also came up a few times ‘how do you film speech?’

Well, we did not film any speech and we did not hire voice actors! Huck did some magic!

OK, not really magic, but it was clever and the best way to do it:

All scenes were shot without sound and for some actors that meant they had to keep typing in Second Life to keep their lips moving, while Huck was filming.
I have not been present at all those scenes, but often I was and I remember a particular scene were Verity Certain (played by Ylva) was ‘talking’ to Epi Stomol (Huck). So Ylva and I chatted along in public chat, so she appeared to ‘talk’ while I was in one of my male avatar playing an extra. Basically we were just catching up on all kinds of things, chit chatting totally unrelated to the scene. Occasionally a visitor of the region would drop by, they had no idea we were filming – which was fine because Huck usually derendered anyone else anyway.
(You can watch a preview of that scene here)

For the scenes where my character, Waarheid, had to speak it was easier. Waarheid is wearing a mask, so no lip movement to worry about! I just stood or sat where Huck wanted me to and waited patiently till the scene was shot. For a few scenes I had to use a ‘breathing’ pose, to make it look like I was actually talking in my mask.

Once Huck finished filming, he wrote the dialogue. Every spoken word measured to fit the scene.
Funny how that works eh?He then send all actors the script and asked us to ‘voice act’ our parts and send it to him

Now, this was new to me. In real life I make podcasts and vlogs, but I had never done voice acting for a movie, and I admit it was quite the challenge! Being Dutch, I struggled with a few words that would just not come out of my mouth, Huck was so kind to change those for me.

One evening, at home in my office…I became Waarheid. The first few tries I felt really awkward shouting and talking to …well, nobody?
My dogs looked at me as if I had lost my mind. But, after a few hours of practicing I managed to send Huck my audio files and to my surprise he was happy with it.

Once Huck collected all our audio, he edited it into the movie and suddenly the actors had a voice!

So, that is how Huck and the cast did it, at home….acting in front of a microphone, feeling silly.

The private premiere of STÖMOL is tomorrow evening, if you want to know where and how you can watch it, check out Huck’s blog here.

And you are of course welcome to the inworld screening event on Friday 24th July, 3PM SLT, more information about that here!


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