#NewsBytesExplainer: Ever wondered what's voice acting? Know everything about it
One of the most interesting aspects of the craft of acting is its multifaceted nature. It cannot be straitjacketed into one "type" or "category," and actors often employ varied techniques to do justice to their complex parts. Some of the most common kinds of acting include mime, method acting, practical aesthetics acting training, etc. Today, let's delve deeper into one such type: voice acting.
What exactly defines voice acting?
Voice acting is defined as "the art of performing through voice to portray a character, mimic voices, add life to the on-screen conversations, or provide information to an audience." Voice actors are known by different names, such as voice artists, voice talent, voiceover artists, or voiceover talent. Their voice is employed in multiple avenues: animated films, dubbed versions of movies, commercials, cartoons, etc.
From public transports to audiobooks, voice artists are everywhere
In addition to the aforementioned avenues, voice artists also work in anime, radio dramas, comedies, amusement rides, documentaries, theater productions (backstage and narration), and puppet shows (narration). In the past few years, the rising popularity of audiobooks has also triggered a demand for voice artists capable of reading books and narrating stories effectively. Their pre-recorded voices play in public transport (such as metro trains).
Voice actors must shift inflections, enunciate precisely, among other aspects
Since voice actors are solely known through their ability to emote, carry out voice modulation, and breathe life into words, it's imperative for them to work on their craft constantly. Some essential aspects include "shifting inflections, enunciating precisely, presenting diverse delivery." They must also adjust their tone as per the script's demand, for instance, in cases when they need to sound like a child.
What are the 5 Cs of an excellent voice artist?
Broadly speaking, there are five Cs that define one's success and growth as a voiceover artist. These are control, consistency, connection, cleanliness, and clarity. Per Nashville Film Institute's website, "The more you can control your voice, whether regulating your breathing to deliver extended, emotive passages, manipulating your accent or doing character voices, the more successful you will be as a voice actor."
Do you know when was the first voiceover recorded?
Per reports, Reginald Fessenden, a Canadian inventor is credited with recording the world's first voiceover. "Fessenden was so intrigued with the invention of the telephone that he wanted to create a way to communicate wirelessly. His first successful voiceover was recorded in 1900 when he tested reporting the weather." The record of developing the first synchronized voiceover in animation is in Walt Disney's name.
These are some leading Hollywood voice artists
Over the years, several Hollywood artists have lent their voices to several popular projects and long-running cartoons. Tress MacNeille has worked on Mighty Max, The Land Before Time, and Superman, among others. Jim Cummings, too, is a veteran, having lent his services to over 400 movies so far! His most important claim to fame has been in Winnie the Pooh and The Tigger Movie.
Here are some popular Indian voice actors
There are several popular Indian voice actors who have established a name in the field and can be heard across films, cartoons, and advertisements. Some of these include Richa Nigam (Surf Excel commercials), Meghana Erande (Noddy, Ninja Hattori). Atul Kapoor, known majorly for his work on Bigg Boss, has also lent his voice to the Hindi dubbed versions of Captain America, Iron Man, etc.
Hrithik Roshan played a voiceover artist in 'Kaabil'
In the 2017 film Kaabil, Hrithik Roshan played a visually impaired person, who worked full-time as a voiceover artist. Not only was this a rare occasion of this profession being shown on celluloid, but it was also imperative for the narrative and turn of events.