Casting characters for video games brings to light many wrong assumptions about work in the medium from both the agents and the hopeful 'talent.' This thread is from a casting and director's perspective and looks at the process of short-listing prior to calling in 'talent' for an audition.
The biggest assumption is that video games are 'games' and consequently don't need true acting talent. The reality is that video games are the most complex, subtle and toughest of all media for acting. In casting we are looking for supreme acting talent.
Surprisingly it seems that the second biggest assumption is that the brief can be ignored. When we set up open auditions depressingly over 50% ignore elements of the brief. It does not matter who the 'talent' is, if the brief isn't followed, the actor is excluded.
The selection process is a hunt for the perfect cast. It is costly and time consuming. Not following the brief is taking the piss.
Classic not following the brief errors - (I'm sure you can guess the errors)
Not following any of these = E.
Attention to detail is something we prize.
We use a shorthand casting score sheet that goes from A to E which is applied to all applications and applied to actors and agents alike. It is usually applied during the audition and is as follows:
A = on the nail. (awesome)
B = almost on the nail but would do the job well with input (bloody good)
C = not quite there but we understand why they are there. (crapish but has promise)
D =no good at all - big flaw somewhere (inc bad day syndrome) saved from being an E (dreadful)
E =completely off - how the hell did they slip through the net? - WTF! etc etc
Mark Estdale is the UK’s most experienced voice producer, casting and voice director working within the video games industry. He founded and runs the successful voice production company OM. He works with many of the world’s leading production teams and brings a keen practical perspective to the workshops.