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Carlos Diaz

January 14th, 2009 Colin Leave a comment Go to comments

Colin here – GracingTheStage.ca’s humble and nerdy internets wrangler.  Steve and I have long been friends and we’ve always wanted to get Steve online with GTS.  This past month, we did exactly that and we’re getting more and more hits every day.

Steve deserves a lot of credit for his dedication and putting it all together.  The problem is, he doesn’t pay me at all! Here I am sweating over a hot laptop, ‘infomationing the internets’ for free! A deal was made – I’ll be posting on all things digital.carlosphoto

To tie in the performing arts and my love for video games, I interviewed Carlos Diaz about his experience voice acting for various projects, one being the popular Far Cry 2 shooter.  I hope you know Carlos as Looch on Showcase’s Rent-A-Goalie.

Carlos’s response are in bold – please don’t forget to check him out at www.carlosdiaz.ca, you can also keep tabs on him over Facebook by joining his group. He’s currently just started filming of a local independent film called Saturday which I’ll writing more about soon!

Please read on with the More link!

What voice acting have you done in the past?

I’ve done everything from dubbing Japanese programming into English in the late 90’s,to voice over             animation on various kids programs.

One of my favourites was doing ‘7th Portal’ for Stan Lee Media back at the turn of the century (hehe). I played Oxblood, the strong man of a super hero team. Every comic book geeks’ dream really, I worked for Stan Lee!! I’ve done a lot of radio commercials. I have done voice over for TV commercials as well and of course a few video games.

How does one go about getting voice acting work, specifically for video games?

No special way to do it. You’ve gotta go the old fashioned route and get voice agent, then go to auditions! Then be lucky!

Can you walk me through the recording process from your perspective?

Sure, it’s not all that exciting. It can be interesting though. I Show up at the studio, grab a coffee, a snack. Depending on the day and the job, the clients are there in person or ‘patched in’ via phone line and my headset. I get the script or copy and then we sit down and they tell me how they want it to sound. Things like how the client wants the character to be, warm, friendly or ‘announcery’, for video games it’s more character discussion to help the actor find the right performance. Then I get in booth, put on headphones and start yakkin’!

One recording session is usually around four hours. For radio commercials it’s a bit different and sessions take a little less time (sometimes), but there are different factors involved and many other people that need to weigh in.

How was Far Cry 2? What level of involvement would the typical actor expect when doing this work?

Far Cry 2 was lots of fun and hard work, actually. A lot of my gamer friends are playing it. I get email apologies that they had to kill my character all the time! Sometimes in recording sessions for cartoons, animation, commercials and video games an actor can make suggestions for how to play the characters and how to say some of the lines, even come up with some lines, but that really depends on the project.

How much of a commitment does it require?

It’s mostly a time commitment and of course familiarizing yourself with the scripts beforehand. That can take some time, but you want to be prepared and I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t fun! Time commitment for doing an actual recording session can vary, again depending on the project anywhere from two to four hours per session.

How does the process of the work affect your experience? Would you say it’s more involved, challenging or rewarding than traditional voice acting?

More involved, yes. Every one of these experiences can be rewarding though. Commercials, because you may work with an actual cast or ‘co-star’ and in some cases, really cool directors.

Video games are still maturing as a medium: It’s roughly 30 years old and has a very specific audience despite the Wii’s popularity. Would you agree? Why?

I spend a lot of time online and in some virtual worlds, I don’t have a game system though. I’d say a good percentage of my friends do, but generally it is a specific market, I think that will change though as they expand. My Mom has a Wii.

What would you say the games industry could learn from traditional performing arts in order to appeal beyond its traditional demographic?

Maybe in the way that they advertise. We’re seeing that more now anyway, like trailers for games. They used to say games look like movies, now movies are starting to look like games. I think the more immersive and creative they are, the more new ground they’ll be able to break. They definitely can benefit from trained actors playing the roles, since it heightens the realism. Plotlines getting away from traditional quest games, I mean you just have to look at some prime time programming, do they have a ‘be the CSI’ video game?

I’d be able to expound more on it, if I knew more about what games were out there, but I guess I’m not in the traditional demographic!

Race, gender and cultural stereotypes run rampant in games and critics of video gaming love to point this out – what kind of impact does that make on your work?

I think it’s more visible in society at large than on my work. I certainly hope the work that I do does not contribute to them.

Do you enjoy any video games? Do you at least play the ones you work on?

Heh heh. Nope. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting an Xbox but, I can’t justify the expenditure for the amount of time I’d be able to spend on it. I guess I could trade it in for the amount of time I spend reading sci fi blogs and visiting my friends in Second Life and watching CSI reruns. I have a Game Boy advance that I bought a about six/seven years ago just sitting in my closet with my vhs tapes. That tells you how much time I spend on them.

Any particular game you wish you had worked on? Would you consider other game performance work like motion capture?

I don’t have any particular games that I wish I had worked on but I like the look of Halo 3. As an actor I wish I worked on a lot more of them for sure! I would definitely consider motion capture, looks like fun.

Will Mario ever have to stop having to rescue the princess?

One day, when he marries her? . .<waits for cyber rocks to be thrown at him> . . .I have no idea. I did do a voice over for a charity vid that featured Mario, that’s as close as I’ve come to his world.

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