08 Aug 2013

“Holy Motors” or “My Life as a Voice-over Artist”

out-and-about, voice-over hints, tips, and tricks No Comments


This is something I’ve been meaning to write about for a while. If you’re a voice-over talent and you haven’t seen the French surrealist film Holy Motors you should. Also, stop reading now because I’m about to let loose some spoilers.


The film is set in the near/alternate future and follows an actor around as he performs in various “roles” each of which require him to create elaborate disguises and act out touching, violent, or bizarre scenes in public. At one point he says something to the effect “the cameras are so small you can hardly see them” and as the film progresses the line between reality and fiction blurs so completely it is hard to tell them apart. Is the final love scene “real” or is some kind of Woody Allen-esque industry insider story? Does the jumper really die? Who is the actor when he is not acting?

I think it is that final question the filmmaker wants us to really ponder. However, as a voice-talent I couldn’t get my mind away from the lonely and frenetic rides through Paris in actor’s white limo where he prepares for his various roles. It reminded me so completely of the life of the modern voice talent. While most of us sit at home or in a private studio we may travel to a half dozen different “locales” through out our day and become a dozen different characters. Also like the actor in Holy Motors this is no support staff to do our make-up (engineering) and hardly any time to prepare.

So in a way I found this film particularly haunting. Seen it yet? Thoughts? Will all acting go the way of the voice-talent–democratized the point of almost lonely obscurity?

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