Sunday, April 24, 2011

Me talking to, uh...Me

One of the projects I've been working on has been a series of product videos for Hitachi. They've been rolling out some IT Operational Analysis software for the US market. If I have the specifics correct, the animations were done for the Asian/Japan market originally, and have been adapted for use in English-speaking markets.

I was lucky enough to land the role of Cary, the IT Manager, who, as the episodes continued, ended up talking with his future self (or past self, depending upon your perspective...). So, in the third of the series, I got to have a dialog with myself:



This has been a fun project, and there should be another episode available before too long.

The other two are here:
Episode 1 - Hitachi IT Operations Analyzer - About Analyzer

Episode 2 - Hitachi IT Operations Analyzer - Simplified Network View

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thanks for the votes so far!

Had a couple of projects I was working on and hadn't checked the tally with the Neil Gaiman "American Gods" audiobook contest - there was a pretty nice jump in the past day or so!

Thanks to everyone who navigated through the registration page - which then jumps you to a land far, far away from my read page. I must say that the fine folks at bookperk.com might want to tidy up that unnecessary routing...

They have actually begun posting the leader board, and it reminds me a little of bicycle races from my past, where you look up to see the fast folks waaaay up the course. Fact is, I could use another 250 votes if I want to bridge up to the leaders.

The tendency would be to be a little disheartened by that - but honestly, I"m incredibly buoyed by the fact that I've received votes from more than just my wife and brother and sister. Thanks again to everyone who voted, and if you get the chance to do so again (you can vote once per day - hint, hint...), I would greatly appreciate it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Audiobook Contest Follow-up

I had a couple of people contact me after they had trouble voting at the Neil Gaiman American Gods audiobook contest. I didn't realize that you had to register at the bookperk.com site to vote, and when you first register, it kicks you away from any page you had entered on (hopefully mine) and you have to find my voting page again before you could cast the vote.

So, here are some updated instructions:

1 - If you haven't already registered at the bookperk.com site - go here to do so -
http://neilgaiman.bookperk.com/engine/Welcome.aspx?contestid=29933
2 - Then, go to this handy, easy-to-remember url - http://tinyurl.com/vote-jimedgar - to vote for my read.
3 - If for some reason, you get bounced from my page, you can search for me here - using the search term jimedgar (yep, my name, without a space)

Yep, it's a little clunky, but I do appreciate the effort!

Also, if you want to know a couple of other folks who I strongly recommend, visit the page for
Angela Noble and
Matthew Moy who are both a couple of great actors and fine people.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

One of Those Shameless Self-Promotion Stunts

Well, me and (at the time I posted this, anyway...) 660 of my closest friends. Seems that on the 10th Anniversary of publishing American Gods by Neil Gaiman, they are going to release a new edition as well as a new audiobook. The audiobook is kinda where I (and you) come in. They have opened up a spot in the recording to a contest - basically, it's a big honking cattle call.

So, I've read and submitted an excerpt from the book, and I need a bunch of people to vote for me to make it to the final round. Here's a direct link to my page (you may need to register on the site) -

http://neilgaiman.bookperk.com/engine/Details.aspx?p=V&c=29933&s=7800400&i=1#SD


(I'm also stashing a quick little widget over on the left side)

So, head on over and give a listen. If you like what you hear, I'd appreciate your vote.

Thanks!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sue Blu Character Workshop

One of the great things about Voicetrax classes and weekend workshops remains the high quality of the teachers who work there. This past weekend, I was lucky enough to nab a slot in a Animation Character Workshop with Susan Blu - someone who, quite literally, has written the book on Voice Acting. (There are others out there, obviously, but it was actually the first book I ever got on VO, and it has become a bit dog-eared over the years.)

I really love all aspects of voice acting, but animated characters are serious fun. (For those of you who read this, but have little exposure to the different disciplines of voice work, I'm talking specifically about television animation - which can include everything from preschool cartoons to primetime, to latenight, over-the-top, pushing the boundries kind of stuff.) It's all high energy, fast paced work with super focused intensity.

Actually, this clip of Charlie Adler gives you a sense of the difference -


Thanks Charlie! But, back to Susan...

It's truly impressive to be a room with someone who can recall a role from 20 years ago and - without missing a beat - bring that character immediately to life. Susan worked with us on deriving characters from very interesting and non-obvious places. She'd be explaining a technique do create a new character and then say, "well, I used this to come up with..." and suddenly, this whole other person appeared in front of us. It was a stunning transformation which happened a few times.

We all got a significant chance to have her direct us on copy, coax us further on characters and share words of her significant experience with us. There's really nothing like working with excellent directors to help you cut through the fluff and get focused. It was certainly a highly talented pool of students, and by the end of the workshop, everyone had raised their game noticeably. Another high quality weekend honing the craft.

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