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Of Money. Of The Simpsons. And me.

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Of Money. Of The Simpsons. And me.
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Michael Danton
Rank: 13

Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 3559
Location: Australia.

Post Of Money. Of The Simpsons. And me. Reply with quote
Ladies and gentlemen, I present a pair of letters for your interest. This correspondence occurred between myself and a prospective voice actor that has not yet participated in my films and shall go unnamed:


It's true that I've done a few paid segments as a narrator, but I love helping out with your type of project. My character demo is sparse, so work like this gives me the material I need to beef it up.

I'd be happy to knock out the line for Falk, but I couldn't seem to find the script on the website. If you send me a link to the line and the character description, I'll record the part and send it to you.
I'm also curious as to whether this project is drawing any advertizing revenue. The reason I ask is because I see potential here, and I wonder if a plan is in place to compensate voice actors when the show goes viral.

(name withheld)

Dear Sir,

If you're looking to get into VA work, then I don't think there's a better, easier or *nicer* way of doing it. Record a few lines at your leisure and boom, you're a credited actor. You get to practice new voices, adopt new characters and plus, it looks really good on a demo-reel and resume. Even if they aren't the lead roles or most prestigious productions, it gets your name out and shows people that you give a damn. Having the right attitude is very important to me as someone who casts my own films on a daily basis.

Now, you mentioned revenue and compensation? I say that I script and cast my own films with a lot of pride as it elevates me above the 99.999% of writers out there that don't. Yet it leaves me shoulder to shoulder with thousands of people that do, and I have to struggle to elevate myself further by creating successful, unique and original features with regularity; That then puts me amongst the elite writers. Now, how much would you say I would be paid as an elite writer? $100k a script? $1000? 100 bucks? A hot nickel? The fact of the matter is, I am not indispensable. You describe our films as having a lot of "potential", the distinct chance of going "viral" etc; this emboldens me as the more people who are exposed to our films the more chance I will be visited by someone who wants a writer (or a studio, in regard to my associate) with those desirable traits. We have even gotten into the practice of freely giving away our work (via "presentation") to ensure they are seen by as many people as possible. Do we get a red cent from that? Nope! Yet it makes perfect business sense to do so, for everyone concerned.

Exempli gratia:

I'm Matt Groening, (creator of The Simpsons) for the purpose, you're... Dan Castellaneta (voice of Homer). Big show right? Now, think about the origin of that show, it started out being first "presented" (just like we're doing) as a short bit on the Tracey Ullman show, which was very popular at the time. Despite the lack of quality, people responded very well to it and the FOX executives (who otherwise wouldn't have seen it) thought to themselves, "shit, we can push that barrow". As it happened, they bought the show and the rest is history. Now assume for a minute ol' Dan's pants made a funny noise when he walked, maybe he lifted his pinkie finger when he nibbled on a twinkie or just maybe he was considerably less interested in acting than he was in nutting out a share of all future earnings of the show in perpetuity.

It would be so easy to just to cast someone else who wasn't nearly as myopic and would grab onto the opportunity like a rope tossed to a drowning man. Who the hell is this Dan Castle-guy anyway? We'll get Phil Hartman to do it instead- requiescat in pace. Now Phil is Homer, and although he didn't negotiate a share; He's Homer, he's indispensable - irreplaceable - valuable.

My point comes down to this: Don't sell a chance at greatness for nickels and dimes; because you won't get either.

One line on page 7 of the recruit script, and then a *faint*. I hope you are at least equal to my director, James "Hartman" Muia- who has already slated himself for the role but would gladly give up the opportunity for the betterment of the project and to help out a budding VA artist... That's the type of guy he is.

Michel Louie.

Now, what do you say, was the porridge too hot? Too cold? Or just right?.... And don't give me any shit about portion sizes Very Happy

"I wouldn't say abrasive. I'd rather say you're a cool soothing groove with a hint of jazz..."

Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:29 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
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