ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 5.01 - APRIL 2000

Frank Welker: Master of Many Voices
(continued from page 9)

"If you're not a multi-voice person, but you do a single voice or you just have a good vocal quality, then you might try demonstrating your acting ability and how you can reach a voice as an announcer, as a lead, as the bad guy. Or something like that so you still have a little variety."

As for doing sound effects and animal noises, Welker says, "Don't do that because you'll put me out of a job." He chuckles, then says, "Absolutely, if you do some sound effects and animal sounds, that's really great. That shows your versatility."

Welker reminds us that the demo tape should be a maximum length of three minutes -- but the shorter, the better.

"Keep the pieces of material short, too. Do an MTV-style demo. Wham - wham - wham - wham - wham. That's because nobody listens to them very long. Most people don't have a lot of time to listen. If they hear something great right away, they'll listen to your three minutes. But even when it's great, they've got to stop because they've got to listen to more tapes."

In preparing a high-quality demo tape, Welker says, "You don't want to spend a lot of money, but on the other hand you want to make a professional tape.

"Find somebody who can do a professional tape for you. Check with The Voicecaster, Screen Actors' Guild, AFTRA, and ask if they have a list of reputable companies. Get ahold of Dialogue magazine, or try and find referrals.

"If you have an agent, your agent should be able to do that for you. Do the best you can as far as quality because producers listen to good stuff all day long. As soon as they hear something that doesn't sound professional, even though they say they're being objective about it, they'll pass.

"Wait until you're really ready then invest in a good quality tape."

The Current Gigs
In 1998, Frank Welker articulated for one of cinema's legendary giants: Godzilla.

"I did baby Godzilla sounds. Screaming and screeching and yelling. Typical Godzilla-type stuff.

"The sound editor sent me a tape of the original scream. They were having trouble reproducing that sound. They felt the sound was probably an old metal table, however these guys created it in Japan. They were telling me, 'Is there any way you could get that kind of sound in there?' So I fiddled around and tried different things."

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Note: Readers may contact any Animation World Magazine contributor by sending an e-mail to editor@awn.com.


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