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Tamara Ryan

Thus far, I interviewed some pretty cool filmmakers, wrote a feature on a photographer’s artwork and showcased some creepy cool dolls that can be featured in your next horror movie!

So now, I am going to switch gears and feature those artists that give life to the characters you watch in animated film/television series or your favorite video games. These talented artists are known as voice-over actors who share their unique voice-over ability in entertaining us. Some of these actors you already know, such as Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show; Hank Azaria, who voices numerous characters in The Simpsons; Bruce Campbell providing the voice for Ash in three games based on the Evil Dead film series: Evil Dead: Hail to the King, Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick and Evil Dead: Regeneration along with a slew of other games and films. These are just a few of the many talented actors working in the industry and now I want to introduce you to one more talented actor. Her name is Tamara Ryan.

How did I find out about her? Lets just say her incredible marketing skills made me stumble upon her twitter profile @TamaraRyanVO. I was then blown away by her voice-over work featured in her demo reel on her website along with her encouraging advice to those breaking into or already in the business.  So, if you are thinking about lending your voice to a cool video game, animated feature or are looking to hire a talented voice-over actor, then Tamara Ryan is your gal! I had the pleasure in interviewing Tamara and you can read it here.

Question: Voice-over acting is not an easy business to get into. How did you get yourself into the field and stay successful?

There's several ways you can go about getting into the business, and everyone has their own path. For me personally though, I was living in Kansas at the time I decided I wanted to do VO as a career. I knew Kansas wasn't going to get me very far, so I researched reputable voice over "schools" and found Voicetrax in San Francisco. It's the best decision I could have made. Voicetrax is almost like a college for voice acting. I learned from the best teachers, and they helped me make a demo and introduced me to local agents. Staying successful is another matter though.  Agents can only do so much for you and if you rely solely on them for gigs, you'll find yourself twiddling your thumbs. I'd say 95% of what I book is from my own networking and marketing. It's a tough skill to learn, but vital. At least for me anyways. :) 

Question: I listened to your demos and you have a range of voices for different characters. Did all these voices come naturally to you?

In a sense, yes. Your demo should always show your strengths, so if I were to choose a voice that's not easy for me, it'll be a weak point to potential clients. But besides that, it's hard to say that they're "natural" exactly. I've been acting and singing and generally being goofy for a long time. So in a way I've been practicing these voices without knowing I would one day put them to good use. 

Question: What is the most favorite voice-over work you have done and which industry is your favorite? Video Games, Animation, etc.?

My favorite work that I have done so far is a character named Betty in an awesome game called Solarix. She's insane, playful, and will snap at any moment. She was just so much fun! I really love villain characters like that because they're way more interesting than the usual sweet and kind love interests. As for industry, I guess I'd have to say video games since that's what I’ve done most of. I've done a couple anime series now and it's really awesome! But oh man, it's tough work. There's an entire other set of skills that you need to learn. As for the more traditional animation roles...well, I haven't done any of that yet, so I'll let you know. Lol.  

Question: Do you do any preparation before your audition?

If only I could just wing it! Haha. But yeah, it's super important to ask yourself all the acting questions. Who am I? Who am I talking to? Why am I saying what I’m saying? Where does this scene take place? When does this scene take place, etc. If you don't do the homework, you most likely will not be confident in your acting choices, and that will come through in your auditions. 

Question: Is there any advice/tips you can share to people who want to get into voice over work including those who are already in the business?

For the one's just starting out, I'd say take your time. It can be really easy to get swept up in your excitement to start trying to break into the business, but if you are trying to leap several rings on the ladder at once, you could end up hurting yourself. For example, creating demo you made yourself at home and then trying to submit that demo to an agent is a quick way to not be taken seriously. Or, paying top dollar for a demo when you've only taken one or two acting classes will cost you down the road. Because most likely you will have improved in a years time, and then that demo you just made is no longer a good representation of your skills. When in doubt, ask your teachers and mentors, they will let you know when you are ready to take the next step. 

For people who are already in the business? Never stop practicing! I'm sure I don't need to say that though since most creative people have the same outlook of "I could be better". So perhaps instead I'll say something like "don't compare yourself to others." Everyone is on their own path, and some people shoot into stardom like they've got a rocket on their back. But that doesn't mean you're not doing well too! Whenever work starts slowing down and I start doubting myself, I always remind myself how far I've come. Remember your achievements and be proud of them, no matter what.    

Question: I see you are based in California. Do you tend to find more work in California and do you find there to be certain cities/countries have a high demand for voice-over actors?

Location is a big factor in finding work depending on what kind of work you wanna do. If you want to be on Cartoon Network for example or work in anime, you absolutely need to be where they are. Other than that though, working from a home studio is quickly becoming normal. You can find plenty of indie game work from wherever you live, and every town has local businesses that need commercial work done.  

Question: Before becoming a voice-over actor, what did you do beforehand and what was it that made you pursue voice-over work as a full-time career?

Well, let's see. I was a huge theater geek in high school and was already into video games and anime. In college I co-founded Naka-Kon, the first anime convention in Kansas and helped run that for a few years. What made me pursue voice over was actually due to Newgrounds.com though. I had played a game on there and I noticed a little comment from the creator about needing voice actors. At the time I just sent it out for shits and giggles, but then a year later I got an email from him asking if I wanted to audition for a new game. From there he pointed me to the voice acting club forums, and that opened me up to a whole new world. I started auditioning for a bunch of stuff and just fell in love with it. That's when I told myself "No matter how long it takes, I'm gonna be a voice actor!"

Question:  Is there any famous voice-over actors you admire/aspire to become?

Charlie Adler is simply amazing. His energy and love for the craft is just so infectious! I take classes with him whenever I can. 

Question: Can you describe a typical day at work?

Typically I get up and answer emails/send out demos while I have coffee. If I have any booked gigs I can do from home, I record those and then start on auditions. Then it's back to finding more people to send my demo to. :) 

Question: Tell us about your next exciting project?

Oh man! I wish! Some big stuff is coming out and I can't wait to be able to share it with everyone, but sadly not yet. For recent projects though, I am very happy to have voiced the character "Falan", plus some additional roles for Magi: Adventure of Sinbad! It's out on Netflix, so go watch it! Lol. 

Question: Are there any projects that you would like to be part of that are creepy and cool, such as a horror video game, cartoon, etc. If not, and you had to create a creepy and cool voice, can you share a demo of what that would sound like?

Here's a clip of my character Betty from Solarix, who is I think a bit creepy/crazy.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKi-tb_UxUk&t=0m32s

If you want to know more about Tamara Ryan or hire her for your next project, you can reach out to her on her website at www.tamararyanvo.com, follow her on Twitter (@TamaraRyanVO), LIKE her page on  Facebook at Tamara Ryan Voice Over and Subscribe to her YouTube Channel

Two #Hashtags Is All I Needed To Discover Noctàmbul films

 Fermi Vidal, Creator of Noctàmbul Films

Fermi Vidal, Creator of Noctàmbul Films

Two Hashtags, #Animation #Thriller, and I came across a Twitter post on @Noctambulfilms stating: “8 people in a room, just 4 of them are alive” with a link to watch a YouTube video called The Chamber.  Now, if you are a fan of my blog, you already know that I had to click on the link to watch.  Call it my sixth sense for all things shocking and creepy!

Noctàmbul Films is a production company based in Cardiff, Wales, which is created by Fermi Vidal. Yup!  I discovered this wonderfully gifted creator from across the pond!  Fermi Vidal is a filmmaker and screenwriter, who specializes in storytelling, animation, video editing and machinimas.

*Machinimas: a method of making animated film using software similar to that designed for making video and computer games.

Many of his videos have generated close to 1M views. His work consists of movie and television inspired animations, such as Doctor Who: Mission Dalek and Godzilla vs. Wolverine, to name a few. His work also includes dark, thriller animations, such as Damage Inside, Molish and my personal favorite, The Chamber.

Now before you google his name and check out his social pages, let me tell you more about the creator or what I would like to call the mastermind behind Noctàmbul FilmsSit back, relax and enjoy reading my interview with the talented Fermi Vidal.

What is your name and tell me where you are from?

My name is Fermi Vidal and I’m from Barcelona, Catalonia. I moved to UK one year ago and I’m living in Cardiff right now.

You are a filmmaker and screenwriter from Cardiff, Wales. Who specializes in storytelling, animation, video editing and Machinimas. How did you get into filmmaking and storytelling through animation?

I’ve been writing and drawing my own stories since I was 12 years old. My biggest passion is cinema, but I also like any kind of stories such as books, video games, songs, comic books, etc. When I studied Media and Communication I discovered that the easiest way to capture my ideas was with animation. I always liked animation and since I watched Princess Mononoke I knew that you could tell any story with animation.

*Princess Mononoke is a 1997 Japanese epic historical fantasy anime film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

How did you come up with the name of your production company, Noctàmbul Films and what does Noctàmbul  stand for?

Noctàmbul is a Catalan word and it means nighthawk or night owl. I’m one of those that prefer nighttime. For me daytime is the "real world" and at night everything is more mysterious and magic. Besides, I love owls.

I am here in the States just tweeting away and came across your engaging, thought provoking and creepy video The Chamber. Tell me how you came up with the concept and storyline for this animated film?

It all began with software called Source Filmmaker. You can download it for free on the Steam platform and with this software you can make your own movies with video games models and maps. One day I saw that someone had created a contest in the workshop website of this software. The contest was simple, you should create a story with a setting created by the organizer. In this case a bunch of different rooms. I focused in one specific room with eight empty chairs. Suddenly an idea came into my head. What if there are eight people on that room and four of them are dead? 

 

Another cool video is Damage Inside, which you describe on your YouTube channel as a “Machine Head Fan Made video,” which seems as though someone else made this video? Is that correct? If so, what caught your eye about this film? If you created it, describe it to me.

I created that video and basically the idea came to me while I was listening the song. I love Machine Head and I remember listening the song Damage Inside from their last album and loving the way it makes you feel quiet and sad at the same time. And then I realized what the chorus actually says, " I can’t look you in the eye, I don’t want you to see the damage inside". I felt it had such power and it explains a lot in a few words. Sometimes we don’t realize what is going on inside each person.  

 

What inspires you to create these animations?

A bunch of different things. Could be an experience that I had and then changing the ending or adding some supernatural element. Sometimes I like to take a typical story and change some factors to make it more original and shocking. Most of the times a surreal scene came in to my head and then I start asking, who are these people? How they end up in this situation? How they’ll get out of this situation? This process is maybe what I like the most. 

Who inspired you growing up?

 As a child I have to say Steven Spielberg was one of my favorite directors. Then I remember watching Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola when I was young (maybe too young) and I was shocked for several days. After that I always like a dark or sad touch in my stories. 

Since my blog showcases all things creepy and cool, what is the most creepiest and coolest storyline/animation you created?

I don’t know if it’s the creepiest, but I am very proud of Damage Inside video. Also on my YouTube channel there is an animation called Molish that has a shocking and dark ending. I created it with the video game Minecraft but it’s not a kid’s story at all. 

Every artist does certain things to keep the creative juices going? Whether it is listening to their favorite music, making sure their pet is by them when they write or they wear their favorite shirt/pants.  What do you do?

It’s going to sound weird, but I realize that one of the most creative moments for me is when I’m doing my dishes. I don’t know why but I’ve tons of ideas at the kitchen sink. I hope I'll never receive a dishwasher as a gift. 

I watched some of your other animated videos, such as Godzilla vs. Wolverine, Godzilla 2 to name a few. Can you tell me what inspired you to create those types of videos?

I wanted to start a series of videos, which consisted in taking to movies that were in theatres at the same time and make their characters have and actual fight. In that time Godzilla and X-men: Days of Future Past were on cinemas so that is  the reason why. Then I realize how many Godzilla fans are in the world and I decided to make another video. And I also like kaiju films so it was exciting for me to.

How much does it cost to create these animated videos?

Time only. Source Filmmaker is completely free and I only use free music so it costs me nothing.

If there is one piece of advice you can tell an inspiring filmmaker, what would it be?

Nowadays it’s so easy. Today anyone can make a short or a movie with a laptop in his or her bedroom. So there is no excuse if you really want to tell stories. Choose the best method for you and start to create your world.  

Creepy Cool Commentary:

I would like to thank Fermi Vidal for answering my questions and also creating cool, creative and of course creepy videos, like The Chamber for my enjoyment. Please make sure to follow Noctàmbul films on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.