Survey: Character Voices for Animation Project!

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted anything new here. Sorry about that. The past couple years, my freelance work load has really snowballed, which is great, income-wise. The only down side is that it hasn’t left me any time for new RUNNERS material. I still hope to get back to new stories sometime soon, but I can’t say when “soon” will actually be. In the meantime, I post slightly more frequently on my RUNNERS – The Comic Facebook page, so please use the link on the right to Like that page in order to stay in the loop.

Now on to the news!

The DAVE School (Digital Animation and Visual Effects) is planning to do another RUNNERS animated short for a class project!! Some of you may remember that waaay back in 2006, they did another short based on the Hamron shootout scene from Bad Goods. Here’s the link (the video quality isn’t great though, unfortunately). Now, another class is planning to animate a different sequence from the first book, and I am very excited as it’s one of my favorite sequences from the story. I will certainly have more details to share as the project goes along, and I believe the entire short is scheduled to be done in June.

In the meantime, the DAVE School has asked me to think about voices for the characters. It may come as a surprise, but I actually don’t have set character voices in my head, so I’m curious to hear from some of you. Who do you think would make great voices for the main cast? Feel free to suggest anything, as that will hopefully help to get the ball rolling for us. The school may actually have the budget to get voice work from some non-A-list actors, so realistically, as far as actually getting an actor, it probably wouldn’t be someone at the top of the Hollywood pyramid. But don’t let that dissuade you. I’d love to hear any and all suggestions. Even if it’s someone we can’t get, associating a character with a voice sound would still be very helpful.

So feel free to comment with your voice picks for Roka, Ril, Cember, Bennesaud, Bocce, and Sky!

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Discussion (11)¬

  1. Exxos says:

    Hmmm… Let’s see…

    Roka – I picture having a voice like Bruce Willis and a tone like Mickey Rourke, but kind of a slurred, marbles in the mouth issue with various words because of his tusks and a bit more variation in pitch and tone than a Human because of the length of his neck – I almost imagine his species droning like a bagpipe in their delivery of words.
    Ril – I picture Ril’s voice being like Tim Roth’s with a dry reediness and that (because of his beak) there are a lot of clicks and clacks to his speech.
    Cember – Steve Buscemi hands down.
    Bennesaud – Tricky… sort of a Michael Clarke Duncan or Ving Rhames voice; not as deep as James Earl Jones, but a deep, African American voice with a little pitch variance that underscores a sweetness.
    Bocce – Emile Hirsch
    Sky – Jennifer Connelly or Dina Meyer
    The Preegans – Andy Serkis on various levels of helium.
    Dhama Tylo – Terence Stamp, recorded twice and the two tracks played simultaneously at a slightly lower pitch.
    Grissom – Claudia Black or Claudia Christian

  2. Sean Wang says:

    Thanks for the suggestions Exxos! I really like a lot of those. The animation will actually be from the first book, so it wouldn’t have Dhama Tylo or the Preegans, which is too bad because I love the idea for Tylo having the voice recorded twice.

  3. JackOfTheGreen says:

    Roka–I like the gravelly tone they got down with the previous short, but I always imagined Roka having a higher-pitched tone of voice, probably because my hopelessly nerdy brain figured that with a neck as thin as his, he wouldn’t have the vocal cords for anything deeper than Michael Cera.

    Ril–Birdy, beaky, a little bit pompous? I’d actually like a Steve-Buscemi-esque voice for this one.

    Cember–The one voice I didn’t like from the original short. The squeaky, Jar-Jar Binks tone completely clashed with what always seemed to be a Han Solo character. Somehow, I’d like a Chris Pratt for a more “charming roguish” Cember. And yes, I am saying that because Pratt did the same thing in Guardians of the Galaxy.

    Bennesaud–RON. PERLMAN (Hellboy). Or, alternatively, VLADIMIR. KULICH (Beowulf/Ulfric Stormcloak).

    Bocce–Johnny Yong Bosch!

    Sky–Too on-the-nose to ask for Summer Glau?

    Grissom–Tough but not rough, sassy but not classy. Erica Tazel!

    • Exxos says:

      Mentioning Ron Perlman for Bennesaud got me thinking of Hellboy and Cember might actually do well with a David Hyde Pierce voice. Cember also has David Hyde Pierce’s jawline.

  4. Sean Wang says:

    Funny. So I’ve gotten a Steve Buscemi for Cember and a Steve Buscemi for Ril. I suppose he can do double duty in the voice booth! I think I hear him more for Ril myself, although I’m not sure the school could afford him either way.

    I’m kinda hearing Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) for Roka. Something grumbly.

    Cember is definitely the toughest one to figure out.

  5. Peyton Bloom says:

    Hi there Sean! My name’s Peyton and I’m one of the students working on this new Runners short film. Some of my peers and I had some ideas for some voices that we would very much like for you to hear! I know for me personally and for many others in my class we like the idea of Keith David for the voice of Bennasaud (better known as The Arbiter from the HALO series)

    Keith David

    Also my friend Kit (another student on the project and a huge Ril fangirl) and I have two possible recommendations for voices. I personally think he’d sound pretty cool done by Sam Reigel (better known as Starscream in the recent series of Transformers games)

    Sam Reigel

    Kit on the other hand hears him more as Anthony Rapp and to be honest I can hear it pretty well myself

    Anthony Rapp

    If you get some time to check out these voice clips I’ve searched out it would be much appreciated. Thank you and have a wonderful day!

    • Sean Wang says:

      Hey Peyton,

      I love the idea of Keith David for Bennesaud! The Thing is actually one of my favorite movies (he played Childs in it and was awesome).

      In that one short clip of Sam Reigel, I think he sounded a little raspier than what I hear for Ril.

      As for the Anthony Rapp video, the musical number makes it a bit hard for me to hear Ril’s speaking voice in it. If you have any other links to send for him, I’d love to check them out. Or we can just make Ril sing all his lines, which would be pretty funny. 🙂

      • Peyton Bloom says:

        I remembered a couple voice personalities that are a little internet famous that I think may possibly work for the voices of Roka and Cember that I think you should give a little listen to.

        For Roka I kinda see him as a gruff older guy who has a voice that just says experience. For this example I give you Otis Jiry

        For Cember I can kind of see him as a younger guy with a very trickster kinda vibe to him. The kind of guy who can make a game out of almost any situation, but still has a voice that just says energy. For this example I give you MrCreepyPasta from the same video.

        Again these are just suggestions, but I would like you to know that when my friend Kit informed me of your response that you love the idea of Kieth David as Bennesaud… I may or may not have jumped up and down and started giggling with joy…

        • Sean Wang says:

          Hey Peyton! Sorry for the long delay. Your original message got caught up on my site’s spam filter without me knowing about it. Anyway, it’s up now.

          You and I are in agreement on Roka’s attitude and tone, and I think the Otis Jiry clip works well in that vein.

          I don’t understand the link you provided for Cember though. Isn’t it just Otis Jiry again?

      • Kit Brown says:

        Heck yeah! RUNNERS: The Musical! A one bird show! (Partially on ice!) 😀

        Ah, but, yeah. Turns out the Anthony Rapp voice is a SPECIFIC voice he pulled for that movie, and any parts of said musical movie on youtube are of the singing bits, soooo baaaahhhhh

        BUT! There is another similar guy that my brain headcanon’s as Ril’s voice that I can get non-singing clips of: John Tartaglia, and more specifically in a similar voice to the one he did for Princeton in “Avenue Q”:

        But just kind pitched eeeever so slightly deeper.

        (Also here’s just his normal speaking voice, in case you’re curious : )

        Overall I basically imagine him with a high-ish pitched voice (Cuz bird), with a bit of a nasally quality to it (cuz frog-bird), and, yea, I could actually imagine him being able to sing with his voice (Again, cuz bird), just he’d have to be careful when transitioning to the high notes to avoid his voice cracking, lol =p

        • Sean Wang says:

          Hey Kit,

          Hmm. Interesting. I think I like something closer to his speaking voice. Ril is the sarcastic, a$$hole of the group, so I have a hard time reconciling that with too high and nasally a voice. In the first 2 links, the voice just sounded a bit too high and “cartoony” for me to take him seriously as a “rough around the edges” character. To me, it sounds like a “voice” and not a “person,” if that makes any sense. Basically, I have a hard time with the more cartoony voices since I have a lot of dramatic stories in mind for the characters, so it’s difficult imagining a cartoony voice conveying any kind of real serious tone.