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Futurama Star Billy West Answers Slashdot Questions 258

Posted by Roblimo
from the 1000-years-from-now-things-are-still-a-mess dept.
So. You had some brilliant, whacky, and insightful questions for Futurama star Billy West last week. Today we have his brilliant, whacky, and insightful answers. Thanks go to long-time Slashdot reader Kevin Day for arranging the interview, but the real thanks goes to Billy, who was so excited about doing this that he and I ended up talking about Slashdot via cell phone -- and he caught me while I was at a local lumberyard, thinking about plywood, not Slashdot or Futurama. I wish I'd recorded the conversation. It was totally surreal. But reading Billy's answers -- and using your imagination -- will give you a good idea of what it was like. :)

1) Question number plz99
(Score:5, Interesting)
by ak_hepcat

Who are some of your favorite voice actors to work with, obviously not limited to just the Futurama cast, and what are your favorite moments or stories with them?


Billy: I love the group of voice actors I'm privileged to work with every day. I don't give a shit what ANYONE says -- these people are all trained actors. The best I've ever seen. I will get back to the question after this not so brief announcement. Celebrities are not superlatives in our field of expertise. If celebrities that are schnoring in on our field started out trying to do what we do and were held to the standards we started out upholding, a great many of them would've never made it. It's easy for a celebrity to audition for a character who looks and sounds just like him or her. Now the studio creates characters based upon who they had in mind for the role in the first place, like a rigged fight. There is no magic, no transformation or sonic alchemy, no voices we've never heard before and no chance for most journeymen who are voice artisans to work in animated features. The general consensus is "Why?" Kids and adults pay no mind to whether Brad Pitt, David Schwimmer or Spade or Will Smith is blessing the project with their "magic" talent. For the characters they play, it could be my brother in law or the plumber. It is what it is and it will never change. This is because the folks in question know that every other huge movie is now a CGI movie. It eliminates the need for on-camera performers including stars and celebrities. Being a star or celeb does not equal the God-given gifts of those in the real craft. I'm waiting for the professional athletes to "eminent domain" us. But in general, I enjoy and respect these folks at the work they do best.

Now, back to our originally scheduled question!

All of the VO's (the usual subjects) I get to play with ARE my favorites. Every day one of us raises the bar and inspires everyone else, I think. I don't ever want to stop learning or getting better. I learn every day from all my peers. Women and men. Their unique and perfectly defined voice characterizations leave me in amazement. Most can do impressions if they are called upon to perform sound-a-likes, craft original characters with upwards of hundreds of personalities and sounds. Don't forget about killer instincts. I witness it everyday.

Fave moments--
When I was doing Futurama we'd be recording and it was so hard to continue once because John Di Maggio couldn't stop bursting out into laugher every half hour or so. He'd get hung up on something wickedly funny from the script and it would set him off. Matt G. and David X enjoyed it even when I plunged in and started my nonsense riffing. We had to be shushed repeatedly. Then all in the room would start up at some point later when the "call-back to the joke fever" set in. It was so funny to see John in the corner of the room with his bead buried in a pillow so his thunderous guffawing couldn't be heard! Too many stories to mention...

2) Re:Question number plz99
(Score:5, Interesting)
by dr_dank

This leads to a bigger question: does Billy actually get to work with his castmates? Especially on an ensamble show like the Simpsons, its extremely common to have voice actors record their bits at different studios or at different times of day.

When the cast of the Simpsons did "Inside the Actors Studio" a couple of years ago, they joked that that was one of the few times in the run of the series that the cast was all in the same room together at the same time. --


Billy: In a cartoon show we work with almost all the actors and sometimes the whole cast would be present. There are exceptions when people have other work or time constraints that keep them from being at the session. Sometimes they will work with one or two actors to play scenes off each other and sometimes a performer records solo.

I have a question. If all the Simpsons could show up for the "Actors Studio" with no problem, why couldn't they......... I'm just being silly.

3) Well...
(Score:5, Interesting)
by Black Parrot

Leela or Amy?


Billy: Leela. She has more sweater meat than Amy. Uh..I think. That was Fry not me!

4) Hank vs. Billy
(Score:5, Funny)
by Lev13than

In a cage match of you vs. Hank Azaria, who would win? How about your characters vs. Hank's characters? What if it was in jello instead of a cage?


Billy: I know that would be FUN! Can you imagine me and Hank in a cage pissing circles around each other with voices? Yeow!

5) New Series: Writers
(Score:5, Interesting)
by justinstreufert

Billy --

We've heard a lot about the original voice actors who are returning to Futurama. This is great, and I believe it is absolutely essential to the success of the new season. However, what about the other staff? Are the writers of the Fox episodes returning for the new season? Is there anyone who isn't coming back to the show who you'll miss?

Thanks! Can't wait for the new season!! Can I be cryogenically frozen until 2008?


Billy: Outside of the voices, I don't know if ALL the writers and artists are on board, but I'm guessing most of them are.

Greetings from the year 3000. It still sucks! BTW you can be cryogenically frozen. Walt Disney was. They trot him out every year for "Disney on Ice."

6) "Pirates"
(Score:5, Interesting)
by TheRequiem13

How you you (not your employers) feel about consumers downloading episodes of Futurama and watching them on their personal computers or portable media player of choice?

In particular, I mean those that pay for cable TV, but don't enjoy being bombarded with ads interupting the shows every 5 minutes, and find major network schedules highly restrictive.


Billy: I was always poor, but I was pretty much raised to try to pay for everything that I wanted and don't recall ever conscientiously wanting something for nothing. Of course, it depends on an individual's situation. We're all in the same boat no matter what happens. We all wish on the same stars. I do know that a lot of advantages in technology are spurred forward as an answer to a company's perceived infringement on their product. Then there's another advance to make the former technology obsolete and on and on. But you will ALWAYS have to buy SOMETHING no matter how you feel about it. Unless you're just a dyed in the wool crook. I always hope everyone finds their happiness in a way that hurts no one. Thanks for your question.

7) Writing
(Score:5, Interesting)
by captnitro

Do/did you ever get to work with the writers on material, or improvise something on your own that makes it into the show? It seems like separating the inherent humor of many of the voices (Zoidberg comes to mind) and the way they speak, and the written material itself, would be hard.


Billy: I don't work as a writer along with the writers on the show. But I do offer ad-libs or different ways of talking for the characters. That's easy for me to do. I just want to bring as much to the table as possible. We all do.

8) The Web
(Score:5, Interesting)
by ThePolkapunk

You're one of the few actors I know of with a web site that includes the actor's involvement. How important do you think this has been in your career and continued fame? Do you think this will become important for all successful actors to have?

How important do you feel the internet has been in the success of Futurama? I know there are tons of references to fan postings and web sites on the Futurama DVDs. Do you think Futurama episodes online contributed to the continuing success of Futurama after it was cancelled? I'm sure there are plenty of people who weren't significantly exposed to Futurama until the episodes began making their way online...


Billy: I wanted to be able to talk to everyone that was into what I do. My guests are very smart, not war-like or malcontents, they're funny and imaginative and great people in general. I post all the time. I have never posted on anyone else's website ever. My page is where I say what I want to say. Every now and then a sniper from the Internet's grassy knoll breezes in, barges onto my site, takes a dump on the carpet and runs. "Just because."

I hate to say it, but it's mostly a very FEW 1st, 2nd or 3rd time posters. They show up with a full metal jacket of either a Howard Stern agenda or a Ren and Stimpy agenda. This tiny group of people harasses me about the Stern show and the time I spent there. It began 13 years ago and ended 10 years ago. I'm all done there. Most folks from the Stern groups thank me for making them laugh back then, and for that I am forever grateful to them. All I did for ten years was explain over and over why I left. Same thing with a very FEW but active spastic dogs with an R&S boner that came on basically to pick a fight with me.

I won't take any shit from anyone, but they would also attack my guests trying to get to me. I was very upset over that aberrant behavior. I can tell an innocent post from a loaded one. What do you think I am? Iggorrrent?

As far as the return of Futurama, I think it had everything to do with the Internet and the voluminous amount of fans around the world. That and the DVD sales. It was because of you all that the show is back!

Thank you for the question.

9) Futurama Flavored Humor
(Score:5, Interesting)
by eldavojohn

What exercises (if any) do you use to warm up your voice when you perform? Is it just something you're naturally good at or do you go through daily techniques and practicing like a musician or singer?


Billy: I never had any vocal training. I guess I was just a freak. I did things then the same way as I do now. With cosmic abandon. Think I share this with a lot of other VO's. I just found myself in the church chorus and in public school it was the glee club and school plays. I don't think a lot about it. It's in the head mostly and you try like the devil to replicate the sound that originates there. The voice somehow always finds new places to go to accommodate your ideas. There was a time when it was a little difficult to do the blood-curdling screams and those high pitched "genderless" voices. So I went to the best guy in the biz. Gary Catonah is a "voice-builder" who showed me the very precise vocal exercises to build up the little-used muscles around the throat. It was like a miracle! I wound up even better vocally than I'd ever seen before!

Little known fact: I did an entire season of Futurama with one vocal chord because the other one had constricted up into itself. I think it was collateral damage from a nasty, nasty flu I had caught. I saw a doctor and squared it away but it took a long time.

10) Your projects
(Score:5, Interesting)
by AiY

I saw something a few months back about a project you were trying to get off the ground called "Billy Bastard - Amateur Human Being." It sounded like a great premise and promised me something better than most television. Any updates? Air dates? General info?


Billy: Billy Bastard was what I was 21 years ago when I was cross-addicted to alcohol and cocaine. A very volatile mix.

I would wind up in the most bizarre situations and have NO recollection for the most part of what had gone down. I was a fierce rock n' roller and had just gotten into radio in Boston. I've been clean for 21 years now, but I had written down stuff that happened. It was tragic until I read it to a friend here and there. They would break up with laughter. To me it wasn't funny, but they reminded me that if it all happened to someone else -- I would be in hysterics as well.

I guess "Seinfeld" was pitched 100 times before someone saw a diamond on the floor and had the sense to pick it up.

A few people have seen the 11 minute pilot, but we couldn't work anything out so far. We'll keep pitching it until we meet the right folks for this.

Myself, Jim Gomez, Bill Wray and Dave Guppel believe in it strongly and I think it's really funny. My VO friends, the incomparable Jim Cumings, the mighty voice of Moe La Marche, and the facile and talented lightning in a bottle Rob Paulsen were so gracious to add their magic to this show.

I will always post relevant bulletins as to where we are with the project. I won't hold a press conference if I get a great meeting with someone.

11) Leave it at the beep
(Score:5, Funny)
by El_Smack

What's the message on your answering machine?


Billy: Ocean's 11...uh, I mean chapter 11--no!

I left witty little voices on my machine, but I would come home to 16 hang ups. Callers checking in and out just to hear the message and end the call. Nowadays it's just "Hi. Please leave a message" in a deep friendly disarming voice.

-----

Thanks for making this fun for me, guys,

B-dub
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Futurama Star Billy West Answers Slashdot Questions

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  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @12:37PM (#15660788) Homepage Journal

    Most of his voices sound like Billy West doing them. Mind, Mel Blanc had a lot of voices which were recognisably his, too, but Mel could do some voices I never knew were his.

    Nice to see he has moved on and had success since the acrimonious Ren and Stimpy days.

    • by eln (21727)
      You can say that about most voice actors, including Hank Azaria, who BW mentioned specifically in the above article. While Billy West is a great voice actor, to try and compare him (or anyone else for that matter) to the legend that is Mel Blanc is a little unfair.
      • by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @01:07PM (#15660988) Homepage Journal

        You can say that about most voice actors, including Hank Azaria, who BW mentioned specifically in the above article. While Billy West is a great voice actor, to try and compare him (or anyone else for that matter) to the legend that is Mel Blanc is a little unfair.

        The great training ground for great voice actors was radio, which really doesn't exist anymore. There may be a few DJ's who do some voice work, but nothing like the schedule which tuned up and turned out talent like Mel. Mel Blanc can be heard in classic radio as the Happy Postman on Burns and Allen, Professor Le Blanc and many other voices on Jack Benny, including the sound effects of Jack's 1908 Maxwell. He eventually would find work in Merry Melodies cartoons, but the great volume of his work and exploring voices was in Radio.

      • by Petrushka (815171) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @05:23PM (#15663063)

        ... to try and compare him (or anyone else for that matter) to the legend that is Mel Blanc is a little unfair.

        I think it's fair, given that Billy also provides the present-day voices for Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, and Pepe le Pew.

    • by sgant (178166) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @01:09PM (#15660996) Homepage Journal
      Well, I had no idea that Fry, Zoiberg, Farnsworth and Zap were all the same actor until the series was canceled...so he certainly didn't sound the same to me at all.

      Even now, I go back and try to see if I can tell if it's the same actor and I still can't tell. Guess I have a deaf ear...which explains why I make my living as a musician. lol.
    • I disagree (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jesterzog (189797)

      Most of his voices sound like Billy West doing them. Mind, Mel Blanc had a lot of voices which were recognisably his, too, but Mel could do some voices I never knew were his.

      I've been working my way through all the DVD commentaries in the last few months. There's a commentary in the middle somewhere where three of the voice actors -- Billy West, John DiMaggio and someone else (maybe Maurice Lamarche?) were challenged to mimic Zoidberg one after the other in a double-blind demonstration for the listeners.

  • by gid13 (620803) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @12:40PM (#15660809)
    ...But he seems kinda not all there. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking him, hell, maybe it makes him better at what he does. But I just get this sense that he does NOT think like me, in a way I don't normally get from reading interviews. Is it just me?
    • by Tuscahoma (84407) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @12:49PM (#15660874)
      He's just missing the Delta brainwave.
    • by Otter (3800)
      My guess is that this lost a lot in the transition from voice to print.
    • by WinkyN (263806) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @12:58PM (#15660937) Homepage
      ... And no offense to you, kind sir, but maybe the fact he doesn't think like you is one reason he is so successful.

      Actors are creative people, and his interview responses were very creative. Most successful people are creative in some form or fashion, and having a fresh take on things can be the difference between success and failure. Do you not think Einstein was creative? How about Newton?

      Creativity is the catalyst of innovation, be it for a capacitor, rocket engine or new funny voice for a cartoon. Did anyone really expect Stimpson J. Cat to have the voice he did when you look at him? What about Dr. Zoidberg? Being creative helped give those characters a different voice and helped make their shows extremely successful.
    • And maybe that's why he has the job he has and you have the job you have. Every type of job requires a certain type of creativity; not that being a voice actor is necessarily more creative than a C++ programmer, but that it's a different type of creativity. And I would expect that to come out in his personality and how he thinks.
      • I would say being a successful voice actor requires far more creativity than a C++ programmer. FAR MORE.
        • by kundor (757951) <kundor@memb[ ]fsf.org ['er.' in gap]> on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @03:43PM (#15662271) Homepage
          Then you know nothing about real programming. Seeing to the heart of a problem and figuring out the twist that solves it is one of the most creative things there is. It is crafting not static works, like books, but dynamic, responsive, living words -- programming is to writing what composing is to playing music. Each layer of abstraction requires less technique and rote and more creativity, and programming is one of the most abstract media that people have ever worked in.

          If you program by brute force or mathematical proofs and use no creativity, then you are no more a programmer than someone transcribing data is an author.
    • by apflwr3 (974301) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @01:29PM (#15661110)
      ...But he seems kinda not all there. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking him, hell, maybe it makes him better at what he does. But I just get this sense that he does NOT think like me, in a way I don't normally get from reading interviews. Is it just me?

      I think this has more to do with the presentation.

      Most interviews we are highly edited. If they're in print the language is cleaned up, if on video or radio then only the best sound bites are used. Have you ever seen or heard raw interview footage? Unless it's completely scripted in advance-- meaning the subject gets the questions ahead of time and then meticulously prepares a response-- most don't sound all that much more coherent than this. By the way, most celebrity interviews (Barbara Walters, Today Show, etc.) are scripted as I described.

      This interview seems to be a guy from Slashdot firing off random questions at Mr. West and then transcribing his answers verbatim. Additionally, it seems to be very informal, conversational and "off the cuff" (lightweight questions with answers that don't exactly take a lot of forethought.) Nothing wrong with that, but it's not a "professional" style. Why don't you transcribe a casual phone call with a friend and see how "all there" both of you sound?
    • Billy Bastard was what I was 21 years ago when I was cross-addicted to alcohol and cocaine. A very volatile mix.

      That might be a clue as to why... He's not exactly a sheltered tech nerd.
    • I'm related to a successful (by independant standards) musician. I've been around a whole lot of musicians, writers, filmmakers, artists and the likes.

      They're maniacs. In the true sense of the word. Either that or they have a deep and bitter self-hatred that they're able to externalize. But yeah, they're all unipolar nutjobs with more than a few screws loose. It seems to me that the secret to creative success is to be bat-shit insane, and hold yourself together just long enough to get just enough succe
  • by i_should_be_working (720372) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @12:42PM (#15660823)
    When reading I heard Frye's voice in my head but the words weren't stupid. Kind of like this Onion [theonion.com] article. Very weird.

    The sweater meat comment made me feel at home again.
    • I've heard him in an interview on the radio. He sounded like Frye.
      • Fry also sounds a lot like Stimpy to me. And you can hear a tad bit of Fry in Brannigan's voice.

        So I'm guessing all that is actually a bit of Billy's natural voice shining through. It's fun to notice things like this and then really listen to different character voices, trying to guess which VO does them. (before you go look them up on IMDB :) )

        Like listening to The Joker's voice in Batman cartoons and trying to hear Luke Skywalker (it's REALLY subtle).
  • Billy plays a large part in Comic Book : The Movie (google for it), a mockumentary about bringing a comic book super hero to the big screen.

    It's great watching him in this film, he comes of really quite sly and subtle in his humour, probably something that doesn't come across too well in print.

    Of course, the Futurama DVD's with commentary including Billy West are just hilarious, oddly enough I'm watching Season 3 again right now.
  • Thanks, Billy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dr_dank (472072) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @12:49PM (#15660872) Homepage Journal
    If Billy is lurking about Slashdot, I'd like to thank him for answering my question and being a generally insightful interview subject. A follow-up question to something he said:

    I have a question. If all the Simpsons could show up for the "Actors Studio" with no problem, why couldn't they......... I'm just being silly.


    During the "Actors Studio" with the Simpsons, Julie Kavner (voice of Marge) stayed for only a brief time and mostly hid behind a Marge mask, not wanting her likeness to taint her cartoon and real-life acting persona. Mr. West has an understandable distaste for so-called celebs that barely have any acting talent to begin with that just have their voices added to animated features for the star power.

    Is there a similar stigma on voice actors that only use their natural voices like Julie Kavner, not possessing a thousand voice talent like a Mel Blanc or June Foray?
    • Re:Thanks, Billy (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @01:13PM (#15661023)
      I, too, can understand a distaste for celebs that play at being VA's, but on those lines, I must ask, what of Mark Hamill? He is perhaps best known for his role in Star Wars, so he definatly has the celeb draw there. However, he has also done a considerable amount of voice actor work. I, for one, will always remember his voice behind The Joker in the Batman: The Animated Series, and as Larry 3000 from Time Squad.
      • Re:Thanks, Billy (Score:3, Insightful)

        by spyrochaete (707033)
        He's also awesome as Detective Mosley in Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers for PC! He took on a great southern US accent, and so did Tim Curry as Gabriel!
      • On the other hand, Hamill was so typecast that the only way he could probably get work was as a voice actor. He was so big that he was probably only offered certain roles that he didn't want, and the only way to get out of it was to only use his voice -- and not "his" voice, at that.
      • I'm guessing Billy is ok with Mark Hamill, who plays regular recurring characters, but is more annoyed with the animated guest stars on, say, the Simpsons. There isn't much acting involved to show up and be yourself for a dozen lines.
        On that subject, 2 further thoughts: a) my favourite Simpsons guest voice was Dustin Hoffman, who acted under a pseudonym, and had a substantial character.b) How do we know Stephen Hawking did his own voice? Couldn't anyone type lines into his voice machine, or a similar model?
        • And there weren't guest stars on Futurama? Let's see... Beastie Boys, Leonard Nemoy, Al Gore, Stephen Hawking, Richard Nixon's head, Hypnotoad... if you want to get down on The Simpsons for using guest stars, you've got to take down Futurama a notch too. Bam!
          • Re:Thanks, Billy (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Petrushka (815171) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @05:29PM (#15663101)

            And there weren't guest stars on Futurama? Let's see... Beastie Boys, Leonard Nemoy, Al Gore, Stephen Hawking, Richard Nixon's head, Hypnotoad...

            Just for reference, Richard Nixon's voice in Futurama was provided by ... guess who.

          • Yeah, there were. And I thought it was equally lame when the joke was the presence of the celebrity, rather than the guest adding to the story. The question you have to ask is; would the episode have been as good without (Alec Baldwin/Kim Basinger/the Beastie Boys heads)? Far too often, yes.
            I'm not saying there aren't good guest spots, but which of them makes you say "wow" like Hank Azaria or Billy West? Damned few.
          • Re:Thanks, Billy (Score:3, Insightful)

            by nomadic (141991)
            Alright, Al Gore's line of "I have ridden the mighty moon worm!" would not be nearly as funny without it being delivered in Al Gore's stilted, wooden voice.
      • "Best known" for his role in Starwars? How about "Only known"? Hamill isn't an actor who does some voices on the side, he's a voice actor who happened to get picked up to fill a live-action part the director wanted a no-name in.

        He said just as much when he guest hosted the Muppet Show: "I do voices".

    • Re:Thanks, Billy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LMacG (118321) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @02:00PM (#15661352) Journal
      You actually believe that Julie Kavner is using her natural speaking voice when doing Marge Simpson? Are you sure it's not her natural voice for Patty, or maybe Selma? No, wait, maybe it was as Timon's mother in Lion King 1 1/2.

      OK, granted she's not a "thousand voice talent," but I'd hazard a guess that Mr. West's distaste is more for somebody like Will Smith in Shark Tale.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @12:59PM (#15660949)
    Roblimo got wood while talking to Billy West.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.
  • pirates (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joe 155 (937621) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @01:01PM (#15660961) Journal
    one thing that I think was missed a little about the issue of piracy is simply that if we don't watch it on their channel or buy the DVDs then they just won't make it any more. The damn networks like to mess around with scheduals to the extent that they kill the shows; when this happens it falls on the more hard-core fans to buy the dvds and vote with our wallets to get it back. Piracy seems to harm that effort at least.
    • "he damn networks like to mess around with scheduals to the extent that they kill the shows"

      I couldn't agree more. I quit watching several shows (especially on FOX) because they kept changing the schedule. That means moving it by 1/2 hour or an hour, or not running the show one week so they could show the pilot for some new show. Sunday night used to be our FOX TV night, but the irregular schedules got so out of hand I quit watching entirely.

      Part of being a "good consumer" of TV is being a drone right
      • I will watch the debut of a new episode on 'the air' with commercials and all. Then I download that episode so I can watch it again when I want. Once the DVD is released, I buy that and toss my inferior no-commentary DVDs that I burned.

        Seems fair to me.
    • How do you categorize those who did BOTH: downloaded all the episodes AND bought the DVDs, including the monster maniac robot collection just in the hopes that more commentaries were included? (disclaimer: I haven't listened to the commentaries on that one yet)
  • That's one I've never heard before. Reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Marge gets implants and Lisa goes "Your endownment's bigger than Harvard's" (and it follows something like "and Lisa takes the cake for the best off the cuff remark")
    Too bad I'm not at home, I'd upload the clip..
  • Seiyuu ex machina (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spyrochaete (707033) <spyrochaete AT hyppy DOT zapto DOT org> on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @01:15PM (#15661035) Homepage Journal
    I went to an anime convention a couple of years ago and sat in on a Q/A session with 4 voice actors including Scott McNeil [imdb.com]. All the actors, but especially Scott, were always joking around and doing their voices for no reason. It was awesome hearing the one guy say "I love fluffy bunnies" as Cobra Commander and Starscream!

    I asked the actors, all anime seiyuus (voice actors), a similar question to the one stated here - what was their opinion of their productions being distributed for free around the internet? Scott said that he didn't care one bit because voice actors are paid a flat fee regardless of the popularity of the show. 2 of the actors who did voices for Dragonball Z agreed with this wholeheartedly.

    I get the impression that all but the most high profile voice actors don't see a dime of merchandising fees or other collateral income. It's a shame because these people are very passionate about what they do. The 4 panelists stayed way later than they were supposed to because they loved answering questions. Some people got up on their chairs and peformed some of their own wacky voices and the panelists were very supportive and encouraged them to pursue their dreams. I have a huge respect for these actors - particularly Billy West who is incredibly talented - and I hope the studios realize how hardworking and dedicated they are and reimburse them accordingly.
  • Did anyone else (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mgabrys_sf (951552)
    Think it would be great - after hearing the recording goofs portion - to have a video reel of the recording session outtakes included on the DVD extras on the next Futurama compilation?

    With John DiMaggio's high energy it sounds like it would be quite a hoot.
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @02:18PM (#15661502) Homepage Journal
    I always hope everyone finds their happiness in a way that hurts no one.
    Very wise words, but Billy should start watching his back. People assassinate each other for saying things like that.
  • Fave moments--
    When I was doing Futurama we'd be recording and it was so hard to continue once because John Di Maggio couldn't stop bursting out into laugher every half hour or so. He'd get hung up on something wickedly funny from the script and it would set him off. Matt G. and David X enjoyed it even when I plunged in and started my nonsense riffing. We had to be shushed repeatedly. Then all in the room would start up at some point later when the "call-back to the joke fever" set in. It was so funny to see

    • Or how about release them on the DVD when "Futurama: The Second Coming Season 1 er um 5 or possibly 6" is released. DVD is a wonderful medium, you can store both video and audio on those little shiny circles.

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