On the IGDA-Writers listserv, the question came up whether voice actors should get star salaries. Some say no:
"Unless every game uses the immensely expensive and complicated processes Team Bondi and Rockstar Games employed in L.A. Noire, there's only so much a voice actor can do with his or her in-game performance," he told me. "A voice actor can hit all the right emotional notes, but the gestures and facial inflections and other performative tics we expect from a live-action performer are pretty much impossible to capture outside of Pixar- or Disney-style animation."
But as motion capture gets more and more sophisticated, actors will more and more be able to contribute not only their voice, but their physical acting abilities.
Eventually we'll get to the point where they can deliver in a game what they deliver on the big screen. And then, you bet we'll be paying them as stars -- because they'll be delivering sales. But what makes a star isn't their contribution to the artistic product. It's that people will buy the product because they're in it. The difference between a fine character actor and a star is that people will go to see the next Will Smith movie because they love Will Smith. Until Will Smith can put himself into a game so strongly that his Will Smith-itude comes through, we won't be paying star salaries.
The same goes for star writers. The day people will go out and buy the next game that Mary Demarle wrote it, because she wrote it, is the day she adds another zero to her salary. Guess why some game companies won't submit their games for WGA awards?
as an actor trying to get into the voice game, I can say that voiceover is a whole different skill than regular on camera acting. forget about these 'stars' playing themselves in animated movies, the real voiceover geniuses are the Billy Wests and Frank Welkers. They are the ones that should be getting big bucks.
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