I had an interesting experience over the Easter weekend: for the first time, I got to watch a group of people watching A*. These folks had seen the original silent versions, and said they liked them, but when I showed them the voiceover versions of episode 1 by Starschwar, ArchDuke, and Josť Sandoval, they were really fascinated and excited.|
That, and the discussion we had about it afterwards got me thinking. The voiceover competitions are fun, and we've had some really impressive sound work come out of them, but first impressions are big, and it's hard to get people's attention with a silent movie these days. So I'm going to take my own shot at producing A* with sound--voices and music, anyway; I probably won't be doing sound effects, at least not yet.
My first step is going to be remixing episodes 1 and 2 with my own sound tracks. I'll be using music by Kevin MacLeod from his rather astounding web site incompetech.com, and I'll be attempting to sound like this isn't my first time voice acting...although I'm a little worried about Selenis. ;) But I have Audacity and this alien-looking "Snowball" microphone from Blue that everyone seems to think is perfect for this kind of thing, so I've got no excuses for amateur results, do I? >_>
Now, the episode 2 voiceover contest is still on, and I'm sure what people come up with for it will be better than what I come up with myself. I'm not sure if I'll hold voiceover contests starting with episode 3, which will have sound by me from the get-go, but I will at least keep releasing the .gif versions of the scenes, so anyone can play with the animation as they like. It's the amazing results and response to the first competition's winners that have made me realized I need to take this leap into sound, so I'm very grateful for the time and effort star, Arch and JLS put into those.
Hopefully I'll have the audio versions of 1 & 2 done in a couple days, but I don't really know how long this will take me. I always hate hearing the sound of my own voice, so a psychological battle is impending. I'd love to be able to use work from our talented community here, but this is technically a commercial enterprise, and there would be licensing and rights complications; also, I hope to be able to streamline this one-man process enough that I can still release episodes in my target 3-week time frame, without having to juggle multiple episodes in different phases of development.
Well, the results should be amusing one way or another, so wish me luck!
(Oh! I've updated the current live versions of episodes 1 & 2, and their .gif files; I found that Flash CS4's publisher is much more efficient than the silly one I had been using, so the episodes are a much faster download now. I also updated some of the text in the credits sequences, and gave episode 1 the zippier title sequence that was first released for episode 2.)