Posted by kmelody SEA on Square Enix
Francis Santos, Square Enix product manager wakes up eagerly at 5AM on an overcast Friday in El Segundo, California. He grabs his coffee (no sugar, just black) and heads down eagerly to meet the English voice cast of Final Fantasy XV. There are immediate things that go through his head when anticipating the day ahead. How much will the individuals resemble the characters? How closely will their speaking voice sound like the character? Will they be proud of the final product when it comes out? He swiftly swings the “Sword of the Father” and skips to the studio door greeting Mat Kishimoto at “Hey man, do you think they will love the sword?”
Ok, maybe I may have just put words on this blog that Francis never said, did, nor doesn’t approve. I suspect that’s how Francis’ day started when we went to Rocket Sound studios with one of our favorite video vendors. Just like that, I imagine even further the extreme hurdles voice actors must go through to craft the art of being a voice actor. I’ll get Francis’ closing statement after I finish this blog. In fact, I’m sure he’ll write his own blog too!
Anticipating that eight of the industry’s top VO talent would be walking through the doors we brought the video cameras to see what the day had in store for us. The years of recording that go behind recording voices for Final Fantasy XV starts with a very talented localization team who picks the voices carefully. At the root of this process, they are like the farmers that plant the seed to get this process rolling!
Some key discussion points with the actors highlighted that the perspective that each actor s for their role is built throughout the whole recording process. In the sound booth shaped by the script and the guidance of the Director Keythe Farley. However, the finishing polish is really individuality of each of the actors. Not only do they have the ability to convey feelings through their voice, they immaculately fit the read to the visual they are seeing whilst using their imagination and emotion to feel the story that is presented in front of them. Often, this is done on paper without a visual to accompany the read during most sessions.
After we got to hear each of the actors tell us how they prepared for the role we also learned about how they related or didn’t’ relate to their character’s personality traits. What fascinated me was the minute they stepped into the sound booth they immediately transformed into their role so seamlessly, I can feel that the crew in the room was mesmerized. You can see that we all immediate respect for their ability to bring life into the characters.
Here’s a summary of the magic that was captured in the room that day. The cast really opened up about their feelings and thoughts on voicing the cast of Final Fantasy XV.
Here are some behind the scenes snaps we took during the shoot with key takeaway quotes we picked up from the cast:
Ray Chase – Noctis Caelum
“I think that the story of Final Fantasy XV is the hallmark of this game.”
Jim Pirri – King Regis
“Heartpounding… in terms of how exciting it is.”
Robbie Daymond – Prompto Argentum
“It really is a classic coming of age story… and in the end it’s Noct’s story… but the beautiful part about it is that his three friends who surround them the closest all take their individual journeys.”
Adam Croasdell – Ignis Scientia
“… A tale of triumph against insurmountable odds.”
My favorite moment from Adam! We asked him what his favorite line was in the entire movie and he mentioned that it was the word Noct. See how many ways he says Noct’s name! Brilliant guy.
Chris Parsons – Gladiolus Amicitia
Amy Shiels – Lunafreya Nox Fleuret
“It’s thrilling and sad and you just get to use everything.”
Darin De Paul – Ardyn Izunia
“The writing the writing the writing…”
Matthew Mercer – Cor Leonis
“There is a continued thread of love that all the previous games had … home of the Final Fantasy series always was. That to me is a sign of a true successor to what is one of the greatest game series…”
It was a pretty perfect day at the shoot. I left that day,feeling like I met the Final Fantasy XV characters in real life. If we were to ever cast a live action movie, my vote is in to definitely choose that same cast to see them come to life. I’d need to request most of them to dye their hair or ask Jim to not look so young— but other than that Matt would just need a haircut and Luna’s pretty spot on! She definitely held her own and stood strong and powerful just like Luna in the game!
This was a fun highlight where we got the cast holding the Sword of the Father in full character!
Francis, was any of my opening intro to this blog accurate? Did you want to add some closing thoughts?
If you missed Part 1 and Part 2 of the Voice cast series videos, check out the playlist!