Thursday, June 12, 2014

Getting to Know: John Stocker, Voice Director of Sailor Moon Part 3

Please read Part 2 of the interview before reading Part 3

Voice Director Stocker

Another one of Stocker's careers is that of a Voice Director, which involves scheduling and knowing the script. In regards to the first, he has to schedule the recording and be sure that it is completed within the allotted time. Regarding the script, the recording is not done as a full cast ensemble. Because most animation is recorded one performer at a time, “I need to know how every single line in the script has to be delivered…Sometimes the two sides of a dialogue are recorded days or even weeks apart.”

Due to the amount work that is involved in his responsibilities, the schedule as a director is not the same as a VA nor is it a 9-5 job. “While a performer goes into the studio usually for anywhere from 20 minutes to a couple of hours, a voice director is there all day.” Most of the time, it’s longer than a 9-5 job. On top of in studio work, there are hours upon hours of prep work at the home office that happens prior to the actual recording. You are probably thinking more hours equals more stability, right? Well, here’s the thing about the ups and downs as a director. “The same as for an actor. You wait for the phone to ring.”

Even though it is a career that's almost like an on-call job, every experience he had as a director helped him continuously grow as one. However, there is one important experience as a voice director that helped him become better at it. His first gig: Sailor Moon. The producer that he worked with was someone who “could be very tough.” At the time Stocker “hated” it, but “it proved to be a blessing in disguise.” Why? “I learned an important new skill and a different way of viewing a production. I still utilize some of the methods and tricks I learned from her.”

Unlike when you try to become a VA, if you want to become a voice director, there are neither schools nor teachers. “You simply have to watch and learn, then be prepared for a lot of homework.” However, Stocker having been and continuing to be a VA, believes that that experience “is an invaluable tool for fully understanding the project. When dealing with both cast and crew, you must learn to have a producer’s head, but an actor’s heart.”

© 2014 Linda Thai

Photography by Linda Thai

Stay tune for Part 4 of the John Stocker interview

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