07 JanRaphael Sbarge: Kimberly Brooks Q&A Part 3

Raphael Sbarge (Kaidan, Mass Effect) chats with Kimberly D. Brooks (Ashley, Mass Effect) about the technology behind videogame voice work. (Catch up with part one and part two.)

Raphael: Are there any sort of noticeable differences in the characters that you voice for videogames, versus the characters, you know, screen roles, or other stuff you do on camera?

Kimberly: Well, I feel like you can have a lot … well, obviously because, there’s so many, you know, characters can go in so many different directions, and you have to record alternate endings, and different paths that the way the character can go. So it gives you an opportunity to stretch your acting, because you have so many different choices. But I have noticed that the technology in recording has gotten a lot better. I don’t know if you … I just feel like when I’m recording alone, which we do most of the time in games – all the time in games…

Raphael: Yeah.

Kimberly: It’s just a little bit more challenging. And you don’t exactly know what the other character’s reaction is going to be, and the proximity of the person next to you and the way you talk … But now with the technology being that, if you, or let’s say Jennifer Hale, for instance (female Shapard) has already recorded a scene, that scene will be played for me in my recording session, so I’m actually acting against her.

Raphael: Right.

Kimberly: And I love that – I really, really appreciate that technology.

Raphael: So what I understand – because we record at Technicolor – is that this is, I think, maybe even a proprietary software, I guess.

Kimberly: Yeah.

Raphael: That BioWare has created, called Veda, I guess. You know, for anyone who doesn’t know, essentially, when we walk into these rooms, we’re there, you know, essentially locked in a room with double-paned, bullet-proof glass

Kimberly: For four hours, by yourself.

Raphael: For four hours, all alone, you and your bottle of water and your imagination.

Kimberly: With your bottle of water, or in Jennifer Hale’s case, her hot water.

Raphael: Right, right, right. Running to the bathroom, because you keep trying to keep your voice, you know …

Kimberly: Lubricated.

Raphael: So it doesn’t get too dry, because you’re talking, talking, talking, constantly. And there’s, with this new technology, the, David, who’s at the board for us, essentially, he’s the mission control, man at the controls, who does the recording and ships it to Edmonton. He’s able to play in cues, set up and record it, and so, that’s what you’re talking about. It makes it a lot easier, doesn’t it?

Kimberly: Oh my goodness. It just, it really does. I think game three is going to be … the performances are going to be even better than the first two games, because of that technology. I really think so.

Raphael: It’s great. It’s great.

Kimberly: Yeah, it’s incredible.

Raphael: Well, I know it’s coming March 6. And we’re all really, we’re excited to see it. I’ve gotta start playing one and two, so I can get up to speed, so I can enjoy three.

Kimberly: I know, yes, please. You can play the version with me, you know. You could just…

Raphael: Oh, that would be so fun!

Kimberly: And I’ll play the version with you.

Raphael: Sweet. I love that. Well, what can you tell us, for the fans who want to find you, what your Twitter name is, and what your Facebook address is, in case they…

Kimberly: OK, well, I’m just – you know how I am, with the, the whole social media thing. I’m just kinda catching up with that. But I guess if you wanna email me, you can do it at …

Raphael: No, not your email, but your, what’s your Twitter name?

Kimberly: Oh, the Twitter name. So that would be twitter.com/kimberlydbrooks.

Raphael: OK, great. Great. And then on Facebook, do you have a fanpage on Facebook?

Kimberly: Yeah, I do. [Editor’s note: http://facebook.com/officialkimberlydbrooks.]

Raphael: OK, great, well people will find you then that way, for sure.

Kimberly: Excellent. Cool! I wanna be found.

Raphael: [laugh] That’s awesome. Kimberly, thank you so much.

Kimberly: Thank you, Raphael.

Raphael: You’re great, and we loved your letter, everyone did. And more to come. We’ll find more chances to chat some more. But thank you, for taking the time.

Kimberly: Thanks, so much. Your letter was the inspiration for me, so, thank you.

Raphael: All right, thanks everyone, and we’ll all talk soon. OK.

19 Responses so far.

  1. Nicole says:

    Thank you so much for you both doing this, it’s always fantastic hearing the ‘voices behind the characters’, so to speak <3

  2. Conny says:

    Thank you so much Raphael, Kimberly and Jacqui for doing this, this has been a great set of Q&As and a really nice insight into the workings and the people behind Mass Effect!

  3. Joni says:

    Thank you again Raphael, Kimberly, and Jacqui for everything!

  4. CptData says:

    Thank God they invented that technology ;)

    So no more Ashley Williams and Kaidan Alenko for us fans after ME3? I hope not. A part of me hopes for a spin-off series that gives the Virmire Survivor a chance … ^^ Or some DLCs expanding ME3. With the VS of course …

    You made two of my fave characters alive, Kimberly and Raphael. Thank you two …

    Captain Data, signing off.

  5. Meri says:

    Thank you again for what you did there! It represents a lot for us! :)

  6. maxon says:

    You two are so lovely. Thanks.

  7. xenzen says:

    It’s wonderful of both of you to do these Q&A sessions for us fans, and it really let’s us know the people behind the wonderful, expressive voices in the games. We love that you care enough to not just answer our questions and respond to us, but also that you care enough to play the games! I can’t wait for ME3 to come out!

  8. Bekkael says:

    Thank you all! I enjoyed all three parts so much. It’s nice to hear behind the scenes stuff. :D

  9. Misty says:

    Again, you guys are awesome. Thank you so much!

  10. Tina says:

    I love listening to these and to hear the two of you just chatting is the best treat ever. Still loving the laughs ;)

  11. Lyriel says:

    Thank you yet again for giving us insights into not just the characters we’ve come to love but the very real people who bring them to life. We know it’s important that the roles be well-written, but the best writing in the world will not reach us if its not also well-acted. You two are both so generous in answering our questions and giving your time up, and Jaqui is just splendiforous for coordinating everything and making it accessible for us. You all rock!

  12. mm says:

    Thak you, it was a nice and fun read!

  13. Saberchic says:

    Thank you all so much for doing this! I really enjoyed the interviews.

    Oh, and by the way, I think it would be awesome if Raphael romanced Ashley in the game and Kimberly romanced Kaidan. How great would that be? lol

  14. Anthony says:

    This was a slice of awesome. Thank you both, and especially Kimberly who’s new to the social media thing.

    Love me some Ash warrior poet, I do. :-)

  15. Eric says:

    Listening to this got me pumped for mass effect 3. It sounds like what Bioware is doing with the voice recording process is pretty revolutionary, Mass Effect 3 is going to be the best game ever!

  16. guanxi says:

    Mass Effect is such a special series that it upsets me a little that so many of it’s cast can’t/don’t appreciate it in the same way as our generation (gamer-kind).

    I’d I definitely love to hear your perspectives on the universe and it’s characters and themes if you ever get the time to play ME1-3. I can imagine watching each other’s romance scenes together would be a little awkward thou… but fun.

    Guanxi.

  17. guanxi says:

    @CptData

    Well there’s always the Mass Effect movie. If Legendary Pictures go with [heavy] CGI Raphael and Kimberly may yet be reprising their the voice-over roles and maybe providing some additional mo-cap.

  18. Jeanette says:

    I’ll be spending the night listening to all of these audioblogs. So much love to Raphael for being awesome and doing audioblogs for us creepy fans.

  19. Nim says:

    Thank you for this, Mr. Sbarge. I would like to ask from you one thing, if possible… Can you make for us report on your impressions after you go through Mass Effect 1 and 2? I would really like to hear you on this one. By the way, I’m convinced you won’t regret your decision to finally play Mass Effect :). Thank you again :).

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