LEX LANG (Antonio Banderas' voice match)

- Could you explain the differences between ADR, voice match and voice replacement?
- ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) can be any kind of post-production voice work (walla, etc.). Voice replacement is revoicing a character that the producers are not happy with the performance, or vocal quality, or sound quality. Voice match is when you must sound exactly like the person or celebrity you are replacing.
- What is "walla"?
- Background voices. The extras are usually quiet during the shooting, so the film can be cut from a wide shot to a close-up without the sound not matching. Afterwards, they add the background vocals, or "walla".
- OK. Now, what are the main current reasons to match or replace the voice of an actor in a film?
- Most of the time, it is because either the actor is unavailable and there is more editing to be done, or the sound quality in the film does not match, or a couple lines have been added, or when bad words are taken out for airline and TV versions.
- Could you give examples from your own experience?
- William Hurt was unavailable during the shooting of LOST IN SPACE, sound quality did not match for Alec Baldwin in CATS AND DOGS, dirty words needed to be replaced for Dennis Leary in DAWG...
- How did you end up working on THE 13TH WARRIOR?
- I was called in to do a "sound-alike" for Antonio Banderas. I had to audition among several other voice actors but, when the audition was done, I was selected.
- What did you know about this project when hired?
- I knew nothing about it, except that it was a story ala "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves".
- Did you know that the first title of the movie was EATERS OF THE DEAD?
- Yes.
- So, weren't you surprised, at the time, by the association of Disney with such a movie (and such a title)?
- Not really.
- What exactly did you do on this project?
- I was used during the pre-release edits of the film, to narrate the story, so the producers would know how it was going to sound when Antonio put in his voice later. Some of what I did actually made the film too!
- Then, could it be assumed that the narration in voice-over that is in the movie was not planned from the beginning, but rather was sort of an afterthought, an idea brought during post-production?
- That is quite possible...
- Did they keep some of your performance in the final cut or was the entire narration redone by Banderas?
- The narration in the film is 99% Banderas.
- You said "pre-release editS". Did you do alternate narrations?
- Yes, I worked 4 separate times.
- On what particular scenes did you work?
- Many where he was narrating...
- In the final cut, there are only three moments of voice-over narration: during the Baghdad opening sequence, during the old king funeral, and at the very end of the movie. Do you remember having recorded narration for other scenes?
- Forgive me, it's been a long time and I don't recall...
- Yet, could you please take a look at the following transcript (of the complete narration heard in the final cut) and see if it sounds familiar to you, or if something is missing from your own narration, or
if something was modified?
- Sure. (...) The first and second narrations were the same. I do not remember the third one...
- If any, what version of the movie ran on the screen during your work?
- Different cuts, including music, some rough, some not...
- Who was in charge?
- Barbara Harris cast me, and ADR supervisor Juno J. Ellis ran the session.
- Did the filmmakers attend the recording?
- Yes, director and producer.
- Tell me about the technical aspect of "voice matching". How does it work?
- Voice matching is difficult to describe but, in a nutshell, it deals with matching the tone, texture, placement, rhythm, patterns, nasal quality, and melody an actor has.
- Antonio Banderas being a Spanish actor, who plays an Arab character in the movie, was this a double challenge, in terms of accents?
- No. I primarily did Antonio Banderas.
- Do you know if they matched other actors' voices on this show? I have read that, during shooting, they picked up a red hair biker at the last minute to play in a swordfight scene against one of the heroes and
that they ended up dubbing over his voice...
- I don't know.
- Did you ever get any feedback from actors whose voice you had replaced or matched?
- Not often.
- Did you see the finished/released version of THE 13TH WARRIOR?
- Yes.
- And how did you feel about it?
- Well, I felt that it could have been edited better! It seems they cut out several key scenes from the rough cuts...
- This is true and that is my website in question! Anything you would want to add about your work on THE 13TH WARRIOR?
- It was thoroughly enjoyable... but it's always fun and challenging!


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