Imagine, the magazine for animation industry professionals, featured an interview with Chris in this month's focus on voice in animation:
Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Chris Kent, director of CKUK Media, spoken word recording specialists. As an actor I've always been involved in voice over work. I originally set up a small recording studio at home which grew steadily until we acquired dedicated premises and built a high-end production facility in West London seven years ago.
What are your top tips 3 tips for an aspiring voice over person?
1. Voiceover in animation isn't about funny voices – it's about creating personalities in sound. Whether you're playing an animated carrot or Hamlet the audience has to believe in the character.
2. The essential skill is reading other people's words persuasively. Record yourself, listen back and ask whether it sounds like you're reading. It shouldn't.
3. A voice over needs a good ear. Listen to the way people speak: accent and dialect obviously, but also pitch, placement and how this relates to physicality. In animation and games recording you often have to play several characters and it helps to be able to create vocal variety if you can build a physical sense of each character for yourself.
How do you go about matching a voice with a character?
As an actor, visual clues from artwork usually spark off an idea of how a character should sound or, if there's no picture, like all acting you mine the text for clues. When casting I'm always listening first for believability and second for the ability to shift energy levels and registers. Control of accents is good but not if it sounds like the same person each time with no emotional range. Sometimes we need a very specific vocal quality but generally I want to hear flexibility and creativity.
What have you worked on/are you currently working on?
We've been quite involved with games, particularly the Worms series (which we did in several languages) and more recently Horrible Histories with Terry Deary. As a voice actor I've done hundreds of characters in games and animations, including Stronghold Crusader, Robin Hood, Short Fuzes, Speed Freaks, etc.