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Screaming For A Living

Sure it looks fun in the movies but try to DO it for an entire day! 

Screaming is something loopers fear. We lose our voice, and THAT is our rent check. I recently worked on a film. You know, one of those fun little DEMON films. Everyone is doing them nowadays so you’re bound to work on one, or two. It was the director’s first picture so he was very eager and very involved in the looping (this can sometimes be a bad thing…not that I don’t LOVE directors, because the good, knowledgeable ones can really be fun and inspiring during the session especially if they let you try out a few things and make you feel good about your work. The other ones are usually too close to the project; can’t see what really is needed in post to make it work but wont admit it kinds…they want what they want, even if it’s NOT working or NOT right)

Speed up to a particular moment during this job. The Demon Sex moment (there were LOTS of these moments in this film unfortunately. So many you just couldn’t do them at the end of the job as would normally happen with a screaming cue to save voices). This one particular Demon Sex moment was where “normal” humans suddenly turn into Demons during “the act”. I also need to add that this particular moment was a long one. About 10 minutes to be exact. Now usually an experienced director (knowing his actors will actually need their voices to actually FINISH their film) will stop a long screaming cue -or ANY cue for that matter- a few seconds into it if he doesn’t like what he’s hearing.  You know, to save everyone’s voices; tell us what he’d like to hear instead, etc. Nope, not this time. We tried doing the cue as humans into goats having sex, barnyard frenzies, half dead monkeys, zombies on crack, you name it… even when we said, please stop us right away if you don’t like it so we can save our voices, he didn’t! We’d think…he must really like it this time..only to be told…”Um…OK. How about if we do it again only this time…” ARGH! Some days you get these jobs. At least it’s something funny to blog about later…

Lastly, because I always feel like I should leave you with something of knowledge, I want to advise you to always support your voice with your diaphram if you have to scream during a session and also please know that you can always ask to move that cue to the end of the day to save your voice! It’s not always possible, but it never hurts to ask (it might  just hurt NOT to…LOL)

Reprinted courtesy of the Actor's Network

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