I notice that when the predominantly Sentai actors trek over to Funimation they do a few shows there. So I’m sorta surprised that I haven’t seen the reverse happening, that I haven’t seen Ballard in another Sentai cast list, especially one directed by the same guy.
What was up with the way out in left field (trying too hard) casting of Ballard on that one Sentai show anyhow?
Cast here looks pretty solid, the “usual suspects” by and large, with the noticeable exception of SCB and the inclusion of Tiffany Grant.
I believe that Funimation was keeping most of their steady VA’s on the company payroll, but in the current economic environment that may not be feasible anymore.
So, it wouldn’t surprise me to see more VA’s making the trek between Houston & Dallas.
Funimation doesn’t keep actors on their regular payroll. They are only paid as they perform roles, just as actors everywhere have been paid since the vertical Hollywood studio system died 70 years ago. It doesn’t make sense to keep paying an actor when you may have no need for them for long periods of time. However, some of these actors also get paid for work such as translating and script adaptation, which also happens at Seraphim. Some also double as directors.
Only actual production and technical workers are kept on the payroll at most times, as they are needed even when shows aren’t being recorded. Though it’s becoming far more common for that work to be subcontracted out as well. Even when these positions have steady paychecks, they are generally paid by hours and projects worked, rather than receiving a salary.
Seraphim’s dubs have gotten a lot of criticism, some of it unfair, for using the same pool of actors too often. The recent appearance of some Funimation actors, as well as many newcomers in dubs like Garden of Words and Girls und Panzer, are most likely attempts at addressing that. Seraphim produces dubs on much tighter schedules that Funimation, so it’s much harder for them to bring in out of town talent. It also means that they don’t always have the time to train inexperienced talent.
You also have to remember that actors have always gone where the money is. Many, if not most, of the actors employed in Texas are not particularly fans of anime, and most of them only do anime voice overs as a secondary job. Many also perform on stage doing plays or musicals, or on TV. Some also do additional voice over work such as video games and audiobooks. There are also many like Hilary Haag, that have primary jobs that have nothing to do with acting.
I think you are both just reading far too much into a very simple situation.
I think that you’re too easily dismissing a notable instance. There has to be “more to the story” as it seems highly unlikely that Sentai, the studio that isn’t shy about its cash-strapped status, brought one “young phenom” actress from their mega-competitor to their studio to only do one dub. Especially since, as you pointed out, Sentai creates its dubs so rapidly. I could believe that it took longer for her to drive (assuming she did) from Funimation to Sentai and back than it did for her to dub her part in that one dub; if the “we dub whole series in the time it takes Funi to dub a single episode” is true then she could have done several roles in that drive time.
Unless she happened to be near Sentai for other reasons it seems pretty costly to bring her in for just one dub; that’s not a cheap commute, even in Texas.
Side note: I thought that the Garden of Words commentary told us that Sentai was getting its new people from some local acting academy? The lead in that movie, who came from said academy, did say that he was competing against his fellows for that role.
Will other Funimation actors show up in Sentai roles?
Will Ballard be in any other roles?
Assuming one or 2, will they be in shows with another director (Chris Ayres has been “the vector” for a lot of new Sentai talent of late)?
The anime equivalent of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon just happened and it was met with a response of “meh” from the anime community; the community has applied the legendary/apocryphal disinterest in the real Apollo 17 to “Apollo 11”.
You don’t need to resort to dramatic hyperbole. Actors go where they are paid to go. It’s as simple as that. You are making a mountain out of a mole hill. It was fairly common in the later years of ADV dubbing for Funimation regulars to make appearances in their dubs, and it was even more common for those actors to only appear in one or two roles and never be heard in an ADV dub again.
You may see Tia Ballard in one of their shows again, or you may not. Houston has a fairly large theater scene, so I wouldn’t be suprised to see some Funimation actors stopping by to do roles while they are in town. As I said before, most of these actors don’t do anime as their only gig.
Also, I’ve never read or seen anywhere that Sentai has announced themselves to be cash strapped or having financial difficulties. The only thing even comparable is when David Williams refers to them as a “small” company. Small doesn’t automatically equate broke. They license and release a ton of product, dub a large portion of it, release most titles on bluray, and they are the only R1 company that hits their street dates almost every time. Even the three or four titles that have been delayed still shipped very early and weren’t rescheduled more than once, unlike the continual barrage of delays from NISA, Funimation, and Media Blasters. I’m not exactly sure why you are assuming they are having financial troubles. If Sentai is cash strapped, does that mean that Funimaton and Media Blasters are effectively bankrupt?
Not to mention, Sentai has never said they dub entire series in the amount of time Funimation dubs one episode. I pay pretty close attention to their com panels and have attended a few myself, and I’m 100% positive that David Williams has never uttered that. Those claims come from Internet rumors and speculation based on some unidentified voice actor who allegedly spoke to someone who spoke to someone who spoke to someone at ANN. Never mind the fact that some Houston VA’s like Chris Patton have stated that the stories of Seraphim’s speed dubbing are greatly exaggerated.
I’ve read a lot of Internet rumors about the dubbing operations at Seraphim and Funimation and 90% of them are complete bull. I’ve heard everything from Vic Mignogna being drug out of a booth in hand cuffs at ADV, to Mike McFarland snorting coke in the director’s chair at Funimation, to Sentai forcing its voice actors to work for free. I take it all with a grain of salt, and I suggest you do the same.
As for the academy they are recruiting actors from, it’s likely the same academy that ADV use to recruit from in the past. They also use to hold a lot of open auditions for series and to scout new talent. I’ve heard some commentaries where Matt Greenfield or Steven Foster would talk about how actors would have to wait months to get an audition.
Also, as Matt Greenfield has said in the past, a great actor isn’t always a great voice over actor. You can be great at acting, but when you have to have had headphones on your ears and listen to your own voice over and over again, as well as attempting to match lip flaps and timing, you may find that you are not great at voicing an anime character. They have had several actors over the years who did well in auditions, but simply couldn’t get the technical aspects down.
This is the first time that this has happened since, what, 2009 at the latest? 4 years, probably longer, since a Funi->Houston actor commute and there wasn’t even a “hey, this is interesting” from the fandom. Tres disappointing.
Was Ballard in town for something else and just dropped on by to do an anime gig with Chris Ayres? That would answer the question, but we don’t know. If she was in Houston for something else, I seriously doubt that she was the first “Funimation-only” actor to be there in “the time of Sentai” yet she appears to be the first such actress to be brought in by Sentai. And the fandom doesn’t seem to care. If Stephen Foster is listed as a director, a very vocal part of the community (sadly) gets out its virtual torches and pitchforks, but when a less-common & more significant event happens-Funimation’s Ballard coming to Sentai-the whole of the community is silent. Though I shouldn’t be surprised as I don’t remember the fan community really inquiring about the Bang/Zoom partnership dubs either.
Speaking of rumors, I’ve long heard that one about Funimation restricting the actors that it brought into anime dubbing from working elsewhere in anime dubbing. It was never proven true, but there wasn’t very much evidence that it was false either…until now. If it were never true then why didn’t anyone else cross over from Funi in the past ~4 years?
Perhaps the colloquialism has a different meaning where you’re at. I mean “cash strapped” to mean “not flush with funds”, not “on the verge of bankruptcy”. It’s a regular mention at the Sentai panels, the implication when they state that they’re a “small” company.
I reference Sentai’s speed dubbing because I heard about it from Greg Ayres himself. FWIW.
If it (account of speed dubbing) isn’t true then I could hope (against hope) that his tale about Hilary Haag not knowing how Chrono Crusade ended is also false. However, I’d bet that it is: No incentive to lie and it would serve to explain some Sentai dub issues.
When David Williams refers to Sentai as a small company, I believe he is referring more to the physical size of the company and the number of employees it has. Sentai subcontracts everything out and only has a handful of employees, as opposed to ADV, which did everything in house and had over 100 employees at its peak. He has made comments about them being careful as far as expansion plans and expenditures go, but that’s really something that most small companies should do, especially ones in a market that is flat or declining.
As for the phrase you used, yes, it does have a much more negative connotation here. Usually, it’s used to refer to struggling companies that are unable to meet their financial obligations.
I concur. There is a place for Japanese honorifics: The Japanese Audio Track. Japanese honorifics can only sound awkward in English as they are not part of English and they have an unfortunate side effect of turning characters into “that non-Japanese anime fan who keeps putting Japanese into his English sentences”, aka the “weeaboo”.
While the folk @ Funimation did give us the cringe-worthy “Sissy” (What happened to Zach Bolton…?) they also gave us the surprisingly natural, honorific-free subtitles for Noragami.
I have gone through some of this dub and the honorifics are awkward. Really awkward. Not as awkward as the “we’ll use it here, but not there” attitude in AKB0048 but still more awkward than I’d prefer.
I don’t believe that there’s a place for honorifics in any English dub but if they want to “double down” on them in the wonky fetishistic shows and come up with honorific-free translations for the other shows, so that there’s “equivalent exchange”, then that’d work
Greg answered that question back at a convention I went to just last year before 2014.
It was due to Chris Ayres asking his brother Greg in my paraphrase, “Do you know any other actresses that have a voice similar to monica rial? I’m directing Little Busters, and there is one character that seems to have a character design that would not match any of our english actresses voices, or that they are already in other roles.”
Greg pointed over to Tia Ballard for Chris Ayres to call. And the funniest part he said was that Chris was aduitioning Tia directly on the phone. He loved it and asked her to come over. She said okay, and headed over to Serephim Digital. Greg showed her around, and after her recording she had dinner at his place and head back to dallas.
This also happend to Chuck Huber due to him and John Swasey being close friends. So John called him over to do a role in Arcana Famiglia.
I was shocked too about these actors jumping over to Seraphim for some roles. But it was not from the notion of anything negative at funimation, it was because they went over there for a friends request for assistance. And I doubt other funimation actors would drop over unless friends told them to try Seraphim. Just like what happend here.
Even David Matranga was talking to Monica about doing stuff at funimation. It comes to show that voice acting is similar to stage acting in the social standard where you can reach out to other studios for other roles if you have the connections with other actors.
And to follow with the topic, I’m fine with honorifics!
You also have to take into account that some of the Funimation VA’s are “On Staff” so to speak, for example Jamie Marchi, has quite a few lead writer credits, and Coleen Clinkenbeard has been the ADR on some of Funimation’s dubs. So it all depends on what else they do.
The writing and directing jobs are usually handled the same way as their acting roles. People are paid for a particular series and that’s it. That’s why you see so many VA’s also serving as writers, directors, or even technical staff. It help keeps their income steady and happens at both Funimation and ADV/Sentai. Monica Rial, Greg Ayres, Chris Patton, and others have all done work behind the scenes. Coleen Clinkenbeard also appeared in some ADV shows, despite mainly working for Funimation.
When someone who isn’t familiar with the handful of anime terms that are often tossed into dubs (“What the $%&^] is a ‘sempai’?!”) hears them, the odds are that they figure out the meaning of those words through context. Thus, the concepts represented by those Japanese words are already in the dub and those words are superfluous.
The only explanation I’ve heard for why these redundant words are in the Sentai dubs was when Greenfield/Grant mentioned that they can be used to fix timing. I died a bit when I heard that. Sentai doesn’t need to crutch on honorifics to make a dub “work”, not when Funi and even Bang-freaking-Zoom can make dubs that eschew them