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Working from Home on Tower of God - An Interview with the Voice Actors

Date: 2020 June 06 11:22

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With parts of the world in lock down many have had to adapt to working from home. The American anime industry is no different. We've mentioned before how Crunchyroll Voice Actors Dub from Home and were curious to find out more about their working from home process. So thanks to the good folks at anime streaming service Crunchyroll we got in touch with the Tower of God's dub slate actors to ask them some questions about the show and working from home.

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We got in touch with:

Jeannie Tiraldo who voices Endorsi

Jeannie Tiraldo - Endorsi

Chris Hackney who voices Khun

Chris Hackney - Khun

Kira Buckland who voices Yuri

Kira Buckland - Yuri

Johnny Yong Bosh who voices Bam

Johnny Yong Bosh - Bam

Because Tower of God started as a Korean manwha, did you notice any difference compared to other anime projects (with manga or light novel source material, for example)

Jeannie Tiraldo: I didn't notice a difference. By the time a script reaches me, it was already adapted.

Chris Hackney: There's similar ideas to other stories but it gives them to you from a different perspective. I think the most interesting difference is the pacing of the show. There's some shows that'll kind of drag out story and characters with, dare I say, "filler." It can definitely give you more perspective on the characters and the world, but Tower of God gets right down to it from the start and I love it. You're on the journey from the episode 1 and it doesn't slow down.

Kira Buckland: I feel like there is a certain uniqueness about the character designs that you don't always see in anime projects.

Johnny Yong Bosh: Yes. I did feel something original in the story telling from the beginning. Also, some moments felt poetic.

What have you enjoyed about performing as your character on Tower of God?

Jeannie Tiraldo (Endorsi): There's a great scene with both Endorsi and Anaak later in the season - I won't spoil it but their dynamic in this particular fight was a lot of fun. I'm also a little sister myself and in my mind Endorsi is the bigger sister. I really related to Anaak at first; she's trying so hard to prove herself. I want to play the poor girl fighting for who she is! That said, this role really gave me insight into how my sister feels. Tapping into that side of Endorsi helped me figure out that family dynamic.

Chris Hackney (Khun): I've loved watching Khun grow as a person. He's very closed off when Bam first meets him and he's got a specific goal in mind with the tower, but as he spends more time with Bam and Rak he starts to open up more. I think he sees a lot of himself in Bam and he empathizes and sympathizes with him.

Kira Buckland (Yuri): Am I cheating if I say "everything"? Anyway, I think it's really fun to play a character who has moments of confidence and strength mixed with a little brattiness. I got the chance to audition for a few characters, but Yuri was the one I wanted the most!

Johnny Yong Bosh (Bam): Typically with a character you can generate a mental backstory from a few scenes or gather a ton of information from the director but Bam has no detailed history. In fact, it's deliberately a mystery. So it's great to play a character that discovers himself as he goes through the story and learns the mythos of his unique world.

What's it like working exclusively from home as a VA due to Coronavirus? Have you faced any new challenges, or have you learned anything new about setting up a home studio?

Jeannie Tiraldo: A big challenge for me is trying to still love your neighbors even when they do laundry all day or listen to loud music. When recording now, there are noises that wouldn't normally happen. For example, I have a neighbor who blasts Elton John, but I can't fault him for his unhappy young daughter and his loud music. I've had to practice patience and understanding that no one is firing on all cylinders.

Chris Hackney: It's beyond weird. Normally I'd go into the studio with the director and the engineer to record and there's a certain dynamic to that which I think helps make the show better. You've got this chemistry in person that being on a Skype call just doesn't give you and it's really hard. There was a huge learning curve at first and it's nowhere near perfect, but we made it work as best we can. I think the fans should really show a lot of love to the engineers especially during this time, because they're not only recording us remotely but then having to mix the show so that we all still sound like we recorded in the same place. It's a massive undertaking for them and one I'm incredibly grateful for.

Kira Buckland: I was already doing a fair amount of voiceover work from home before the pandemic happened, but dubbing from home was an entirely new challenge because we have to match the video in real-time, and nobody was really set up for that from home. So there was a learning curve in that regard, but thankfully the studios were able to come up with a system that was surprisingly efficient for recording to picture remotely. I can't wait until we can safely return to the studio, but I'm glad we have a way to continue working in the meantime.

Johnny Yong Bosh: Because of my band I've collected pieces of music gear for over 15 yrs. I've been fortunate enough to now have my own dedicated home studio with a professional set up. The biggest hurdle is the occasional lag in streaming picture to match lip movements.

What is your home recording set up like?

Jeannie Tiraldo: Amazon has been my best friend. I have added more foam panels to the walls of my studio, which you can order online. I highly recommend large diaphragm condenser microphones. I'm using a walk in closet as my studio now, and I also highly recommend a Portabooth. It just makes it that much quieter so you don't hear my neighbor's Elton John. You just have to work with what you got!

Chris Hackney: It's kind of sad, honestly. It costs a lot of money to get broadcast ready and I'm nowhere near that, which is another reason why I'm so grateful to the engineers who're basically doing sound sorcery in order to make me sound good. It really makes you appreciate the studios and being there.

Kira Buckland: I already had a recording booth in my home (it's pink!) but I had to upgrade my equipment a bit to record for bigger studios from home once the pandemic started. I bought a new microphone and audio interface and I have a separate monitor now so I can easily see video when dubbing.

Johnny Yong Bosh: It's set up for the band but I do have a dedicated vocal booth that I use for voice over as well. Speaking specifically voice over set up, Neumann U87 into an Avalon VT737 or Neumann TLM49 into an LA610mkii.


Otaku news would like to thank the VAs and Crunchyroll for this interview. You can catch Tower of God on Crunchyroll right now.

Source: Otaku News
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