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Voices of Blizzard: United Nations of Overwatch

by - 11 months ago

Get a glimpse into the wide, wild world of creating memorable character voices. Team up with some of your favorite Overwatch cast members for a lively discussion of how they help breathe life into the game’s diverse roster of heroes.

It is people behind our characters that make them so great.

Andrea is joined by 6 incredible voice actors and the lead Overwatch writer.  These people really give Overwatch it’s spark.

First we heard from Darin De Paul.

We learn that the new cinematic Honor and Glory, featuring Reinhardt was shot in 3 seasons. The first was over 7 hours long. On a departure from solo recording, they played up the dynamic between Reinhardt and Baldric by having the actors come in together to work on it. They read the script together, they improved in and out of character to build this relationship.When they said the line, Live with glory die with honor, they were in studio physically reaching out to each other tearing up. At one point he was starting to go and it was stated to keep going if you cry it is okay. Blizzard is so special to allow us to explore and commit fully. Thank you so much, it is an honor to do this.

They go on to talk about the improve session and how it brought out things. At one point Baldric said to Reinhardt you are hiding behind the armor what heartbreak do you have? This idea really give you an insight to the heartbreak that drives Reinhardt even though he seems so happy go lucky. It is this pain that makes his joy so real, it is about living in the moment. Another interaction got real. Baldric is saying if you were my child I would scold you. Reinhardt goes on to say you have no children. This lead them to going back and forth at each other and then breaking down and finding the love. It was a special day.

Michael Chu was brought in to tell how he felt about Reinhardt.

We all are very familiar with the Reinhardt who is in game. He is big, joyous, the bring me another guy. It was important to show how he got his start. He had great hair. He was arrogant. But you could see him evolve through the animated short. You learn that it was never suppose to be Reinhardt who joins Overwatch. He has had to live with this idea and how it is he ended up part of Overwatch.

Andrea goes on to point out what must it be like to know it was your own arrogance that lead to your best friend, mentor, or you might even say father figure to die.

Darin brought in a personal touch saying how Reinhardt voice was based of his father’s voice, that he elevated, and elevated and, elevated to bring the Reinhardt energy. Thus his father in a way lives on in all of who know Reinhardt.

Can’t stop, won’t stop.

Jonny was asked how has playing Lucio changed your life? He stated it has been nutty. I have been an on camera actor for many years. I did a ton of terrible titles. To have done a voice in a video gem, I never imagined it would have brought me to this place of notoriety and appreciation from people of my work. That has been the biggest surprise. You guys connecting and appreciating the work we did in studio. As an actor that is what you hope to inspire and make other people feel those good vibrations. What part of Lucio do you connect most with? I think his idea, his altruism, his encouragement, his belief that things will be better, I am like that with my friends. His mischief, his playfulness is another part of me.

Michael was brought in to tell his take on Lucio. He is a human embodiment of the Overwatch spirit. He is a person that took up the call to heroism. Overwatch is about that optimistic Future. Lucio is always looking at that future. He is liquid optimism.

Jen Cohn was asked how this journey has been. I am so blown away that my journey has landed me here with all of you. I am completely blown away. She is such a beautiful character. She is such a righteous character. When I started working on her, I had no idea this was the wormhole I would be going through. This is just extraordinary.  What do you personally connect with? And how do you stand is there a power stance? Yes there is. I always have to stand. There isn’t one line of Pharah’s that can be done sitting. She is very powerful, a righteous girl. I love how soulful she is. Everything that motivates her is from such a deep place. So even the most basic action is loaded. She isn’t just doing this for fun. She is a much more serious person then I am. As is evidence by my flame boots.

Michael what does Pharah mean to you?  Pharah is really fun, she is the character who has lived her life with dreaming she would be part of Overwatch, but she never got that opportunity. You can see how that affected her life. She was training and doing everything she could do so she could step into this role. Ultimately before she could step into this role, for various reasons it was taken away. She is having to find a different way. I imagine being a private security chief isn’t what she imagined her life to be. The interesting setup is Overwatch is coming back and the world needs heroes. There is a generation of heroes waiting to step up.

Michael who is Pharah’s dad? You mean Sam? So I guess we won’t find out today. Oh you thought I was kidding. Who is Sam? Sam is Pharah’s father. That’s his name. You may have seen him before he has shown up in a panel in a comic, and maybe a spray at some point.

 

Aysha came all the way from Cairo. What do you think? I am kinda speechless. After 17 hours of recording by skype. I had no idea how huge it is. Even with a video it can’t absorb all that(motions toward the crowd). Thank you! It’s like I couldn’t really believe it.

It’s like mother and daughter so rad

How was it recording during massively different time zones? We are night people so it was okay. 7pm to 3am our time was no big deal, we are night people. Crazy Egyptians. Exactly, you weren’t working with the sanest. Andrea stated kudos to Michael and the team for giving us wasn’t like in a bikini armor set. What does Ana mean to you Aysha? My name in Arabic means life. When I read the brief I said oh she is so much like me. I have these two sides. The piece that affected me most was the letter she wrote. At the time the daughter of my niece was having brain surgery in turkey she was born deaf. I had to step out and they filled me in on the surgery and she signed I am hungry and I want grandma’s food. I started crying but said okay I am good and I am back. When I started to read the letter, I started to really choke. You then stated to me, You have kids. I said ya sort of kids. Yeah you made me cry. I made myself cry.

Michael you wrote that letter what is your take on all that. I think we can all agree the world needs more heroes, also more awesome older female heroes. We were really excited to make Ana. She is the embodiment of competence. No she is like amazing. That is the thing I like about Ana. She is completely self confident,she knows what she is about,and when she interacts with other characters that is her role.

What has your journey been like with Widowmaker? I love Widowmaker with all my heart. It is funny because like most people think that we have nothing in common. Which is like thank you. What I like about acting in general and with Widowmaker, is we have so much we can relate to. She is all about loss, and finding a way to shield herself from this terrible trauma she has been through. I can completely relate to that. In the sinematic she stated she had a fear of spiders, but at the end she understands them. At the moment of the kill they are never more alive. She has become this super killer cold blooded assassin. This is what she is looking for to feel alive, and that is what we are all looking for. Why do we become what we become? I adore her, I have a lot of sympathy towards her. What does she mean to you? To be completely honest for the first year every time I would have a session I would have these major high heels. Just so I could stand on something and like them. To be honest I would have never cast myself as Widomaker, just judging on the image, and knowing myself I would have probably given myself Tracer. That felt more like something anyone would give me. It was a challenge playing such a powerful woman, so I would stand with my legs wide apart and holding a bar. Bring it on!

Michael your take on Widowmaker and this tragedy thing feel to you? Widowmaker is an intensely tragic character. There is lot about her story that we have yet to dive into. There is a lot more going on with Widowmaker then you would think. One thing I love about Widowmaker is that she literally has her own castle now.

Michael what was it like to hear Sahr in the booth the first time. Oh that is Doomfist, and I am a little afraid for my life.

So Sahr you have no idea what is going to hit you when you come to Blizzcon, is it hitting you now? You were absolutely right, I couldn’t have imagined. It is such a great honor to participate in such a fascinating world, to be colleagues with such fascinating, talented, wonderful people. To participate in your life. Thanks for bringing me on.

It would have been easy to play big growly angry guy. But we didn’t want that. He needed to have charm, charisma, personality, to lead he can’t just be growly. He had to have a heart and soul, and a way to connect with people. Michael tells about how you approached Doomfist. It was a number of things. He needed embody some many kinds of roles. He is a head of talon. He has to be charismatic and talk to you and convince you he is right. He is also a visionary. He is looking ahead, and has huge plans. It also about the intimidation. He doesn’t have to use it. People just know they don’t want to disappoint him. Sahr hit this mark in a simple improve session. He said, please take a seat… No.. sit down. You could feel the simple menace. Sahr what did you base Doomfist on? In some ways he is like your typical privilidged African guy from a very wealthy family. Highly educated. His aspiration aren’t much different then people running companies all over the world, or governments. You can see people all around worl who feel they have ideas that are worth spreading at the expense of some other people’s lives. through that I could see how this was sitting and how we are going to make this work. One of the things I appreciate about Doomfist is the way that he feels about what he is doing. It reminds me kind of the way ancient mythological character are to us. Especially the elementals or the gods. Doomfist is the volcano. He is going to wrought all this destruction on people so they can rise stronger from it. I love the way Blizzard is building these new mythologies, they help us understand what is going on in the world.


Aaron "BLU3" Thomson

Blu3 the head of Overwatch Oversight, the infamous relic hunter, and occasional Crusader.