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Soho Square Studios records new animation

The demand for children's 3D animated films is not slowing and voice recording on a forthcoming production was completed this month at Soho Square Studios in London, writes Kevin Hilton.

The demand for children’s 3D animated films is not slowing and voice recording on a forthcoming production was completed this month at Soho Square Studios in London, writes Kevin Hilton. Animation work is now underway on Justin and the Knights of Valour, which is due for release in 2013. The story tells of a young boy, Justin (voiced by Freddie Highmore), struggling to become a knight. Also in the impressive voice cast are Saoirse Ronan, who plays Talia (pictured), Rupert Everett, Julie Walters, Antonio Banderas and Charles Dance. Soho Square Studios was contracted to handle the dialogue recording, overseeing the performance of each actor. The facility is equipped with Pro Tools 9 and has built up a reputation for working on children’s animated programmes, including the BBC Cbeebies favourite, Everything’s Rosie. That production is currently recorded by sound engineer James Doyle, who also worked on Justin and the Knights of Valour. “Doing a voice record for an animated film is a very tough process because there is an extra element of acting involved,” he says. “On a live action production you would have other actors, sets and costumes. On an animation this all has to be imagined on top of delivering each line in character.” As well as recording the tracks, Doyle worked closely with director Manuel Sicilia, listening to the tone of delivery, grammar and use of language. Because Sicilia is Spanish and his first language is not English, Doyle was more involved in the voice direction than he might be usually. The recording sessions involved two Neumann U87 microphones. One was placed in the conventional position, with the other approximately six inches behind the actors to pick up any loud parts of a performance. www.sohosquarestudios.com

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