Hi, I've been acting in video games for over 10 years and would love to answer any questions you might have about voice acting and performance capture in gaming, film & television.

Relevant links & social media: - https://www.instagram.com/itstodfennell - https://www.facebook.com/todfennell - https://www.twitter.com/todfennell - https://www.cameo.com/todfennell - https://www.todfennell.com - https://www.imdb.me/fennell

Proof: https://i.redd.it/amq1gc8icp271.jpg`

Comments: 341 • Responses: 105  • Date: 

Dyalar206 karma

How does someone with zero experience get started? I've been told by quite a few people (including John Eric Bentley, although he was probably just being nice lol) that I should do voice work, but I'm not so sure. My wife wants me to take classes at a local community college, but I feel like at 38 it might be a bit late to start?

TodFennell340 karma

It's never too late to start, and if John Eric Bentley said you have a great voice, then I'll definitely take his word for it! He's the best. Courses will always help, as well as daily practice. Whatever reading you're already doing, do it out loud. Singing lessons also help control your voice and give you access to more of your range. When you feel ready, record a few voice demos, commercial and animation/games and start sending them out to agents in your area and all over the country. Just keep knocking on doors, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
Thanks for great question and best of luck!

radoss7229 karma

I saw Chad Ocho Cinco box last night. He lost. He said he’s happy he tried it, and you should never be afraid to fail. I appreciated that.

TodFennell9 karma

💯 I love that!

TodFennell116 karma

Oh, and your voice demos shouldn't be any longer than 3 minutes tops. Try to get a decent mic, but sound treating your recording space is more important than the type of mic you use. A walk in closet or moving blankets work well.

Fastnacht14 karma

A) quickly read this as voice demons. B) I am also debating about getting into voice acting, but I have work and a new kid. Is it possible to do part time? Like 6-10 hours a week?

TodFennell17 karma

I think so, yeah. Its more about quality than quantity. The hours aren’t long, but the sessions are intense and you want to be fresh to be able to deliver.

evangael140 karma

Do you have a Ubisoft account with all games unlocked?

TodFennell160 karma

... I wish.
Sadly, no.

shrubs31140 karma

do you at least get the games you voice act in? and does the "voice" belong to you or the company? could you do your characters voice and make a song with it independent of whoever?

TodFennell66 karma

That's a great question I haven't really looked into. My guess is that the character belongs to the studio, but I'll check with an entertainment lawyer. Thanks for bringing this up!

shrubs31123 karma

you should check out the voice actor for pathfinder from apex legends, i believe he uses the pathfinder voice in his stream so maybe he could help you

TodFennell18 karma

Thanks, I'll check it out!

dalcarr24 karma

Not a lawyer, but studied IP law in paralegal courses: anything produced in the context of employment is considered the IP of the paying party, so the “voice” of the character, as an extension of the character, is probably owned by the studio

TodFennell54 karma

Aha! Thanks!!! This reddit AMA has already paid off in legal fees/advice!

ArsCortica81 karma

How do you get to know the character you're playing as? Do the devs hand you writeups concerning said character's background story, what he's supposed to sound like, etc? Do they let you play some alpha version of the game itself to get a feeling for it?

TodFennell128 karma

In recent years, we've been fortunate as actors to get a lot more information about our characters in briefings than we used to. We usually get to discuss the character with the writers for a while before recording or have rehearsal days before motion capture where we discuss the tone of the story and how our characters fit into the game. We don't typically get to play an alpha version but we do sometimes have access to artistic references and early content which is why our NDA's are so thorough.

karlhawk71 karma

What is it like hearing your own voice or the voice of your colleagues in a videogame? Does it ruin the immersion of the story?

TodFennell117 karma

Sometimes it does, but on the flip side, when we hear and see a scene we recorded, it brings back all the memories of that day on set and usually how much fun we had doing it. I'm lucky, in that I don't always get cast as the typical, stoic, badass so I also get a lot of the funny lines from the comedic relief characters. Which is even more rewarding in serious games like Ghost Recon: Breakpoint.

unlikelyevents42 karma

As someone who has already stepped into the industry, do you recommend seeking representation? Or freelance? Specifically asking about getting into gaming. Thanks!

TodFennell82 karma

It's really up to you, but if you're asking my opinion, I'd go with representation. They're professionals at what they do and freeing up the time to find bookings, auditions and negotiate contracts leaves you with more time to be creative and focus on your craft. Also, speaking from a purely financial perspective, a good agent is usually well worth whatever their commission is. For example; It's worth paying them 15% when you're going to be able to make 50% more for a contract that they found AND negotiated for you. But I also know some actors who do well without an agent, so totally your call.

Fred_Perry40 karma

Please tell me everything you did for ghost recon. Were you part of Wildlands?

TodFennell55 karma

I did some motion capture work for Wildlands, but most of my full performance capture and voice work was in Ghost Recon: Breakpoint as a Rifleman who gets knocked out by the player in a cinematic and who gets chewed out behind a desk by Blake (Frank Scorpion). I also did motion capture as soldiers for many of the cinematics as well.

Semantiks7 karma

Is mocap acting for video games considered 'voice work' for the purposes of a breakdown, etc? I've always been intrigued by mocap; I just wonder how the process might be different for finding/submitting to those jobs.

TodFennell9 karma

It’s broken down usually into voice work (voice only), motion capture (body only), or full performance capture (body, facial capture + voice). Hope that helps!

Semantiks3 karma

That's great, thanks! I thought I had missed the AMA at this point, so I appreciate the reply. Is there anything (classes, skills, reels) that helps on a resume for full performance capture?

And if I've still got your attention, is there a full-performance project or role that you'd want to help create? Just curious -- personally I'd love to do a starcraft movie.

TodFennell4 karma

A StarCraft movie would be sick! Send me a DM on IG.

Martial arts, dancing, yoga, combat training all are a plus for motion capture. Vocal training, singing lessons are great for voice work.

WhiteSoxFan26527 karma

Has there ever been a "dream role" that you got or didn't get? What's the role and story behind why you wanted it?

TodFennell54 karma

That's a great question! There have been tons of dream roles I didn't get, it's just the nature of the business. We get 1/10 of the roles we audition for if we are incredibly lucky and more like 1/25 or so on average. As a kid, I was devastated when I didn't get the lead in "Searching for Bobby Fischer" ( I was in the top 3). I also missed out on some of the X-men movies that were shot here, although, in hindsight, it opened the door to bigger and better things. Dream roles I did get however are mostly in video games and every time I walk onto a motion capture stage at Ubisoft or a sound booth for a voiceover commercial, I'm in heaven. I'm also really proud of the voice work I did for the upcoming Kena: Bridge of Spirits and Monster Hunter Stories 2.

shamalama868622 karma

Do u enjoy playing video games? If so what games do you play.

TodFennell49 karma

I love gaming, although I haven't had a ton of time for it lately. I was a huge fan of Diablo 2 & 3, I played Zelda: Ocarina, Majora's Mask and Twilight Princess. Now, I'm more into COD: Warzone (which was essential during the pandemic) and sometimes League. My favorite game of all time... GOLDENEYE. I was also crazy good at Mario Kart64 and Killer Instinct on SNES growing up.

shamalama868613 karma

Cool ya man warzone definitely made the covid thing easier. U must be around the golden age of 35. All those older games you listed are my favourites too. Cool man I hope I hear your voice on some new video game soon!

TodFennell13 karma

Right on the money! I'm 36! lol

Thanks for the support and the great questions! Have a great day!

D1rtyH1ppy4 karma

No Breath of the Wild yet? This is the best 3D Zelda by far.

TodFennell14 karma

A friend of mine is actually the voice of Zelda in that one! (Don't tell her I haven't played it!) lol

PogoConspiracy4 karma

I would very much like to hear your rendition of Killer Instinct's "C-C-C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER"

TodFennell3 karma

Fulgore all the way!!!

ferrari0023417 karma

Do you ever go on multiplayer and mess with people using your character voice in chat?

TodFennell42 karma

Haha! I did once as Bean from Far Cry playing COD.

But now that you mention it, I should do that wayyyy more often! lol

cpsam12315 karma

Do you see video games as the new medium for story telling and what kind of advancements do you see happening for voice acting and motion capture in the future?

TodFennell21 karma

I do, they've already gone global and make up a huge share of the entertainment market. I think cinematics and game play are only going to get better and more immersive with VR and that the games will be more responsive and have almost infinitely more options in how you finish the story as we develop stronger AI. I think that for us as actors, we'll also eventually use a combination of VR and AR as we record, to feel like we're actually in the space.

RedditPenguin0210 karma

Who has been your favorite character to voice act?

TodFennell33 karma

It's gotta be a mix between Mason Weems in AC3, Bean in Far Cry New Dawn and George Washington in AC Rogue. Playing Washington was surreal because in AC3, I go into a long speech defending him, then I get to voice him and come on... It's George Washington. It was just really, very cool and I felt super lucky.

I still get chills when I listen to "Right Hand Man" from Hamilton.

ManyVoices10 karma

Do you find that there's a lot of gate keeping in VG VO? I'm a non union voice actor up in Canada with Union aspirations down the road. Now that on camera actors are falling in love with VO and studios are starting to rely more heavily on Star power, do you see opportunities starting to dry up for those who just do voice? Cheers!

TodFennell19 karma

Hello, fellow Canadian! What's up?
While it may feel that on screen actors are getting into VO and that studios are relying on star power, there are still a ton of roles out there for everyday, working actors too. They are tons of NPC's with thousands and thousands of lines that need to be voiced that offer an incredible opportunity to get your foot in the door and prove that you can deliver time and time again. If you can get in and out of the studio faster and blow them away, then someone is bound to take notice and bigger roles will open up to you. Keep at it, it sounds like your head is in the right place, you're ambitious, curious and ask great questions. It's just a matter of time. You got this! Best of luck!

ManyVoices8 karma

Love the advice, thanks so much! I do mainly commercial work, but during Covid and what not I've been grinding with animation and character workshops and usually do improv weekly or by weekly with friends. Never stop learning :) thank you!

TodFennell7 karma

Sounds like you're on track to do great things! (You already are!)

MustardFeetMcgee3 karma

As a Canadian do you have any tips on getting your foot in the door? Are you aware of any studios that are more likely to take fresh meat? Whether is be in tv or video games.

TodFennell4 karma

Most of the big studios have branches in Canada. Ubisoft is huge in Montréal, EA and WB games are here too. I say try them all!

Best of luck! You got this!

Fuzzl9 karma

Cool, I always love behind the scenes stories about game creation, there are simply too many great stories untold!

What is your most memoriable moment during the development of a title?

TodFennell25 karma

Great question! I'd have to say either passionately defending George Washington's honor in AC 3 as Mason Weems or some of the lines I recorded as Bean in Far Cry New Dawn. We were in tears, those lines were hilarious and that writer is super talented.

Fuzzl8 karma

I am not familiar with your voice right away, but I am going to check out the list with your name in it. Love for what you are doing is always the nr1 ingredient in my book so reading that parts became emotional during production tells me you must have your creative heart at the right place <3

TodFennell5 karma

Thank you so much! I do love it and I try to remember to be grateful to doing what I'm doing. Thanks for the kind words and the great question!


What are the hours like?

TodFennell17 karma

Seeing as the sessions can often become quite intense, the hours are very accomodating. We typically stick to 4 hour recording sessions and 8 hour motion capture sessions (plus an hour for lunch). When we do voice, we're "ON" the whole time but when we do motion capture, there's always time for a break as they change the set or if you're not in a specific scene. The game companies are also all pretty good at spacing out what we call "barks" and "ono's" when we do voice recording to save our voices. That's when we record screaming, yelling, dying, etc...

It's always better to take short breaks often than to try to power through until your voice is permanently shot and you need a day or two to recover.


In which venture of yours did you have the shittiest experience with the directors and the other casting crew?

TodFennell31 karma

OK, so I feel like I have to say first that in 30 years of doing this, I've never walked off a set or a recording stage... except this one time. I can't say what movie it was, but it was a 5th call back (normally you do 1 or 2 max before getting the part or not) for dubbing a film with an A-lister as the lead and the voice director was so unprofessional and mean that I threw my headphones off, said some choice words to rather loudly and stormed out of the room. Only thing was you had to get buzzed out so my dramatic exit was sort of cut short.

But for real, 99% of the time it's a blast and everyone is really nice.

coscorrodrift2 karma

What ended up happening with that? Did the movie get released with another person as the one you were supposed to dub? Or was it scrapped?

TodFennell5 karma

Everyone that worked on the project said it was a nightmare and that they wished they had done the same thing. I'm thankful I dodged a bullet on that one. 🙏

itsyabooiii8 karma

Will we hear your work in the upcoming GTA6?

TodFennell12 karma

Sadly, no. Unless they're still casting for DLC???

Shoutout to Rockstar. (Call me)

A_Very_Brave_Taco7 karma

The idle banter in Ghost Recon: Breakpoint was some of the most hilarious and candid voice lines I've heard in a large studio game. Did you ever get the chance to improvise lines or give feedback or input into the characters you've voiced?

Thanks in advance!

TodFennell11 karma


I did actually, the scene where Blake chews me out at the desk and says, well, I won't repeat it, had us in stitches and I wish I could access some of the bloopers for that scene. The director was so cool and he let me watch the scene the next day to see how funny it was. That team was especially creative and witty when it came to the idle conversation lines. The set was magic to work on.

36_foxtrot7 karma

Bruh why don't you stream? That would be so cool to see you playing games with characters you've portrayed. And you can tell the viewers cool little behind the scenes things.

TodFennell11 karma

Thanks!!! I'm actually working on something like that with a startup, more to come real soon, stay tuned!

owtrayjis6 karma

Hey Tod, thanks for stopping in today! A few questions I didn't see yet:

If you weren't voice acting, where do you think you would be working/would like to do instead?

Which character has been your least favorite to portray?

What are your favorites: food, music, movie, color? (Group/genre is ok, I can never pick specifics most of the time)

How often are you recognized in public?

Thanks for doing an ama that wasn't just a promotion for an upcoming project!

TodFennell7 karma

Hey! Thanks for the great questions!

I only have time to answer a few because I want to get to everyone.

When I'm not acting, I'm writing spec scripts for TV, creating content on social media and researching tech investing.

I don't often get recognized in public because most of my work is in gaming and voice, which is kind of nice sometimes when you just want a quiet day out with the family.

Rhyto6 karma

I’m not a VA but while I have seen platforms like CCC (CastingCallClub) is it really that simple to just record choice lines and upload to your profile to obtain potential opportunities?

Even applying for VA roles seems to require “something” though again I may be overthinking this but would appreciate some feedback on that “first step” if you don’t mind.

TodFennell6 karma

Those platforms definitely have their place, but ultimately, if you really want to do this for a living, I'd recommend seeking out an agent.

Best of luck!!!

CheckeredBumblebee5 karma

Do you ever feel like you really don't want to be a character and if so, how do you move past that (or do you just refuse)?

TodFennell15 karma

In the past, I've had to do projects and play characters that I really don't like. When I had no other choice, I would remind myself that telling this particular story is really important to someone and someone out there might really need to hear it and the character I'm playing is essential for that. I have, however, said no a game or two that I completely disagreed with their whole message. It's rare, but it happens.

Nikonegroid5 karma

How do you go about coming up with a new vooice? And how long does it usually take?

TodFennell10 karma

It depends on the character, sometimes it's quick and natural and sometimes it can take a little while. Bean was ridiculously fun, because the writer was like, "He's so naive that it's a miracle he's alive in this harsh, post apocalyptic world." and I was a little hesitant at first but then I just really went for it and they loved it.

Morsigil5 karma

Was there a time where you were working a "day job" and doing voice acting? Is that possible, especially when first getting started? How feasible is it to live outside of LA and get work?

TodFennell6 karma

Great question! I used to work as a personal trainer, which was great because I could create my own schedule around gigs. I think that it's easier now more than ever to live outside of LA and make a living as an actor or voice actor because self tapes and MP3 auditions sent online are the standard now and studios shoot all over the world and are constantly looking for local talent.

squeevey5 karma

I've been pondering doing voice work (after doing some scratch VO and the editor highly recommended i do).

How do they do casting? Is it like regular casting calls that you have to show up somewhere, or can you record scratch at home? (I hate how much time screen casting calls take).

How much of your role is "remote"? Can you do work from remote destinations with the right equipment?

PS (your proof image has a little apostrophe at the end in the link)

TodFennell5 karma

Hi! So yeah, I agree, on screen casting takes forever and is time consuming. Voice work, on the other hand, is easier to audition for as you only have to send an MP3 and can often record remotely if you setup is good and your internet connection is fast enough. Best of luck!! You got this!

sosoft904 karma

Hi! I've been looking at getting into voice acting myself recently (honestly I'm absolutely terrified by the prospect of branching out of the desk job 'safe zone', but also terrified of spending my life behind a desk!). If you're telling someone that they have a good voice for voice acting, what do you mean by that? What is it about a person's voice that makes them a good prospect?

Got my first voice lesson this weekend, wish me luck!

TodFennell4 karma

Wow! That’s amazing, congrats! Looks like you’re on the right path. Practice makes perfect and the more time you depend rehearsing behind the mic, the more comfortable you’ll feel. Just know that if you really care about it, the jitters will never fully go away before a big performance and it’s actually part of the whole thing. It’s a rush and it’s why I love what I do.

Keep at it and best of luck!

sosoft902 karma

Thanks for the reply! Stage fright doesn't worry me, I'm a musician, and have a history in acting so I'm very comfortable feeling terrified while performing (actually quite enjoy the adrenaline rush these days). I guess I'm worried I won't have... it... whatever it is, and I'll crash and burn. But hey, don't know until you try I guess!

TodFennell2 karma

Exactly! You got this! 👏💪

My new favorite song lately: Neverland by Andrew Hyatt

StealinTime004 karma

Where the hell is Splinter Cell?

TodFennell3 karma

No idea! I'm not in that one, sorry!

DickensCiders57903 karma

I've heard that the VOA community for both games and film are particularly tight knit and near impossible to break into without some kind of connections. Can you confirm or deny this allegation?

TodFennell9 karma

To be honest, I've heard that too, but then again, I'm always meeting amazing and talented people who just recently got into it, so I think there's still room. There will always be room for you if it's something you truly love and work hard at.

DickensCiders57904 karma

I work as a trucker and while I can convincingly modulate my voice and accent to a degree, I think it's probably past prime for me.

Funny really, used to get commentary ranging from "newscaster/anchor" to "Batman" and "Solid Snake" to "Military Hardass #3", and "Radio DJ".

Never had the connections to go after it though. Did co-host a podcast with the main topic surrounding a niche video game made by a relatively unknown Swedish developer. Distributed our 13 odd episodes on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, YouTube(though they've since been removed) and Quest Gaming Network.

Was shortlived as life came into play.

TodFennell5 karma

Sounds like you have some experience in the field! It's never too late to get into it if it's something you love!

DandalfDaWhite3 karma

Have you been given any special items or one-off props/replicas as gifts from working on games? Maybe a hidden blade replica or something like that?

TodFennell4 karma

I have a few really cool hoodies from some of the games I worked on. And I kept a few bracelets and badges from when I went to E3.

caster32353 karma

How would u compare movie acting and acting in video games and also what part of which game was ur favourite and most fun when shooting?

TodFennell3 karma

Well, there’s way more tech in motion capture, so you have to get comfortable with the suit and all the cameras, etc… but it’s also more liberating because you can play characters who look absolutely nothing like you.

It’s also a very creative and different space, and it’s cool to know how many people are going to not only watch but interact with what you’re creating.

whatnowagain3 karma

My 9 year old son does amazing voices, and I’ve been looking into voice work for him (he’s already starred in his brothers lego stop motion) without taking it seriously yet. Is there much voice work for kids? And if not, what do you suggest he start doing now to prepare for those opportunities in the future?

TodFennell4 karma

There are a ton of voice work opportunities for kids in animation and advertising especially. I recommend voice lessons, singing lessons and acting class, if it's something he loves. As a former child actor myself, my only advice is to support him and give him the opportunity to shine but don't put too much pressure on him. Best of luck!
SAG AFTRA has a ton of resources as well.

MPsAreSnitches3 karma

Many of the series you list have in recent times experienced significant drops in quality. How do you deal with games like assassin's Creed, wildlands, and far cry all under delivering on development and over delivering on monetization?

TodFennell16 karma

I don't really agree that they've dropped in quality, all I can say is that whenever you're innovating, you take risks and I'd rather gaming companies swing for the fences and miss every once in a while than stick to the same thing over and over again.

nitsuah3 karma

A lot of people are asking how to get started as a voice actor, but I am equally curious how you get involved with motion capture work. My guess is to already be in the industry with another avenue (VA)?

Enjoying reading all your responses. Thanks for taking the time to do this!

TodFennell3 karma

Hi! Great question. I started as a child actor, then moved into doing voiceover for advertising in my teens and doing some of my own stunts in film & television. I have martial arts and dance training so motion capture, voice and performance capture for games was a natural and organic transition.

dashcash323 karma

What’s your favorite cereal?

TodFennell6 karma

Honey Bunches of Oats.

einkurogane2 karma

Hey there. Thanks for providing this AMA with great answers. I'd like to know which character was the hardest one to voice and perform for being so charismatic or having a way of walking/gestures that took some retakes to manage?

TodFennell2 karma

The Rikers from The Division were really hard to do motion capture for because their mannerisms and the way they walk is so full of extra swagger and attitude and they were just so violent and disrespectful. But once we got into it, it was actually kind of fun. I had an easier time playing the agents who were tight and tactical.

Pastoredbtwo2 karma

What's your favorite recipe that uses fennel?

And when you make it, do you refer to it as Fennell's fennel?

TodFennell2 karma

Fennel soup… can’t go wrong.

TodFennell2 karma

Thanks for all your amazing questions and comments! I'm done for now but I'll be back online in a few hours to answer any other questions.

Thanks again!

Lerick2 karma

Hello! I'm just recently getting into voice acting so this is very exciting to read.

I was also considering getting into motion capture. Did you do voice acting first and then go into motion capture? How did you get into motion capture?

TodFennell2 karma

Amazing! Best of luck moving forward!
I know actors that only do one or the other but ideally, you can totally do both if you want to. Making a demo and getting a good agent with connections is definitely step one. Then you can start reaching out to the studios. Go for it!

udyadityadeo2 karma

What do you think was the most challenging character that you played or voiced?

Also, how does working behind the scenes, to voice, act and give shape to a character feel, especially when it is well-received and revered by gamers?

TodFennell8 karma

The most challenging game physically was The Division 1&2 but it felt great to work so hard. We had the extreme honor and privilege of getting to work with special forces and Navy SEALS as consultants to give authenticity to the performances.

When a game does well, it's extremely rewarding. Like right now, I have a huge smile on my face because I get to chat with people who are so passionate about these games.

brick_status4 karma

Omg were you the guy that said, "My back's all fucked up, I need some meds, bad" ???

TodFennell7 karma

I said that in real life after a day on set! Lol

I also played a useless lab tech who couldn’t do anything right.

xConnor2 karma

Have you voiced any characters in Ghost Recon: Wildlands?

TodFennell2 karma

I think I only did motion capture for Wildlands, no voice.

Alt0980982 karma

Do you get free copies of the games you've worked on?

TodFennell2 karma

Sometimes, yeah!

KillRoyTNT2 karma

Compared to other acting . Do you read the script of the premise of the game or just read the selected lines with no particular order?

TodFennell2 karma

We usually get access to the parts of the storyline that relate to our character but we rarely get the whole picture because they don’t want to give too much away before the release of the game and we’re usually under NDA until then.

TheSubsiquent2 karma

What’s a game that you wish you could’ve worked on?

TodFennell2 karma

Diablo 4 and League of Legends. I think League needs more voice actors!

TheSubsiquent2 karma

I’ll give them a call. I mean, it won’t help, but

TodFennell2 karma

I appreciate it!!

The_Stuph2 karma

Couple questions,

First, do you have a dream role? Maybe the MC in GTA 6, or maybe just some guy who gets beat to death in a comedic way?

Secondly, is there a performance from someone who really blew your mind? Christopher Judge in God of War comes to my mind.

TodFennell6 karma

I'd love to do a voice in Diablo 4 or one of the leads in some future title in the AC Universe.

Michael Mando was epic, I've also met him a few times and he's a great guy.

FurryChaos2 karma

I'm writing a sci Fi novel. It would be awesome to see this made into an rpg. Is there an advice in writing for rpg's compared to every other type of media? Thanks

TodFennell2 karma

Sorry, I haven't had any experience with writing RPG's, although I hear it's super complicated and extremely rewarding.

joonsson2 karma

Who is your favorite voice actor, yourself excluded, and why?

TodFennell3 karma

Orson Welles and Seth MacFarlane (who I've actually met and is a really great guy.)

NeverEnufWTF2 karma

Your voice interactions with Dylan Taylor in FCND were a highlight of that game. Were most of those interactions scripted or improv?

TodFennell2 karma

Thank you! It was a little bit of both, we really played around with how cowardly I'd be and I think the final product turned out pretty funny.

Clayman82 karma

How would you recommend getting into this line of work?

Im a cosplayer of about 15 years now (too long, sir...its been far too long), and would love to take further steps in the hobby, or just expand my talent and knowledge base. Motion acting or being a stand-in for Cons for example would be something that i can only dream of, without having the actual knowledge how to dive into this line of work.

TodFennell2 karma

My advice as far as first steps is always to record voice and on screen demos and start submitting them to talent agencies. If you really want to make this your full time job, I really recommend getting an agent. Also, document your journey on social media and build an audience that way while you're at it! A large social media following is always a plus for studios when they're looking for talent.

Clayman82 karma

A large social media following is always a plus for studios when they're looking for talent.

Thats something i need to work on first and foremost then, but with Con-season being dead in the water atm its really hard. Thx for the advice!

TodFennell2 karma

It’s coming back soon! I’ll be in Chicago at Anime Midwest from July 2-4th.

10Dante42 karma

What's the weirdest/most memorable line you've been asked to say in character?

TodFennell6 karma

In the VR game Transcendance, I had to sing the whole song “Amazing Grace” as someone pacing back and forth, losing their mind. That was a trip! 😂

Also Bean’s “big question” in Far Cry New Dawn

PewPewPan2 karma

I've had someone say to just recoed demos and send them in, if you want to get started. But what should you actually record for a demo? Accents, different voices, monologues?

Also, what are some common mistakes or things to watch out for when voice acting (pronunciations etc.)?

TodFennell2 karma

My advice is to go to the websites of the agents of actors you like and look for their voice demos as a model for recording your own.

Common mistakes is thinking that different accents is what makes a character. Your character demo for animation and gaming should be primarily in a standard American accent but the tone and pitch and character should be different, without relying on accents to make the character stand out.

MightyBeforeGod2 karma

When creating a demo, should one use original content or redo something that exists already? Or both?

TodFennell2 karma

Because it’s for internal purposes only, to sum it to talent agencies, you can use any content you like. There are no copyright rules, but if you put it up on your website, you could run into trouble and it’s better to write your own original content

coscorrodrift2 karma

What car(s) do you have and what's your favorite/dream car, if any?

TodFennell3 karma

I drive a Tesla 3 and it’s pretty much my dream car. Although the F150 lightning looks amazing and I’d love to get one eventually.

I’ve owned an S4 and while I loved the raw V8 power, the torque from electric cars is addictive and I don’t think I’ll ever go back.

Mob_Rules19942 karma

Do you drink a special kind of water to prepare your throat like that guy in that episode of Mad About You?

TodFennell2 karma

I always put honey in my coffee the morning of and then bring a huge jug of water and sip throughout the whole session even if I don’t feel like I have to. It helps keep you’re voice smoother and élimantes lip smacking noises which sounds gross but those mic’s pick up EVERYTHING!

Zammyboobs2 karma

How does one hire a voice actor for a game? im an indie developer and definitely want voice acting to make my work more polished. How much do rates usually go for?

TodFennell3 karma

That all depends on who you’re hiring. Send me a DM on one of my socials and we can get into the details.

DSPbuckle2 karma

Which game did you like the least?

TodFennell3 karma

Captain Planet on NES. That game is impossible and made me cry as a child.

DSPbuckle2 karma

Lol thanks for the insight. Going to go check it out on YouTube. Any games you can’t put down right now?

TodFennell2 karma

Right now, it’s my phone and social media that has me hooked. I used to be a big Diablo fan so looking forward to 4 and I’m trying NOT to get hooked on 2 remastered.

Sabin0572 karma

Will I ever see you playing D&D with the Critical Role fam?

TodFennell3 karma

I sure hope so, but they’ll have to teach me first… I’ve never played.

Palin_Sees_Russia2 karma

Proof is deleted???

TodFennell2 karma

Thanks for letting me know, emailing the moderators now.

000722 karma

Are you since your work as VA more aware of ‘good’ voices. Like do you think when you overhear someone talking in public “that guy could be suitable for voice acting”?

TodFennell2 karma

Absolutely! I’m always sort of on in that sense and I’m always listening to the people pronounce, articulate and project.

slugma1232 karma

Imagine they're grabbing an old game, pre-SNES/Genesis era, and remaking it for our own day and age. What game would you like it to be, and what character would you love to voice on it?

TodFennell2 karma

Oh snap! That’s a good question!!! Off the top of my head, Mega Man 3 and the original TMNT arcade game.

solongandthanks4all2 karma

What does that even mean? "Acting" in video games? Like for cut scenes? Or just lending your physical likeness to 3D modellers? (I would call that a model, not acting.)

TodFennell2 karma

Is it just me, or is the question coming across a little hostile? 😂

We do motion capture, facial capture and voice capture for the characters in game play and for cinematics.

We essentially act out the whole scenes and then our movements and our voice is used for the final product.

madmaxbst2 karma

So any advice about agents? I want to get in the biz but I didn’t know y’all had agents.

TodFennell2 karma

Ideally, you’ll want an agent who is recognized by SAG in the US and ACTRA in Canada. There are voice agents out there who only rep voice actors and they will help you get auditions and negotiate contracts.

madmaxbst2 karma

Thank you! How big of a portfolio do you typically need to send?

TodFennell2 karma

That depends on the agency, but usually a short cover/query letter along with your headshot and resume. Maybe a link to your website & socials.

VulcanBrady2 karma

If you could voice/act something in a game you didn’t get to work on, what game would it be?

TodFennell2 karma

Diablo 4 or maybe GTA.

Small-Interview-28002 karma

So you’re an Ubisoft employee? Which characters of AC, FC and Division have you played?

TodFennell3 karma

I’m not technically a Ubisoft employee, I work under contracts for them but we have a great working relationship. I played Bean in Far Cry Mew Dawn, Mason Weems in AC3, Bernardo Baroncelli in AC2, Rifleman in Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Rikers and Agents in The Division 1&2.

I also voiced a few characters in the upcoming Kena: Bridge of Spirits by Ember Labs and Monster Hunter Stories 2 by Capcom

cometssaywhoosh2 karma

Any memorable/funny moments you've had while on the job?

TodFennell3 karma

We usually have a blast, but figuring out that we could use the shotguns as baseball bats as Rikers in The Division was pretty fun!

floog2 karma

I'm guessing you do not get Brad Pitt money, but do you make pretty good money doing this? I have no clue about voice over work, and since you do voice over work plus on screen, does that pay substantially more than just voice over workers? Just curious if the acting jobs in video games get the respect they deserve from the number monkeys (i would hope so since video games are big business, especially if you land in a big franchise). Oooh, follow up - does a big franchise pay way more than a little known one or is is more of a flat rate they run off of?

TodFennell4 karma

Without getting into the specifics, the daily rate for voice only in games is very fair and I have zero complaints. In the U.S. under SAG, it’s possible to get paid differently depending on how many copies of the game are sold.

floog2 karma

Thanks, I was not looking for specifics on pay. Does it pay considerably more if you are doing the screen work as well? Also, I guess I didn't think about needing your SAG card for games.

TodFennell3 karma

You actually do get paid more if you’re doing motion, facial and voice all at once as opposed to recording voice only.

c4ntth1nkofausername2 karma

What are your most famous roles? What are your favourite roles?

TodFennell2 karma

My most famous roles I guess were Mason Weems in AC 3 and Beam in Far Cry New Dawn, also some of my favorite.

Here’s a link to my IMDb for a full list of characters and roles I’ve played. Some of my favorite roles were on screen as well, working with Morgan Freeman, James Brolin and others.

GotMoFans2 karma

Do video game voice actors get a flat fee for their performance, or are you able to make royalties based on the sales of the game like film and TV actors?

TodFennell2 karma

We get a flat fee, but as with all projects, agents can negotiate on an actors behalf. I believe in the US, SAG has a 3 tiered flat rate payment system depending on how well the game does.

wf4l1922 karma

Have you or anyone you’ve known ever needed voice therapy, had nodules, etc? Overall how is vocal hygiene education and practice among voice over actors?

TodFennell4 karma

We support each other pretty well and share ressources but the studios and the unions have rules in place to protect our voices. The hours aren’t too long and we don’t do too much screaming for extended periods of time.

zeealex2 karma

Who did you voice in Ghost Recon?

Did you ever meet Jeanie Elias?

TodFennell4 karma

I voiced the rifleman who gets knocked out by the MC and chewed out by Blake behind the security camera desk as well as motion capture for a few soldiers.

Unfortunately, I didn't get the opportunity to work with her.