Soho Square Studios chosen for major new animated movie


Stella cast including Julie Walters and Charles Dance benefit from state-of-the-art facilities and central London location for voice recording sessions

Last Updated: November 21, 2011 8:05 pm GMT
(London--November 21, 2011) Leading audio post-production house Soho Square Studios has completed voice-recording work on the new 3D animated children’s movie "Justin And The Knights Of Valour".

A heart-warming adventure film about the determination of a child to achieve his dreams, the Kandor Graphics production was developed from an original idea by Manuel Sicilia, who is also directing.

The film’s stella international cast includes Freddie Highmore, Julie Walters, Mark Strong, Rupert Everett, Charles Dance, Saoirse Ronan and Alfred Molina.

Soho Square Studios’ role on Justin And The Knights Of Valour was to provide the luxurious state-of-the-art facilities for the actors’ individual performances and to oversee the recording of the dialogue.

Before each session, actors were briefed using work-in-progress moving storyboards (also known as Leica reels), a demo of the movie, fine detail brochures and some early animation work.

According to Soho Square Studios sound engineer James Doyle, the key to getting the recordings just the way the director wanted them was putting each line of dialogue into its correct context.

“Doing a voice record for an animated film is a very tough process because there is an extra element of acting involved,” says Doyle. “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.”

“For example, if a scene includes a waterfall or is set in a busy bar, you can’t talk at an ordinary level because, in the context of the story, you’d actually be shouting. This is where the skill of the director and the voice director comes in. We have to explain where the scene is taking place and what is happening at all times and guide the actors along by providing prompts and context.”

Soho Square’s Doyle says his role also involved monitoring the tone of delivery, the grammar and the language used and included an element of directing as the director’s first language in this case was Spanish.

“Manuel, the director, before each performance, would get the actors in, get them relaxed and show them the early promo for the film,” continues Doyle.

“This gave the actors a sense of the style of the film and got them in the mood. Manuel’s enthusiasm was fantastic. The actors fed off it. He talked with such passion about each of the characters in the story. It’s collaborative but it’s really about Manuel getting in the room with the actor. The actor could perform to him instead of just being isolated in a voice-over booth with people looking at him or her through the glass.”

For the recording, Soho Square Studios used two Neumann U87 microphones. One was set up normally while the other was placed about six inches back from the actor in order to capture the loud moments that might blow the levels on the main mic.

To aid the animation process, all performances were recorded on camera at Soho Square Studios in order to give the animators plenty of visual references for mouth movements and other character action.

Soho Square Studios also ensured that each of the actors was appropriately looked after throughout the recording process, a service that is made available to all recording and post-production clients.

On completion of the voice recording, audio masters were moved on to the animation company, Kandor Graphics, who will spend the next twelve months bringing Justin and his Knights to life.

Justin And The Knights Of Valour is written by Manuel Sicilia and Matthew Jacobs and is being produced by the Spanish animation studio Kandor Graphics.

UK sales agent Timeless Films is selling the film. It is due to be released worldwide in 2013.

About Soho Square Studios
Formed in 1990 by composers Alan Coates and Kim Goody, Soho Square Studios – formerly The Voice and Music Company – provides audio post-production and music composition/production services to television, film and commercials producers.

Located in Soho Square in the heart of London’s creative community, the independently owned company has a Dolby licensed 5.1 dubbing theatre, four stereo suites plus two edit stations and a music composition suite.

Its many credits include commercials for McDonalds (Leo Burnett) and Bathstore (M&C Saatchi), the TV shows How To Look Good Naked (Maverick Television), Sadie J (CBBC), Roary the Racing Car (Chapman Entertainment), Great Historic Sites (Pilot Film and TV) and What Went Wrong With The Olympics (BBC Radio 4/Tiger Aspect) and feature film work for international clients such as Disney Character Voices and Pixar.


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