Intention is powerful.
As we saw last month it really impacts in the world of commercial and corporate advertising on the macro scale: what we want the piece to achieve as a whole and on the micro scale: what each line contributes to the whole.
The same rings true for characters in animation, gaming and even commercial advertising.
One thing we add is the implication of state or circumstances that can radically alter intention.
Gaming and animation characters, and even those that appear in commercial advertising (such as the m&m’s characters) align closely with the principles of story telling. Every story has an arc. And each character has a part to play in the moment-to-moment development of that story from a to b to c.
So let’s imagine we have a character a bit like Nathan Drake from the Unchartered game series. He has just rescued Nikita from the museum and they need to make it across the bridge before they get caught but she is (understandably) terrified because the bridge is about to collapse
“Nikita, we need to go. If not now then never. I know your scared. I know it’s going to fall apart at any moment. But now is the moment. Let’s do it together.”
The intention is to get her over the bridge and stay alive. The individual intentions of each line will vary depending on the state and circumstances.
Let’s listen in...
All this goes to show how varied and versatile any line can be. Just as with our Green and Black’s chocolate lines last month, these character lines show that there are many ways to get to where we need to.
The job as always is to surprise the audience, draw them in and then convey the message that we want. This could be that Green and Black’s chocolate is delightful, or that “WE NEED TO GET ACROSS THIS BRIDGE NOW!”
For your next project is, what is the intention?
And how can we convey that to impact the audience in a deeper way?
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Paul Mclaughlin © Versatile Voiceovers