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Bayonetta 3

Morgan

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It looks pretty cut and dry according to the union compensation sheet. Helena Taylor works under SAG-AFTRA, they have specific compensation rates, and according to those, Taylor would be way underpaid for this game now that we know that there's a Multiverse of Bayonettas, four at minimum. Four+ roles that one person, her, would have to voice and play as distinct characters if she'd taken the offer. She voiced Bayonetta in the first game in 4 four-hour sessions (16 hours total), no clue how much she was paid at the time, but it's right there in black and white. Do more voices, get more pay. Giving her a flat rate as if it's just one single character doesn't work anymore.

@Sparda's rejected son Okay...? I mean, I could feel for you, but we don't have the other side of the conversation you're talking about. You're describing it as "being attacked online" and for all we know, you might've sounded like an ignorant donkey about something you knew nothing about and possibly been inflammatory or dismissive, someone corrected you, and you're behaving like a victim about it in another forum. I'm not saying that's what you did, but you could've done it. Who knows? It's literally a "they-said-you-said" affair. Are you expecting people to believe you outright with only one half of the story?

Other than that,
Kamiya's Twitter account got suspended and then nuked from orbit off of Twitter, which is hilarious. His block list must've dwarfed a country's population or something.
:LOL:
 
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Sparda's rejected son

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That youtuber video seems to come across as "we don't know all the details."

@Morgan I said in other forums that "4,000 in my opinion is adequate." I then explained that voice acting is not hard work when compared to say working on a car (mechanic). I do amateur voice acting and I would take a gig for 4,000. That is a lot of money in one setting to earn.
I then was told I must work low paying jobs and that is why I would accept such low 4,000 pay. So yeah I didn't like that comment. Even if I declined the offer I wouldn't boycott a video game. It is a video game for heaven's sake.
 

berto

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I then explained that voice acting is not hard work
Aha. As someone who's been an 'actor' I can tell you that this is very much not the case. People think acting isn't hard because it doesn't look hard but very few people are actually naturally able to act without training and effort. It takes work, it takes learning technique and proper form. Movement, technique, projection, pronunciation, diction and a release of a lot of personal anxieties, all which require a lot of practice. You ever watch someone being interviewed on camera? How often do they say 'umm...' or stutter or maybe you are unable to hear them because their voice is so low. Ever listen to an actor on stage? The difference is obvious and it's far more work to get from one to the other than just doing it. Just because many can do it doesn't make it easy.

See, there is this morronic meme going around that says that pretty much makes the claim that Miss Taylor is some snob asking to be paid 4k for just 16 hours of work. The thread died but I literally wanted to respond by saying: are you under the actual and sincere impression that they go in, say something once and they're done? Well, no, you moron. They don't just use the first take and then thank you and goodbye. They have to do it over and over again till they get it right, take after take. And even if they do get it right in a professional setting you have to get as many takes as you can of the same line of dialogue since you want to minimalize the amount of times you have to bring the actor's back to rerecord lines. You are probably under the impression that voice acting goes like this:
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When in reality this is what goes into it:
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The only cases where the latter is true is in small projects where they can't afford to pay the actors for a second take. It's the difference between Megaman X4's English voice acting and Bayonetta's.

Never got a chance to, though.

Anyway, yeah, video game voice acting isn't the same but the amount of labor isn't diminished. I don't know if you've ever had to speak for prolonged periods of time but talking for hours is rigurious. No, it's not the same as being a waitress or an auto repairman, but that's rather irrelevant, like comparing those to being an Alaskan fisherman or a soldier in the middle of a firefight. They are different challenges for different professions and just as she probably couldn't fix a car, the mechanic probably can't act to save his life, either.

Edit:
I’m going to be honest, when I saw that the game was going up the sales charts I wondered if this was all a publicity stunt. For one, there are a couple of scenes in the trailers where people swear they heard Helena Taylor’s voice, which I thought I heard too. Second, this has gone well out of control and the game is making record numbers:
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It’s just a thought but it does seem like this whole ordeal has actually been the best thing that could happen to the game.
 
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Morgan

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That youtuber video seems to come across as "we don't know all the details."

@Morgan I said in other forums that "4,000 in my opinion is adequate." I then explained that voice acting is not hard work when compared to say working on a car (mechanic). I do amateur voice acting and I would take a gig for 4,000. That is a lot of money in one setting to earn.
I then was told I must work low paying jobs and that is why I would accept such low 4,000 pay. So yeah I didn't like that comment. Even if I declined the offer I wouldn't boycott a video game. It is a video game for heaven's sake.
Yeah, that would do it. You gave an opinion from an amateur viewpoint because something didn't "look" hard to you, when the more likely truth is that you weren't held to a professional standard for the work you did and/or got used for cheap and thought that applied everywhere, when it doesn't.

Naturally, people don't take well to something like that because it's the same as some DeviantArt hobbyist who charges $45 per commission for Sonic the Hedgehog OCs trying to say that the background illustrators at Studio Ghibli are entitled and overpaid because "they're only doing scenery, it's not even animated"-- or a street busker playing guitar for chump change saying the New York Philharmonic Orchestra is overpaid because "I do the same thing and I'm fine with what I get". That's a You problem. The artists at Studio Ghibli and performers at the Philharmonic do what they do at a different level of proficiency and specialization than the average hobby artist or busker. They've trained themselves to that level for years, sometimes for longer time than the audience enjoying their work has even been alive. They're likely to have their work exposed to a wider audience or shown in more prestigious venues. The busker or hobby artist simply hasn't and doesn't.

If those people who allegedly dogpiled and attacked you broke forum rules, then report them. There's nothing we can do about it here.

@berto : In addition to all that you said, if someone came in with a take that Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill only deserve $4K for voicing Batman and the Joker, or that what they do isn't hard work, that person would get laughed out of anywhere and for good reason. There's a very real risk of injury from vocal stress from this type of work. As you said, it's not a matter of saying a line and leaving. It's a manner of doing it without hurting yourself in the process. Not to mention the unpaid work going into auditions and etc.

Related 2: Japan generally (disclaimer) treats voice acting very seriously. Iconic actors have 30+ year careers (Masako Nozawa, etc.) and sometimes the role is so iconic that in the worst-case scenario if the VO passes away, their character could be retired for good. It depends on the studio, work, or the importance of the role. Closest English example I can think of is, since you mentioned the Simpsons, Marcia Wallace passing away in 2013 and her character Edna Krabbapel was retired from the show/killed off and wasn't voiced again outside of archived recordings of her original actress.

Re: "small projects where they can't afford to pay the actors for a second take" ... does it count if the studio is cheap or going bankrupt? Because there was definitely that whole thing with ADV Films shutting down due to financial issues as they were dubbing for the DMC Anime (Funimation picked up the slack), hence Reuben seems deathly bored every other sentence and the anime in general sounds like dogwater in a trash can.

Second comparison, check out Dragonball Xenoverse to Dragonball everything else. Sean Schemmel's voiced Goku since the late 90s (early 2000s?) and isn't remotely inexperienced with the role or VO work in general.

There's this video that shows what Battle of Gods looked like in the booth.

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To compare, the studio being cheap with the voice direction in Xenoverse resulted in him saying this line to the player's character:

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"Thanks for helping, Pan". We can see he's not talking to Pan, so the line is supposed to be "Thanks for helping Pan", talking to the player's character and thanking them for assisting Pan. Either bad voice direction or someone made a grammatical error in the script, but that mistake changed the delivery and thus the entire sentence, which makes it bad bad.

This Battle of Gods featurette shows what good voice direction is supposed to do:

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Also also: again, since you pulled up the Simpsons: the voice cast to keep the show going. They were being paid $400,000 per episode since 2008 and agreed to work for $360,000 per episode instead, while the Fox executives wanted to cut their pay down 45% to just $250,000 per episode. Each episode is less than a half hour long and each season is no fewer than 20 episodes except the first season, which is only 13 episodes. When they first started out in 1989 in that first season, they were making $30,000 per episode. Someone like Hank Azaria (formerly Apu, but still Moe Szyslak, Snake Jailbird, Chief Wiggum, etc.) is still netting 300K per episode. Most of the cast voices more than one single character. So, I mean, it's clearly not impossible to give an artist a living wage. Work is work.

Re: the chances are that this Bayonetta issue is a publicity stunt: ehhhhh, I don't know. She was hinting at being replaced since September 2021 and only recently broke NDA. This is a serious allegation to put forward just for the sake of promoting a video game. She could just promote it normally or leave that to the marketing team instead of doing all of this. Platinum would have to seriously bank on the bad PR from Babylon's Fall not following them around somehow.

Other factors to consider: Jennifer Hale is talented and could be doing a great Hellena Taylor impression herself, the way Matt Mercer does Troy Baker impressions and straight up replaced Baker in roles he can't reprise for whatever reason. Also, some people could be getting the game out of spite, or to check what the big deal is, or are total newbies who really love Hale more than they like Taylor.
 

berto

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Ok, here's my take on all of this since I've basically been dancing around it for this whole time.

So, I trained as an animator and part of my training was to take both acting classes and voice acting. Acting is a huge part of being an animator but the voice acting was so that we would understand who we would be working with. I don't have as big an insight into this as many others do since I never got to work on anything directly involving voice actors, I've just chatted with a few in my time. With that being said I still have a few thoughts not many others seem to grasp and some that many won't ever bother with since this whole ordeal has been one big reaction.

My first question at all of this would be, baring in mind that she probably did this in 2008 so inflation has to be considered, how much was she paid for her work in 1 & 2? Ideally, I would presume that pay would increase with every game. B2 is notably shorter than 1 but had more story. Not only that but she did play two characters. Granted, Rosa had very little dialogue compared to Bayo. Anyway. My point for this being that if she did get paid more than 4k back in 2008 then of course it'd be rather insulting to do so now.

Adding to this, think about all the people who say that this is, in fact, an insultingly low amount. Those who do are people who have either worked with voice actors or have an understanding of how the world of professional voice acting works do to whatever experience. The people from ClowfishTV, the video I posted earlier, for example, talked about how they had to paid 2K to a voice actor for a two minutes of dialogue. The people who accuse her of being greedy know nothing and try to pass it off as either 'well, I don't get paid that much' or don't understand how people in whatever professions earn a certain standard. Pardon another example but it's like saying that that high end lawyer you hired to bail you out doesn't deserve that 100k and hour because all he does is argue when your mother could argue all day, too. It's equally dismissive and shows a degree of forceful and reactionary ignorance enforced by an over bloated ego where you think your opinion of how the world should work really matters.
@Sparda's rejected son This isn't directed at you. I feel I should mention that. This is from reading posts on 4chan and watching a few pointless videos on YouTube that I thought might have insightful takes but, rather, once again, proving that people are dumb. In your case I think it's equally unwarranted to show malice at someone who isn't acting out of malice, even if you find their opinion to be misinformed. You can just as easily explain yet, as we are seeing, everyone would rather react than talk.

This actually isn't the first time there's been such a huge controversy involving voice actors. This happened when SH2 & 3 had their HD ports announced. The people who did the voice acting for those games were not professionals. In fact, the man who played James was actually a lawyer. Back then, Konami had basically screwed the cast, which was common for Konami. Usually an actor receives a portion of the profits from any sale of their work, including re-releases, this is known as royalties, but Konami never paid them for any of the subsequent ports of those games. In this case, it was not illegal but highly unscrupulous, which, again, was Konami's modus operandi. PS: If I'm not mistaken, on top of only being offered 4K Taylor would also not receive any royalties from her potential work in this game.

This leads me to another point. There's also the argument that she is an actress and nothing more. That she is replicable and thinking that she isn't was foolish and arrogant on her part, thinking she was special. We've been over this ourselves. When the actors for DmC were selected the cast of DMC mentioned a few times that they are not the owners of the characters, that they are simply borrowing them. Well, easy to say that when they are rebooting the whole thing but not so much in a situation like this. I've made no secret that I will always hold Drew Coombs as the one and only but for now let's put that aside. Let's say for the sake of argument that Reuben Langdon had been replaced in DMC5. As it is, his replacement in DmC caused quite the uproar but imagine adding yet another different voice to Dante when Langdon is perfectly able and willing and the fans want him there. That's just the replacement, imagine adding insult to injury by having him not asked to leave but rather offering him something so low there'd be no point in accepting.

Again, this is something Konami did with Silent Hill as a series. Their attitude was that team Silent were all just employees and replicable. That anyone else being contracted were able to do the same work and produce the same level of quality. After all, one artist or director is as good as any other. Yeah, Hale is doing a fine job replacing Taylor but that's because the foundation is already there. Had she been the one to build the character from the ground up the product would've undoubtedly ended up being very different.

I do have to mention that Taylor did talk about her time recording the games, that she did spend 16 hours on each game, which is where that perception came from. What people don't realize is that actors have to work on their characters outside of the booth, too. Taylor said that she did 3 takes for each line. Well, the reason she managed to do that is because her and the cast had the scripts and practiced on their own, probably with a voice recorder. People keep trying to condescend and brush it off as just some lazy person (though they use less polite words) trying to milk more money. Listen to any voice actor talk about the process of creating a character and you'll see that this is far from true. If you see someone trying to be dismissive or diminishing the work of others then you're better off walking away from them. They got their heads up their own asses and are not interested in the truth nor can you converse with them with facts that their opinions are not the reality of the world. They just want to be a'holes about something or have spend too much time being condescending online to contribute anything real. Yeah, they can make memes but what intrinsic value do they really have?

Everyone seems to want to place blame on one person or entity. Nintendo, P+, Kamiya, Taylor. I don't think it's as simple as that. I think that this might be a behavioural problem. A problem with how Nintendo operates. A problem with P+'s lack of autonomy. A problem with the industry. A lot of people have mentioned that this is actually symptomatic of a larger problem with game development in general. It goes back even to the PS2 era when Samuel Jackson got paid millions for voicing a character for one game while one of its leading and most experienced personalities got paid a fraction of that for not being famous enough outside of games. Personally, I don't know who to blame nor do I think I have the right to blame anyone since, like the rest of the internet, I don't know what, why nor how. I do, however, have an opinion. Of course I do. I'm a fan of both Bayo and P+. I think this is wrong. It is disappointing and disheartening. Not only does it show how people have reacted, how the companies have behaved but, on a fanboy level, it's broken something within a game I love and a group of people I admired. Actually, I've always held that one thing Bayonetta had over DMC is that the lead had the same voice and the same face in every game since they keep changing Dante around so much. Can't really boast about that anymore.

For the record, I am still getting the game. As much as I side with Helena Taylor on this I don't believe boycotting the game is the right response. For one, there are others involved in this and, essentially, punishing them all for this seems like a disproportionate reaction and not a solution. This is also something I've expected for years so as selfish as it is and as much as I understand how this has embitter the whole thing for her, and I would probably be just as bitter for it, I'm too invested on it to pass it by.

Anyway, I think I'm done with all of this. I don't like all this sensationalism and I also don't know what the truth is so I am tapping out. I feel like, as well intentioned as I might be trying to be it's just adding gas to a fire that's become a battle of opinions and most are not good enough to pay attention to. I'm going to ignore all this and judge the game on its own merit. If it all turns out to be a publicity stunt, so much the better, but till this ends I'm not going to bother. No matter what I do someone else has already taken it to an extreme by now.


Edit:
Here's another video that brings up some good points.
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BrawlMan

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There's a lot of "he says, she says, they say" bull crap going on right now. I am just going to get the game and enjoy it isolated from the drama. Right now, everyone is giving people only half-truths and not the whole thing. If they can't be straight with anyone, the industry can once again screw off.

 
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Morgan

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People are just flipping sides based on who said something the loudest and the most recently regardless of actual documentation now, so bowing out of the drama portion of it is the best course of action. A nonzero number of people are letting the he-said-she-said distract from the fact that an honest day's work deserves an honest day's pay, and the industry needs to be more transparent with how things get done.



The SAG-AFTRA went to bat for VOs over a combination of reasons just years ago, and the contract they entered is due to expire November of this year. They fought hard to negotiate on the residuals and that led to almost a whole year of no work for the VOs in the union until they settled on a bonus based on the number of sessions per job. There's still an ongoing conversation on whether voice actors deserve residuals for the work they do. I'd say across the board, those who worked to actually make the game a game should be compensated, whether VO artist or dev, especially since games are already being monetized in every conceivable direction on top of the $60/$70+ up front price tag. The conversation on that subject inevitably shifts to "VOs shouldn't get residuals because the developer working on the game doesn't".



Never mind that that's like saying "coming up with a cure for cancer in the future would be disrespectful to the people in the present or past who've either survived without it or died," that logic ignores that both groups have risks in their line of employment which are no more or less important than the other. VO work has fewer continuous hours for a reason (strain/injury, etc) and the "gigs" have to be supplemented by sheer numbers or work in other areas, hence TV animation VO work, radio, or food commercials. Even those roles offer residuals! It doesn't matter if the actor was 5 years old or 50, whether they were on screen the whole time or a two-bit extra who said one line or three or they got cut entirely. Authors and musicians also don't only get paid for the initial labor of writing the book or coming up with the song, and get royalties based on the continued success and sale of the product— unless Disney is responsible for it and you're Alan Dean Foster or something.



Developers in comparison have stable jobs with benefits (health insurance, etc) and are paid continuously for their work, and in bigger, more solvent studios, they're put on the next project after the other one finishes. There's no denying that some devs absolutely have crunched their nuts off and gone to the hospital from the long hours they put in and that some studios haven't caught flak for exactly that (hello, CDPR and Naughty Dog!), but videogame developers don't have a union and either aren't able or willing to fight for one, whether it's because they bought into the anti-union corporate hype or not. If VOs got residuals first, that should be more incentive for developers to unionize, not less.



Overall, pitting both sides against each other only benefits the executives and shareholders who usually have no clue whatsoever what goes into making the game and simply funnel money and want their line to go up every quarter. I sincerely doubt the exec at Chase/JP Morgan/[Insert Multinational corp here] is solely relying on Square Enix or P* dropping another JRPG for them to live and haven't already diversified their profits of their exec salary into other venues that also make them money.
 
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Sparda's rejected son

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Well it seems info has come out and Miss OG bayo's claim of 4,000 flat rate may not be true. It seems like it was 4,000 per session. So that is what? 16,000 right there. That is more than enough and she seems to have wanted more.
I stick to my original claim: 4,000 flat rate is adequate (which doesn't seem to be the case here) and DB voice actors are a bit of a special case what with their constant screaming, so yes voice acting is not that hard and should not require that much money. I understand you guys/girls disagree and that is okay. Honestly I just wanted to know what Berto considers low responsibility positions. That is the only thing I wanted to know because my mind is set on the Bayo situation.

(Also If I come off as an jerk I am sorry. If you guys judged my work and honestly thought it was sub par I would agree with you and try to improve somehow. Just because I put little stock in voice acting doesn't mean I don't understand proper form is key to maintaining your vocals. I guess I still come off as an @ss regardless huh? Hmm)
 

berto

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I honestly think that the truth is going to lie somewhere in the middle but, I swear to god, if this turns out to be some kind of miscommunication I'm going to be very upset.

Anyway, as I said, I'm tapping out of this whole ordeal but I guess I can respond one last time to it.
voice acting is not that hard and should not require that much money
I've met and talked to a few voice actors in my time. Just as people like to claim that modeling isn't hard and they shouldn't get that much money, I assure you, it is. There is no such thing as an easy job. It there was everyone would do it for a living. Take it from someone who's done voice work, even if it was just for school and personal projects.

Honestly I just wanted to know what Berto considers low responsibility positions.
I'm not sure why that matters but if must know. I suppose the best way to describe it is in a corporate matter. Those with the least responsibility tend to be the ones with the least pull. The further you go up them more impact your decisions have on those beneath you. Those on top, those who you cannot disobey are the ones with the most to power and responsibility. People often forget that P+ doesn't own their IPs. Sega and Nintendo do, for the most part. As much as they can argue for or against a mandate the owners are ultimately the ones who dictated and approve. If something is done that you cannot change then you're only responsible as far as your power to act is. I don't know that I'd go as far as saying that anyone is blameless, that would be relieving everyone of all responsibility and accountability, but one is looking for blame it should be done so fairly.

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