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IGPX English Recording Report

Hi, all IGPX fans (or not)! We've wrapped up the English voice recordings of IGPX. Sad but we must go on. I'm sure that all of you are extremely curious about what it's like to do voice-overs for an anime. Well, it's fun but also a lot of work especially with the beautiful cast members we got for this show. Here's a funny journal written by Eric P. Sherman, the president and ADR director of Bang Zoom! Studios that explains all of that and much more! Enjoy!

We're just about wrapped up with IGPX. It's been an incredible journey. I still remember the day that the Producers from Cartoon Network, Sean Akins and Jason DeMarco came to the studio, along with Maki Terashima-Furuta from Production I.G vividly. We met with our casting director and talked about some ideas. Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants), Mark Hamill (Yes, Luke Skywalker!!!), Lance Henricksen for Andrei, Hynden Walch (Starfire on TEEN TITANS), Michelle Rodriguez for Liz, and Haley Joel Osment to play Takeshi.

This was just a "wish list." Ideas to toss out there, and see where we should go from there. I don't think anyone in the room expected to actually end up really casting all of them in the show. And yet, it happened - just like that.

Now that we've all been working together for over a year, they've become part of the Bang Zoom! Studio "family." All those recording sessions, lunches, life changes and fart jokes... How can you not bond?

One of the cast members was accepted into NYU and will start there this fall. Another cast member started their jail sentence (yes, I'm serious!). Another cast-member has a pottery studio nearby and brought us all hand made coffee mugs, bowls, ceramic tiles, etc. Another gave us a sneak peek at his new show he wrote, produced and stared in - the new PLASTIC MAN for Warner Brothers. It's been a great experience working with this case.

[Haley Joel Osment with Director Eric Sherman]

The entire cast was a dream-come-true for all of us. Some of my favorite actors were also cast in various roles. Kari Wahlgren (Satomi AND Luca), Kirk Thornton (Mark), Julie Maddelena (Jessie), Steve Blum (Cunningham), Dave Wittenberg (Jan), Lex Lang (Dew), Steve Staley (River) and the list goes on and on and on.

[Kirk Thornton as Mark]

These last weeks of our final recording sessions have been sweetly sad. It's been great working with everyone, and we have had some laughs and some very intense moments. But it's been hard to say goodbye. In fact, we've locked one of the above-mentioned actors in the supply room here at the studio just because we all wanted to keep them around a little bit longer.

[We had lots of laughs and intense moments, except for Jason... who looks bored???]

The second season of IGPX went by quickly. The scripts were greatly improved over season one, in my opinion, and the drama that unfolded allowed for some great character development and really good performances. Perhaps more than any other, I would have to say that Luca the cybernetically-enhanced kitty cat had the most significant character arc. Well, maybe not. It would probably be Andrei - whose life spiraled out of control after his career as a pilot reached a pinnacle and then he crashed and burned. Substance-abuse and selfish behavior caused him to lose everything that was important to him. And it was only after he hit rock bottom, lost his wife and child, and nearly died that he was able to slowly pull himself out of the ashes. Being the coach for Team Satomi was as good for him as it was for the team, and at the end of the show, we see that his wife and daughter have returned to his life, as well. What other kid's cartoon do you know that has this kind of drama in it?

[Lance Henriksen as Andrei]

Working with the cast was a real dream even when certain cast members forgot sessions (you know who you were!) or farted up the booth really badly. In fact, it's those memories that bring a smile to my face now as I write this. Tom Kenny came in and finished episode 26 just the other day. No more screaming line after line after line for Benjaman Bright, the Race Announcer on way too many cups of coffee. I don't think Benjaman says a single line without screaming it. He probably goes home and his wife asks him how his day went and he says "FINE HONEY! IT WAS FANTASTIC! AND... WHERE'S DINNER?!?!!! I'M DYING OF HUNGER! IT'S AMAZING JUST HOW HUNGRY I REALLY AMMMMMMM!!!!!!!" In fact, Tom would come out of the booth and he'd still be screaming. And the really funny thing is that normally he's a very quiet, shy man. One might even call him recalcitrant. Doesn't talk much. Keeps to himself. OK, anyone who knows him knows that I'm full of !@#$ right now. Tom's one of the funniest guys in the business. In fact, he kind of reminds me of Charlie Chaplin - he'll do anything to make you laugh. Even if he has to tickle you.

[Tom Kenny and Maki Terashima-Furuta]

Kari does Luca and Satomi. She loves both of the characters, but probably Luca the most. That's because we turn on the Munchkin-eseque special Cybernetic Luca voice filter as we record, and she loves to say all kinds of silly things, including the "Lollipop Kids" song. I know we'll miss recording these characters. But my heart is filled with joy when I realize that Kari will be back in the studio next week working on another anime show we're doing. The joy is short-lived, however, when I realize that I'm not directing the other show. And I won't get to hear her rendition of the "Lollipop Kids" any more with the Cybernetic Luca filter.

[Kari as Satomi and Luca and very happy about something!]

In all seriousness, mostly, I'm going to miss working with the Producers of the show, Maki included. Sean and Jason from CN were phenomenal. It was their dedication and perseverance that got the show made, got it on the air, got the killer cast, and ultimately kept it on track and at a high level of quality for the entire run. Working with them was what really made this show great, and there's going to be a big dark empty spot in my stomach when we turn in the last episode. Either that or my ulcer is coming back. I'm not sure which, yet. I'll have to let you know after I get the tests results back from the doctor. If it is an ulcer, I'm sure it's got to be Maki's fault.

[Candid photo of the staff and cast, left to right: Jason DeMarco, Kirk Thornton,
Maki Terashima-Furuta and Eric (Herman) Sherman]

by Eric P. Sherman
ADR director of Bang Zoom! Studios