Voice Actor Needed! - DR. ELI VANCE

Crowbar Collective is looking for a NEW voice for Dr. Eli Vance!

We are looking for an actor that can impersonate Robert Guillaume, the voice of Dr. Eli Vance in Half-Life 2 and Episode 1 & 2.

The ideal applicant will provide dry recordings from a dead room. I know that sounds gross, so let me clarify.

A dry recording is a recording with no added effects. We are more interested in your performance than your audio mixing skills.
A dead room is a quiet, echo-free recording space. No reverb, street sounds, roommates, hisses or hums in the background.

We’re also looking for somebody with access to quality recording equipment, and the ability to record while on Skype for voice direction.

We hope this opportunity will bring in a lot of talented actors, so please understand that we will not be able to respond to every application. We’ll let you know when we want to hear more.

We’d also like to know which voice the community prefers.
Once you’re done, feel free to share the audition with your fellow interwebbers!
#blackmesavoice #neweli #crowbarcollective

If you don’t think you have the pipes/gear for the job, then please help point any qualified voice actors towards this jobs posting.

Email jobs@blackmesasource.com with an outline of the equipment you used during recording, your availability, the files/links of your Black Mesa recordings, and, if available, files/links for any past voice acting work.


Paging Dr. Xalener.

Been waiting for something like this - found what I’d consider the perfect candidate.


From 0:00 to 1:00, he voices Eli’s character model in this machinima series. IMO he sounds exactly like a young Eli Vance. Not sure what the voice actor’s name is but I’m sure a little detective work can get it.

EDIT: Found him, name’s Ricky Grove. Not sure if you’re willing to spend money on professionals, but sounds like he knows his stuff. https://vimeo.com/11180970

I think somewhere between the Black Mesa voice and the HL2 voice would be perfect.

The Black Mesa voice wasn’t bad, but it sounded too… clean? He needed a slightly more raspy voice I think.

Doesn’t sound much like Eli, honestly. I know you said “a young Eli”, but still… don’t see it. Voice doesn’t change that much with age. And he should be more booming as a young man, not more reserved and quiet.

Honestly, the Black Mesa voice sounded like the impersonation it was. It sounded weak and pale instead of booming, missing a lot of Eli’s personality. And let’s consider that the Eli in HL2 has lived through his wife’s death and a societal apocalypse in which he constantly worries for her daughter and the fate of humanity. Yet, he has a cool, smooth, affable personality; so during the time-frame of Black Mesa he should be more confident, more energetic and more vibrant, not less so.

Robert Guillaume’s voicework as Eli has a cool, smooth, slick and spirited quality to it. Something you’d hear in a Blues song, something with a larger presence and authority. Unfortunately, the voice actor in the mod didn’t manage to emulate that (which would be very tricky, I’m not blaming anyone.) The voice itself was pretty well done, but the tone was not: it sounded too much like a boring (and bored) old guy for a character such as Eli.

Compare his introduction dialogue in HL2 to the one in the mod. It’s not even the words, it’s the tone of the voice. In contrast, his “Morning, Izzy” sounds almost feeble, and his “Gordon, good morning. I’m glad you’re here” sound like a confused old man speaking. Which is weird, considering he is younger here; yet the Eli we meet in HL2 has a much more self-assured, suave voice that exudes cleverness and a booming presence, even after everything goes to shit throughout the game and the episodes. As I said earlier, a pre-disaster Eli Vance should be happier, sharper, livelier, certainly more confident and less worried than his future self, instead of being sadder, more confused, quieter, more uncertain and more troubled.

While the voice is similar, the overall voicework is not. The words I would use for the Black Mesa Eli are weak, confused, bored, sluggish, troubled, inattentive. Guillaume’s Eli is sharp, resonant, strong, yet also cool and collected, and smooth.

I think some people may be overestimating how much the voice changes with aging. And I believe it actually softens up a bit the older we get, not in reverse, so I would imagine a younger Eli to have a bit stronger voice than in HL2. Also choreography-wise, it should be taken into consideration that the one in HL2 is “my wife died and the world went to hell, it’s all my fault” Eli, so his younger self should sound less depressed and more confident, but that’s just me.

maybe this is some reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS1rYvbUiUY
an old interview with Robert Guillaume. Seeing newer interviews it is clear that his voice aged allot.

Voice acting tends to be done towards the end of development. Commence speculation.

Just Kidding.

It’s great to see you guys are willing to rerecord lines and respond to the feedback. [COLOR=‘Black’]even if the old voice was perfectly fine
I agree that a cross between BM and HL2’s would best fit.

it’s not like you can photoshop two voices together

I’ll give it a shot. I doubt I’ll get closer than Kevin, but why not try?

Yes, we’d need some kind of… voiceshop.

Folks, please don’t get bogged down trying to theorize what a young Eli would sound like. We’d rather hear a performance closer to Robert Guillame’s than anything.

If you can nail that, we can tweak how young or old it needs to sound once we get down to business.

Exactly. Sometimes you have to make something inaccurate to make it look authentic. Yes, Robert Guillaume sounded different as a younger man in that video —but to try to emulate that instead of the Eli we know would be… “pedantic” may be the word? As in, it’s technically correct, but it’s wrong in every other sense. I agree it’d be great to make him sound a bit younger and livelier, but it should still be closer to the HL2 performance, because that’s what people know.

Those are just my two cents, anyway.

Here is a perfect example of a young robert guillume. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tq5_L9lBhY

penultimate example https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3534549/responses/eli_eeeugh.wav

That guy sounds so much like Breen it’s not even funny. If they ever need to bring the character back, I could see that guy being an ok replacement.

Edit: Oh damn dp

Breen? Really? Maybe my ears are broken, but that sounds nothing like Breen.

Is no one getting an Eli vibe here? Weird - I get it’s not a 1:1 match but to me he somehow nails some of Eli’s vocal tones and mannerisms. Plus it’s meant to be a younger Eli so it can be a higher, cleaner sort of voice. And plus I’m assuming the voice actor wasn’t even personating Eli’s character since this isn’t a HL machinima. And also it’s just a damn sexy voice. But whatever.

Sorry, I too thought, “That sounds like Dr. Breen, not Eli.”

Me too.

For anyone that tried to email their submission and got a bounce back, please try again except use the correct email address of jobs@blackmesa[b]source[/b].com. The original post had the email address wrong. (twas my mistake actually - thankfully Hubi fixed it for us.)

I would highly recommend Max Gonzalez (GassyMexican).

He voiced Vance for a fan film titled “The Gravity Gun”.

Wait, what or who is crowbar collective?

I believe that’s what the BM Team is calling themselves now.

Founded in 2004, Leakfree.org became one of the first online communities dedicated to Valve’s Source engine development. It is more famously known for the formation of Black Mesa: Source under the 'Leakfree Modification Team' handle in September 2004.