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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
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Location: Finland
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:47 pm Reply with quote
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... If the choice is between taking a role in a show, or taking another extended shift at your day job, any actor would go for the role, even if it's not a good gig and they're treated badly. And they'll probably be grateful for the work, and stay quiet about anything bad that happened. After all, you never know where it might lead.

However it is also that silence that so easily keeps the shadier things going on hidden, something which we got a wake-up call of when the recent metoo movement blew up...
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John Thacker
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:08 pm Reply with quote
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Since anime is dubbed very quickly and cheaply, most of the companies producing them don't bother.


And more so, that a lot of anime releases operate on fairly thin overall profit (high marginal profit on individual sales compared to unit costs like printing a disc, but low sales volume means that fixed costs like voice acting have to be spread over a much smaller number of sales than things like video games or Hollywood animation), for a number of productions paying union rates (and all the associated ancillary costs from paperwork to contributions) would simply make having a dub unprofitable compared to being sub only. A few shows are pretty profitable from being big hits, but it's sometimes difficult to predict that ahead of time, and you have to have enough of those to pay for the unprofitable shows, especially since you generally want to commit to finishing even an unprofitable show in order to avoiding losing too much fan trust. Simuldubs make that even harder; no waiting for seeing what's a big hit fansubbed or streaming then deciding whether or not to dub.

An anime industry that paid union rates would almost certainly be one that dubbed fewer shows, just like an anime industry in Japan with higher wage rates would probably have fewer late-night informercial shows and more concentration on mainstream hits. It might be worth it (certainly in the case of Hollywood productions where there genuinely is a lot of profit), but there's always so many people desperate to break into the business, just like with any artistic or creative field, that imposing union rates exacerbates that situation of people spending most of their time unemployed with second jobs.
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Shar Aznabull



Joined: 12 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:35 pm Reply with quote
What I've always wondered is why hasn't, say, Steve Blum for example gotten into trouble (as far as we're aware) for openly talking about non-union roles? I mean Blum has no problem talking about his time working on Cowboy Bebop or Samurai Champloo despite those technically being credited to a "David Lucas" and "Daniel Andrews" respectively.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:38 pm Reply with quote
Shar Aznabull wrote:
What I've always wondered is why hasn't, say, Steve Blum for example gotten into trouble (as far as we're aware) for openly talking about non-union roles? I mean Blum has no problem talking about his time working on Cowboy Bebop or Samurai Champloo despite those technically being credited to a "David Lucas" and "Daniel Andrews" respectively.


I'd imagine that it's pretty much the equivalent to the statute of limitations that apply to normal laws, i.e. if it happened long ago enough, then there's nothing that can be done about it. Blum's original anime work happened so long ago at this point that the Union probably just doesn't care anymore, so he can talk about all he wants, especially since he doesn't work on anime anymore, unless it is a union dub.
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PurpleWarrior13



Joined: 05 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:12 pm Reply with quote
Some actors also have financial core (or fi-core) status, which allows them to work on both union and non-union projects without getting in trouble, though with fewer or no union benefits. It's not something you should probably shout about from the rooftops though.

I think anime dubs are somewhat more union friendly now, but I'm not 100% sure. There's fewer aliases being used, and more actors sticking with dubbing anime alongside other mediums.

4Kids was a unique situation, as far as I can tell. I've heard they paid their actors slightly better than union rates, but didn't actually have union contracts, probably because it would've meant paying the actors royalties since they were dubbing for broadcast TV (instead of cable, which apparently doesn't require royalties for dubbing, even with union contracts).
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Takkun4343



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:27 pm Reply with quote
All I really care to remember about this piece of anime dub lingo is that if it's non-union, you might as well kiss your chances of seeing Steve Blum or Crispin Freeman pop up goodbye.

(That said, David Lucas should really make a comeback.)
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johnnysasaki



Joined: 01 Jun 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:39 pm Reply with quote
PurpleWarrior13 wrote:
Some actors also have financial core (or fi-core) status, which allows them to work on both union and non-union projects without getting in trouble, though with fewer or no union benefits. It's not something you should probably shout about from the rooftops though.

I think anime dubs are somewhat more union friendly now, but I'm not 100% sure. There's fewer aliases being used, and more actors sticking with dubbing anime alongside other mediums.

4Kids was a unique situation, as far as I can tell. I've heard they paid their actors slightly better than union rates, but didn't actually have union contracts, probably because it would've meant paying the actors royalties since they were dubbing for broadcast TV (instead of cable, which apparently doesn't require royalties for dubbing, even with union contracts).


some actors are open about it.DC Douglas is fi-core,has worked in major AAA games(he got a fandom thanks to Resident Evil and Mass Effect)but also work in lots of non-union game dubs and has started showing in plenty of anime lately,he lists all of his works in his website and doesn't bother with aliases.
Some still do that to this day,though,like how the Taylor Henry you hear in some anime is actually Jamieson Price(his voice is so easy to recognize I'm amazed he hasn't gotten in trouble yet...)
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:54 am Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
Shar Aznabull wrote:
What I've always wondered is why hasn't, say, Steve Blum for example gotten into trouble (as far as we're aware) for openly talking about non-union roles? I mean Blum has no problem talking about his time working on Cowboy Bebop or Samurai Champloo despite those technically being credited to a "David Lucas" and "Daniel Andrews" respectively.


I'd imagine that it's pretty much the equivalent to the statute of limitations that apply to normal laws, i.e. if it happened long ago enough, then there's nothing that can be done about it. Blum's original anime work happened so long ago at this point that the Union probably just doesn't care anymore, so he can talk about all he wants, especially since he doesn't work on anime anymore, unless it is a union dub.
I'm glad you brought that, saves me having to go into details, why does Steve Blum not do some shows under a different name any more? I've never gotten the impression that he stopped doing Anime roles willingly, and he accepts the union roles he gets. The only reason I can think of is because of the working conditions and pay of these roles.
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#884745
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:50 am Reply with quote
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Actors are often asked to do uncomfortable things, like shout terrible things at other actors, or disrobe and simulate sex.


.... and simulate violence?

Why is sex uncomfortable, but not violence?

"Shouting at someone? You get a pass for being uncomfortable. Punching and stabbing someone? You don't love that? You'd rather kiss them? You'd rather give others pleasure than pain? What's wrong with you?"

I think there's really something wrong with people who are more comfortable with violence than sex, and I hate all the bias there is towards that.
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Dumas1



Joined: 20 Dec 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:23 am Reply with quote
Star Trek Online ran into those union rules a few years ago. I think Leonard Nimoy had provided some narration from the beginning, and maybe Michael Dorn on the Klingon side, but it was a non-union production and most voices were just whoever they could find. Then they started getting more TNG/DS9/Voyager actors to reprise their roles for a mission or two and had to go union. I only know about this through some half-remembered news and forum posts, but there was a definite shift with some questgivers getting new voices and them phasing out old cutscenes and missions.
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Sahmbahdeh



Joined: 05 May 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:16 pm Reply with quote
#884745 wrote:
Quote:
Actors are often asked to do uncomfortable things, like shout terrible things at other actors, or disrobe and simulate sex.


.... and simulate violence?

Why is sex uncomfortable, but not violence?

"Shouting at someone? You get a pass for being uncomfortable. Punching and stabbing someone? You don't love that? You'd rather kiss them? You'd rather give others pleasure than pain? What's wrong with you?"

I think there's really something wrong with people who are more comfortable with violence than sex, and I hate all the bias there is towards that.


He never said anything at all about violence. You're literally just bringing up a pet problem of yours and inserting it into a situation it was never a part of. Chill out.
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luisedgarf



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
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Location: Guadalajara, Mexico
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:27 pm Reply with quote
It has always surprised me that American voice actors, and in a way, all the actors in general of that country, are very segmented according to the type of work they do. This in comparison to other countries like Mexico, Spain, Japan, France, etc., where the actors of local series do not have any inconvenience in dubbing foreign productions and even they are famous for it. P.E. very well Japanese voice actors like Megumi Han, Tessho Genda, Hiroya Ishimaru, for some more visible examples, are known for being the regular voice actors of Chloe Moretz, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan respectively. The same goes in Mexico, when Mexican voice actors are celebrities by themselves just like in Japan, through not at the same sickening levels, at least not yet.

On the other hand, American voice actors, especially the one dubbing foreign stuff like anime, seems to had a hard time trying to diversify into other kind of roles in other genres, partly because of their complex union rules, not to mention facing some kind of discrimination from actors doing local productions.
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OjaruFan2



Joined: 09 Jul 2018
Posts: 160
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:28 pm Reply with quote
There's a tendency for non-union dubs to have all the voice actors uncredited (whether they're union or not). I understand why a union voice actor would be uncredited in a non-union dub, but why would a non-union voice actor be uncredited as well? Who in a dub production decides to have all the voice actors uncredited?

Some examples of dubs with uncredited voice actors:
- Puyo Puyo Tetris
- Shadowverse
- The Viz Media dub of Sailor Moon (apparently, correct me if I'm wrong about this; I haven't watched the dub, but I've heard about the uncredited voice actors situation through the "Now Which One Was That Voice?" trope on TV Tropes: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NowWhichOneWasThatVoice)
- Glitter Force
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Aresef



Joined: 22 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:49 am Reply with quote
MarshalBanana wrote:
Lord Geo wrote:
Shar Aznabull wrote:
What I've always wondered is why hasn't, say, Steve Blum for example gotten into trouble (as far as we're aware) for openly talking about non-union roles? I mean Blum has no problem talking about his time working on Cowboy Bebop or Samurai Champloo despite those technically being credited to a "David Lucas" and "Daniel Andrews" respectively.


I'd imagine that it's pretty much the equivalent to the statute of limitations that apply to normal laws, i.e. if it happened long ago enough, then there's nothing that can be done about it. Blum's original anime work happened so long ago at this point that the Union probably just doesn't care anymore, so he can talk about all he wants, especially since he doesn't work on anime anymore, unless it is a union dub.
I'm glad you brought that, saves me having to go into details, why does Steve Blum not do some shows under a different name any more? I've never gotten the impression that he stopped doing Anime roles willingly, and he accepts the union roles he gets. The only reason I can think of is because of the working conditions and pay of these roles.


Once he started booking commercials, he realized he could make a living on union work alone. And since most anime is non-union, there you go.
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 1109
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:19 am Reply with quote
I've wondered about the union/non issue with voice actors because some have such distinctive voices and some really don't have range so they always sound the same, it would seem pseudonyms would be pointless. Take Mr. Blum, I knew he was doing the Toonami mascot before he was even credited but if CN is not a "union shop", how would he avoid getting in trouble? And talk about anime vs. video game work, he has more citations for the latter than the former now!
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