The real silent Hill Experience




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Дата канвертавання26.04.2016
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ROSSETER

All Guy wanted was for Konami to respect his rights and take responsibility for what they did. And the usual way to do that in the entertainment industry is either to get permission or pay out. Guy didn't decide to re-record the voices, Konami did. And this quote from Tomm Hulett makes it sounds like they made that decision long before Guy Cihi ever said anything:


"The original voices were recorded in stereo. While you can fake 5.1 with the stereo assets, it won't sound right. Since we were going for a full HD/surround presentation, we wanted the highest quality voices as possible. Thusly, we recast the games."

- Tomm Hulett


DERFUZHWAR

But if you keep reading, you'll see that they also wanted to include the originals:


"We of course also wanted an option for original voices, so we began to explore this as well."

- Tomm Hulett


ROSSETER

He says that now, but this quote is from January 22nd of this year, long after the situation had been resolved with the actors. And it contradicts the reasons Guy Cihi, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, and Troy Baker were stating before that resolution. Everyone (and I mean everyone) was citing legal reasons for the change before the legal dispute was resolved.


DERFUZHWAR

Even if Tomm's explanation was nowhere to be found before that, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn and Troy Baker said Guy's wrong about Konami owing him anything! So it doesn't even matter!


FUNGO

Who said he was wrong about what?


ROSSETER

Well Fungo, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn is the person they selected to do the new voice direction. She was chosen because of both her previous involvement with Akira Yamaoka and her experience with re-dubbing anime and video games, such as the following. All the experience in the world does not excuse her fundamental misunderstanding of the original voice direction.


FUNGO

She's also the new voice of Mary and Marie.


DERFUZHWAR

The character's name is Maria. Why don't you guys try getting something right for once.


"I was cast as Mary and Marie..."

- Mary Elizabeth McGlynn


ROSSETER

And Troy Baker is the new voice actor for everything in the world. But in this case, he's the new voice for James Sunderland.


"It's a non-union buy-out situation. Even if, in the game world, if it's a union game, it's a buy-out situation. Unless it's promotions and everything else, it's buy-out. You get one fee, no royalties, no residuals, nothing. That's it."

- Mary Elizabeth McGlynn


"... the fact that he's talking about residuals being in videogames shows you just how out of the loop he is because residuals don't happen. They don't exist ... So it's not that Konami wasn't willing to pay them, he wanted residuals, he wanted non-existent money that he felt that he was owed. So Konami has no fault in this whatsoever. And they wanted to use him again. Guy was the one who was outspoken about it and said that unless this happens he wouldn't do it, so he forced Konami's hands. So if anybody wants to blame anybody for why they chose new voices, they can go back to the original James and he's the one to blame."

- Troy Baker


FUNGO

Oh really? No royalties in the video game industry? Non-existent money he felt he was owed? Or is it that Guy Cihi is the only voice actor that ever worked that actually knows his rights and what they are? Is that a reason to blame him?


ROSSETER

Konami's decision to re-record the voices for Silent Hill 2 and 3 started long before any of this surfaced during the original production. Konami had no written contracts with any of the actors on any of the games. In issues of copyright and intellectual property ownership, rights belong to the artist or performer unless otherwise stated in the form of a contract. Non-union buy-out situations have nothing to do with it unless there's a contract that specifies those terms.


"Amazing as it may seem, neither I nor to my knowledge any of the other voice actors involved in the creation of Silent Hill 2 received written agreements for our work ... I was told that I would receive a written contract but I never did. I invite anyone claiming the existence of a contract to produce a copy of it."

- Guy Cihi


"One thing I will say about the release, is that for most if not all of us in SH3, this is the first time we've signed anything ever regarding our voice work."

- Clifford Rippel


"Well... yes they contacted me within the last year asking for a waiver release for any and all future releases of the game. No there were no contracts at the time."

- Monica Taylor Horgan


ROSSETER

When Konami made the decision to re-release the games, they asked the actors to sign their performances away retroactively, thus clearing themselves from any compensation they might have owed for past releases. The fact that they did this means that they had no right to use the performances in the first place, and that Guy was justified in whatever compensation he claimed. Otherwise, they would have just used what they had.


FUNGO

Of course Guy Cihi refused to sign! They went to him saying, "Hey, we used your performance twice without your permission. Will you sign this contract stating that it's okay that we just did that?"


"So, Konami approached him, and they didn't have to, and they said, 'We just want to make sure that it's okay with you. We're going to-,' because for some reason they, like, threw out all the contracts or something, who knows, but they said, 'We're just going to re-release, and we just want to make sure it's okay with you guys. We're going to re-release it! Isn't that cool?'"
"Though Konami fully owns the voices we reached out to the actors out of courtesy, and then some legal things went down."

- Tomm Hulett


ROSSETER

That unspecified "legal thing" that "went down" was that Konami didn't actually own the voices.


DERFUZHWAR

Well, even if that's true, Guy Cihi wanted non-existent money that he wasn't even entitled to.


ROSSETER

Yes, that's what Troy Baker said. But he was talking about residuals, and traditionally (traditionally) there are no residuals in video game work. That doesn't mean there can't be. Guy Cihi may have said residuals, but what he was describing were royalties, and that's an easy mistake to make.


DERFUZHWAR

But Mary Elizabeth said there were no royalties.


FUNGO

Is that anything like the royalties Lisa Garland voice actress Thessaly Lerner wasn't entitled to and settled out of court with Konami for?


"The scoop is when I did Silent Hill I was only paid $500 flat rate. They stole my voice for SH3 and my agent threatened to sue and got me a couple grand and that's it. There are no residuals for videogames -never have been and it's a major bummer. Video game companies are out only for themselves and to make money. The first budget they cut is voiceover. I have been taken advantage of, knowingly, by many videogame companies, but I'd rather work for a small amount than not work at all."

- Thessaly Lerner


ROSSETER

In this case, Konami admitted fault and payed the royalties Thessaly was not entitled to. That's the reason the voice clips from Silent Hill 1 are absent from Silent Hill 3's PC release. They didn't own the rights.


FUNGO

This doesn't sound anything like what happened to Guy Cihi...


ROSSETER

I blame Thessaly Lerner. She's the bad guy in this situation.


DERFUZHWAR

I don't appreciate your sarcasm.


ROSSETER

Oh, well that's fine because I was being facetious.


FUNGO

I was the one being sarcastic.
DERFUZHWAR

Well, I don't appreciate your arrogance!


ROSSETER

Well that's fine because we were being patronizing.


DERFUZHWAR

It's pronounced "pat-ro-niz-ing"!


ROSSETER

Now who's being patronizing?
DerFuzhwar gets flustered and leaves.
DERFUZHWAR

You guys are hypocrites!


"Let me be clear about something: my problem with Konami has never been about money. It's always been about the thoughtless way that those involved in the production have been treated. The reuse of my material without asking me and without having a written agreement that provides for it is one example."

- Guy Cihi


ROSSETER

That's an excerpt from Guy's open letter to Konami after all this nonsense broke out. Before that, Guy had been making attempts to negotiate. Konami's genius legal department decided to ignore Guy's request for negotiation and just replace all of the voices, even though this would not have cleared them of past indiscretions. They would still have owed royalties or residuals or anything other kind of compensation for past releases should the original actors have claimed it, just as Thessaly Lerner was awarded.


FUNGO

Guy Cihi's response to Konami's decision was to band the original Silent Hill 2 actors together and forgive Konami for their unauthorized use of their performances by signing their rights away, retroactively and without compensation. This because he heard the fan outcry and didn't want Silent Hill 2 to be tarnished by Konami's poor business practices.


ROSSETER

Didn't want Silent Hill 2 to be tarnished!?


All laugh.
And yet, Silent Hill 3's old voices are not present in the HD Collection. Clifford Rippel and Donna Burke signed their rights away for no reason. But Heather, if you'd still like to sue...
FUNGO

We wonder if things would've turned out differently if the fan outcry was as strong for Silent Hill 3 as it was for 2 because that's what influenced the resolution for the game. Guy, Monica Taylor Horgan, and Dave Schaufele acknowledged this by sending signed copies of Silent Hill 2 out to the fans that helped raise awareness and open a dialogue between the actors and Konami.


Rosseter holds up a copy of Silent Hill 2, signed by the voice actors. He hands it to Fungo through the laptop screen.
"It's because of you, the fans, that I feel like I've accomplished something as a performer. It may not be very much, but I'm happy with it, and I hope you're happy with it."

- Guy Cihi


Rosseter holds up his own copy of Silent Hill 2, signed by the voice actors.
ROSSETER

These make Tomm Hulett very upset because he does not like to admit that fan support was the reason things worked out.


"I don't like it when something is attributed to folks who had nothing to do with it."

- Tomm Hulett


DERFUZHWAR

Are you trying to take credit for it? You think your ridiculous, caustic complaint videos did anything?


FUNGO

No, but we helped. At least, Guy Cihi seems to think so... In our way, we helped show Guy that the fans really care. Three hundred thousand views on those HD Collection videos; more people watched our videos than Konami sold copies of the game. Reading the comments on those videos with all the people saying they wouldn't pay for re-recorded voices, it's almost a petition.


"One more tidbit of industry knowledge: Petitions have never, and will never, change anything. The numbers just aren't high enough."
("Now, we previously announced this game was coming to Playstation 3, and a number of you showed some interest in a potential Xbox 360 release...")
"If something happens that there was also a petition for, it's because people were already hard at work on it. Sorry guys."

- Tomm Hulett


Really? Hard at work getting Guy Cihi's voice into the HD Collection or hard at work re-recording his dialogue? Were you hard at work re-writing the script when Guy was asking for a contract negotiation?
ROSSETER

They were hard at work spending more money redoing the voices than it would have taken to negotiate contracts for the old voices.


FUNGO

That's hard work.


ROSSETER

Yes, Tomm Hulett works so hard on Silent Hill because he loves it more than you do. Nobody loves Silent Hill more than Tomm Hulett. He loves Silent Hill so much that he doesn't think Silent Hill 2 and 3 stand on their own and wants to change the most important part of them!


"[The HD Collection] improves on the dated voice acting present in the original. Most of the characters were just fine for 2001/03, but compared to modern gaming it's clearly rough. Contrary to popular opinion, this was not recorded all weird on purpose to establish an atmosphere. Rather, the atmosphere of Silent Hill made it easy to see past the weird stilted quality of the performances."

- Tomm Hulett


Contrary to your belief, the voices were not "recorded all weird". And if there's something there that you think is "weird", it was put in the game, Tomm — put in the game because they wanted it there. And there's nothing covering anything up.
FUNGO

It's not that the atmosphere hides or excuses the performances. They are and always have been an integral part of Silent Hill. And it doesn't matter if you or anyone involved in the creation of the game thought that the actors sucked or weren't right for the part, that's how they turned out and they work perfectly.


"But that limits the audience a bit. With HD Collection you may finally be able to get your Halo chugging buddies to enjoy fine digital storytelling."

- Tomm Hulett


ROSSETER

Yeah, because the only thing keeping Halo fans from playing Silent Hill 2 was the voice acting. It's not because the two are polar opposites of each other in terms of gameplay, pacing, action, story...


FUNGO

It shows that he doesn't even know his target audience. Halo fans just want to shoot people up, multiplayer FPS-style. They don't care about "fine digital storytelling"!


ROSSETER

But, it wasn't fine digital storytelling; the voice acting sucked, right? In order to get Halo fans to enjoy his fine digital stories, he needed to change the voices and re-write the script.


FUNGO

Re-write the script!?


"Tomm wrote a whole new script so it would sync and great and we could, you know, really..."

- Mary Elizabeth McGlynn


ROSSETER

It wasn't enough for him to be the producer of the HD Collection. he wanted to leave a Tomm Hulett-scented stain on the work of the original team. His re-casting and re-writing of the script shows us that he sees the creative decisions made by Team Silent as mistakes, and that he knows better than them about their own game. Otherwise, he would've been fine with the original acting, the original script, and the original pacing. Is he embarrassed to be associated with it? Or is it that he thinks he can give a better experience than the originals could?


FUNGO

Whether or not it was his intention, Tomm would be taking credit for Team Silent's work with his re-written dialogue and directorial decisions. By the time players got to the end of the game, in his mind he would not only have duplicated the original story and emotions and feeling associated with it, but improved upon it. The games would be so much better, and all thanks to Tomm Hulett! Hurray for Tomm!


ROSSETER

Thankfully, the only thing that kept a re-write from happening was probably the money and work it would take to redo all the motion capture and facial animation. And this was a problem for Tomm because his new, incredible script was a no-go. This also shows his statement about wanting the originals from the beginning false because the original voices would no longer fit the new animation.


FUNGO

Unfortunately for us, the re-recording was a go-go, and this meant Tomm and ME McG were free to make all the directorial changes they wanted on top of the original script and animation. And by making any change at all, they were ensuring that people playing these versions are not getting the same experience as people playing the originals.


ROSSETER

Not even you...


Rosseter points at DerFuzhwar.
... can disagree with that. This was a factor in our determination that the new voices were a terrible idea long before anyone had even heard them. Even Troy Baker admits that they knew the fans' response was going to be negative:
"We knew going in that we were going to get just absolutely railed for this."

- Troy Baker


FUNGO

And then we heard them...


Tomm Hulett's Gamescom introduction is shown.
This video was shown at the 2011 Gamescom convention, and uploaded to YouTube soon after. The dislike bar was solid red, and comments were overwhelmingly negative. The video has since been removed from Konami's channel, possibly due to poor response. We were among the displeased — so displeased, in fact, we advised people in our comparison video not to buy the Collection based on the re-records. Our video also received overwhelmingly negative comments about the new voices.
ROSSETER

And still there was a category of overly optimistic fans who were still in denial, saying that people couldn't judge the preview because it was just a pure, studio recording with no effects or mixing.


FUNGO

That same cathedral reverb from the finished product is right there in the preview, and the trained ear can hear EQ and compression.


"Sometimes I overestimate people's ability to look at...pre-alpha stuff ... [The voices] hadn't been mixed into the game yet, they hadn't been balanced perfectly – there's a lot that goes into putting the voice into a game, it's not just putting in a .wav file. In this case, it was just putting in a .wav file, just to show: this is the scene. A lot of people jumped on it as being final quality, and thought 'this is going to be terrible!'"

- Tomm Hulett


ROSSETER

Do you really think people thought the preview was bad based on mixing? Even if the preview hadn't been mixed...


FUNGO

... which it had...


ROSSETER

... what does mixing have to do with the performances? It's not like some EQ and reverb is going to change their voices or the way they delivered their lines...


FUNGO

... even though that argument isn't even valid because the preview was identical to the finished product.


DERFUZHWAR

But the Mary tape was obviously not finished because they added effects to make it sound like a TV.


ROSSETER

Yeah, because TV effects changed her performance so much...


DERFUZHWAR

Even so, it's only sixty seconds. You can't judge it based on sixty seconds.


FUNGO

That's what Troy said!


ROSSETER

Nice! Yeah!


"And sixty seconds have been released. I don't see how people can really tabulate an informed opinion over sixty seconds of a game that's going to be ten to twelve hours of gameplay, you know?"

- Troy Baker


ROSSETER

What they showed us were three of the most pivotal scenes in the game: the most important scene in James' back story where the only living iteration of Mary is introduced...


FUNGO

...and we're supposed to like her, and we don't based on her voice...


ROSSETER

... the second-most important scene in Eddie's character arc...


FUNGO

Where he's supposed to be going crazy, and he doesn't sound crazy...


ROSSETER

... and the most important scene in the whole game...


FUNGO

... where the nature of Mary's character is revealed.


ROSSETER

It was incredibly easy to "tabulate an informed opinion" on the voice acting based on the most significant sixty seconds of it. Fail these cutscenes and you'll most likely fail the rest.


FUNGO

Did they fail the rest?


ROSSETER

Most likely.


DERFUZHWAR

No!
ROSSETER

That is incorrect.
DERFUZHWAR

How? My opinion doesn't count?


ROSSETER

Your opinion has nothing to do with it. There are many specifics in terms of story and character that the voice actors must convey in order to successfully realize the vision of the original team.


FUNGO

That "fine digital story-telling" Tomm was talking about is largely contained in the voice acting. While a lot of the story is conveyed through the script, the emotions and our attachment to the story come through the way the characters act.


ROSSETER

Although, there are certain story elements that only come through in the voice acting. In that regard, Mary/Marie's casting is probably the most important.


"There's been a lot of fan griping about my choice to cast Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as Mary/Maria."

- Tomm Hulett


ROSSETER

He uses the word "griping" to delegitimize peoples' legitimate opinions...


"However I felt this was perfect casting for a number of reasons. One, the first time I saw that Konami E3 trailer for SH3 with her vocal performance, I mistakenly assumed it was meant to be Maria singing the song (at Heaven's Night?)."

-Tomm Hulett


FUNGO

... We don't know how or why because it doesn't sound like Marie and there isn't anything in the trailer that remotely resembles anything from Silent Hill 2. We're also not sure that's a basis for casting a character who already has a voice.


"... every single time we hear Mary (other than the video in the hotel during their vacation) she is at the tail end of her illness. She's basically on her death bed. You don't sound light and airy on your death bed – you sound heavy, weary, and tired. By the character's own admission, she wasn't a fragile, broken leaf at that moment–she was angry, lashing out at everybody. I felt Mary E's performance could bring this out, rather than sticking to a lighter, more gentle Mary."

- Tomm Hulett


ROSSETER

The only times we hear Mary as she existed before she died are in the videotape and during the long hallway flashback audio sequence where she does indeed sound quite weary and sick. Every other time we hear Mary, it's either a voice-over letter reading film technique from James' memory of her or a spirit power recreation, and in the latter she still sounds quite weary and sick. So, I have no idea what he's talking about.


FUNGO

What are you talking about, Tomm?


"Most people will agree she's a good fit for Maria,"

- Tomm Hulett


ROSSETER

Most people on any YouTube comparison video will disagree.


FUNGO

So does McG:


"I was cast as Mary and Marie, which I think my voice is too deep for, but they wanted me to do it, so I did."

- Mary Elizabeth McGlynn


"... it's the dual role of Mary where the SH faithful start questioning it."

- Tomm Hulett


ROSSETER

Interesting how he doesn't consider himself to be one of the "Silent Hill faithful"...


FUNGO

Well, the Silent Hill faithful don't love Silent Hill more than he does, so...


ROSSETER

Right, nevermind.


"Here's the thing ... James remarks that Maria's voice is identical to Mary's – so having a varied performance between the two doesn't fit."

- Tomm Hulett


FUNGO

Here's the thing ... Maria's not Mary. She is a recreation made by the spirit power, and a bad one at that. The only thing about the two that is exactly the same is the polygon structure of their faces. Every other physical, vocal, and personality-related trait is different.


"Same polygon structure of face. Exactly same. Little bit, skull shape is different. Maria can make Mary's face, Mary can make Maria's face, but gimmick of face, like a skeleton and muscle structure, is a little bit different."

- Takayoshi Sato


By that same reasoning, Mary can sound like Marie, and Marie can sound like Mary. But, they aren't supposed to sound exactly the same because it screws with the mind-game Team Silent is trying to play. The labyrinth scene is the best example of this. Note how her voice and personality change back and forth between the two characters
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