There’s an old adage in the world of entertainment that you should never work with children or animals. But for the staff at Soho-based audio post production facility The Voice And Music Company, recording child actors for the new hit pre-school TV series Waybuloo has been a delight and a revelation.
“Recording the kids was the easy part,” says Voice and Music line assistant Adam Smyth. “There are four children involved in the series and they are all incredibly talented. They got into character much more quickly than adult actors and were fantastic to work with.”
Waybuloo, which made its UK debut on CBeebies in May, is a pre-school series produced by The Foundation, part of the RDF Media Group. The series is a unique mix of animation and live action. Waybuloo takes a highly innovative approach to pre-school programming focussing on children’s emotions. It transports children to Nara, a live-action world inhabited by adorable animated characters called Piplings; Lau Lau, De Li, Yojojo and Nok Tok, who embody a range of emotions such as Love, Harmony, Happiness and Wisdom.
In September 2008, The Voice and Music Company won the contract to record the voice-overs and ADR for the series. The five-studio facility, headed by composition team Kim Goody and Alan Coates, has extensive experience of recording animation projects having already produced children’s favourites such as Rory The Racing Car, Fifi And The Flowertots and Horrid Henry. In the case of Waybuloo, the contract was for 100 20-minute episodes.
“The scripts are quite intricate so there was a lot of work to do on each episode,” Adam Smyth says. “I was concerned that the children might not be able to cope but despite being very young (their ages range from 11 to 13 years) they are all consummate professionals and really took to the task well. We have been averaging five or six episodes in each full day of recording.”
As is usual with animation projects, the voice recording was carried out first then the tracks were sent to Decode in Canada where the animation was added and mixed with the live action footage. The final dubbing took place at Platform Studios in London, a facility with which The Voice and Music Company has a close association.
The Voice And Music Company’s experience in the animation field was one of the key reasons why The Foundation chose the facility for this project.
Matt Porter, Line Producer at The Foundation, says: “The Voice and Music Company is a bright, friendly, flexible and professional facility ideally suited to the very specific and demanding needs of this exciting and unique production.”
Waybuloo is rapidly becoming a favourite with both children and parents, and the international rights have been picked up in various territories including Australia and Canada.
About The Voice And Music Company:
The Voice And Music Company was established over 20 years ago by composers Kim Goody and Alan Coates. The Soho Square-based facility has two 5.1 dubbing theatres, two stereo suites and a music composition studio, from which it handles composition, sound design and audio post production for a variety of film and television clients. www.thevoiceandmusiccompany.com