Podcast Interview: A chat with Troy Baker

A few nights ago I had a chat with videogame voice actor Troy Baker. You may know him from his most recent game, Catherine. Troy voiced Vincent Brooks, a man with serious women issues. Those issues will continue now that Troy has been revealed as the new voice actor for Silent Hill 2’s James Sunderland in the Silent Hill: HD Collection. If you have yet to play Silent Hill 2, I won’t spoil it for you; I’ll just say that James has problems with the ladies as well.

Troy discusses his thoughts on the original James Sunderland’s actor Guy Cihi; how he started voice acting; his relationship with the Silent Hill series; as well as how much fun he had working on Catherine (Catherine spoiler at 16:10 – 16:16)

Sit down, and take a listen to our audio interview.

Host: CJ Melendez
Interviewee: Troy Baker

Show Details:

Duration: 00:31:38
File Size: 20.3 MB
Format: MP3

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[audio:http://www.relyonhorror.com/podcasts/TroyBakerInterview.mp3]

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COMMENTS

  • Tony

    Isn’t it a little unfair to release a preview of the voice acting and then claim that you can’t judge the voice acting from that preview? In that case, what’s the point of the preview? The sound of Eddie’s voice is just painful, and that’s obvious right away.

    The others were okay. James felt over acted. In fact, before I knew anything about this guy, I thought to myself that the new voice sounded like an English-dubbed Anime (those things are ALWAYS over acted). And I wonder if that’s part of it. But it WAS an emotionally charged scene, and the others might be better. I hope so. Hopefully they’ll release a better sample soon. I don’t like the idea of having to actually buy the game to find out if I’ll like it.

    Good interview, anyway.

  • Smiley

    Excellent interview. Troy sounds like a great guy. I may not approve of the recast, but I don’t demonize him or any of the other actors for wanting to take part in this.

    Now let’s hear some more about Silent Hill 3 shall we Konami? We’re all interested to know who you’ve used in that game.

  • Interesting. I wasn’t sure if I believed he knew the whole deal with Guy Cihi at first. We have some input from Mary Elizabeth McGlynn about it on my podcast, just saying that she hopes the fans like this version too, and it was done because of Guy wanting residuals. I really wanted to side with Guy here, but yeah, looks like he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Very weird about guy saying there was no contract at all, though. wtf. Still wondering what Guy will post on his “statement” on Facebook, too.

    Can’t blame him for taking the gig, though. I certainly would have, if I were in his position.

    The translator’s name was Jeremy Blaustein, btw. (I interviewed him on my site.) I think he tells the story of how Guy came to be cast in a podcast called Push to Talk or something, it can be found on youtube.

    Troy sounds like a cool fellow, though.

  • Joe

    Excellent interview. Great to hear his thoughts about the Silent Hill gig and his experiences with Catherine and Atlus.

  • Matt S

    Very cool interview. Much more open than we usually get from VO professionals…..

    His take on the Konami and Mr Chi situation is fascinating

  • Smiley

    “We have some input from Mary Elizabeth McGlynn about it on my podcast, just saying that she hopes the fans like this version too, and it was done because of Guy wanting residuals.”

    Blaming Guy for that is meaningless because it doesn’t excuse re-recording for anyone other than the James Sunderland character. And it certainly doesn’t excuse the recast for Silent Hill 3 which is a whole different game.

  • Smiley

    Something to be brought to this site’s attention is Guy Cihi’s open statement to Konami regarding the Silent Hill HD Collection. If you were ever confused about where his stance on the matter was then look no further.

    Open letter to Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.
    by Guy Cihi on Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 8:32pm

    [There has been a great deal of discussion and speculation about the decision to recast the voice acting for the forthcoming Silent Hill 2 re-release. Certain comments and accusations have been made and the situation has become a mess. I issue this statement with hope that it will help set things right.]

    To Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.

    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. All I have is a verbal agreement based on the various negotiations that took place between me and Konami’s representatives. 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. My verbal agreements with Konami management covered the release of SH2 on the PlayStation 2 consoles. No other console releases were discussed between us, and none was agreed to.

    Californian law which, under the circumstances, governs the agreement between Konami and me provides that voice actors in videogames retain all rights for reproductions and re-uses of their vocal recordings and motion-capture work unless the artist specifically conveys those rights to a second party. The implications ought to be clear enough regarding the releases and reuses of my performances on consoles other than PlayStation 2. Obviously Konami’s legal department agreed with the strength of my position or they would not have supported the significant expense undertaken to rerecord voices in advance of the HD collection re-release. It would have been much easier if someone responsible at Konami had simply talked to me and sought to resolve this amicably.

    Recently some things have been said by people acting as if they are part of the Konami organization, for example, that an attempt was made to reach out to me to help get things straightened out. This isn’t true. After the production work wrapped, only one person connected to Konami has ever attempted contact me and that was Michael Ranja, Director of Licensing at Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. in California. On October 6, 2010 Mr. Ranja sent me the following message: “Per the voice acting done for the videogame Silent Hill 2 (your role as James Sunderland), I understand that in the past it was agreed that Konami would purchase and own all rights to the voice acting. As we don’t have paperwork for this, would it be possible for you to fill out the attachment and email or fax back to me?” His second email, and the last time I have ever heard from Konami, was on October 22, 2010 when Mr. Ranja replied to my email saying that he would do his best to contact me again shortly regarding a settlement.

    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. Another example is how my contributions to the game, and my face, were purposefully erased from the ‘making of’ video. Why was that done? These are some of the issues I asked Konami to settle with me on before making any new agreements. To this day Konami has never offered any explanation.

    Like everyone else, I feel it is a real shame we have come to this point. The original cast, writers, and directors of Silent Hill 2 all felt we were making something great, but I don’t think any of us realized just how successful and respected it would become. I am eternally grateful to have been selected by Team Silent to portray James Sunderland. I am equally grateful to the dedicated SH2 fans who enlightened me to fact that SH2 is much more than just an intellectual property to be bought, sold and repackaged.

    After thinking it through carefully I have come to realize that I am unwilling to be part of any legal barrier or excuse which prevents a new generation from experiencing Silent Hill 2 the way the original Team Silent created it. The only way to do this appears to be for me to relinquish all my rights to Konami and so I hereby completely waive all rights to my motion capture and vocal performances in the Silent Hill 2 production without demand for additional consideration. Have your lawyer send me the proper documents required so that we can put this fiasco behind us.

    I call on Konami to release the HD versions of SH2, and all subsequent re-releases, with the original vocal tracks intact. If you desire, I welcome you to include the new vocal tracks so that fans can choose which version they prefer.

    Sincerely,

    Guy Cihi

    August 2011

  • M.

    The new voices recorded by different actors are main reason why I will NOT buy the game and will NOT play.

  • Smiley

    This was the outlook for a lot of fans. Thankfully however Guy, Monica and the other actors have made peace with the people working on the HD Collection. They signed waivers so there’s still a chance the original voices will return. If it happens you can be sure I’ll support and buy this game. Doesn’t mean I won’t give the new voice actors a chance, but I’d rather feel safe in purchasing a product that I know I’ll enjoy either way.

    The big ones on my list are Guy Cihi, Monica Horgan and Heather Morris.

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