Audition for a part!

To help our aspiring volunteers find an open suitable part, we’ve created CastAgent, our casting administration system.

It will let you view the scripts and help you to volunteer your voice for open parts in upcoming chapters of the show.  CastAgent also tracks and displays the current overall production status these chapters.  When you visit a coming chapter’s details page, you will see the current state of the chapter’s production, including the current state of casting for that chapter.  This is how it all works:

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Chapter production progress is indicated on a Production Status Bar, like the one above, which in this case represents a chapter that has been completed and released to the public on the feed, and here on this site.

These are the stages of production, in the order in which they are performed, and what is displayed at each stage:

1 : Scripting

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This indicates that the chapter script is currently being edited, finalized and proofed.  During this phase, the voiceparts status window is not shown, and no submissions are being accepted for the chapter.  “So why bother displaying anything for it?” is the obvious question.  Quite simply, it provides viewers with some evidence that work is still going on behind the scenes, even if things have been quiet on the front page or the forums.  After scripting is completed and finalized, the chapter moves on to the Casting stage.

2 : Casting

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When a chapter goes into the “Casting” phase, the velvet ropes are taken down.  Voicework is being accepted for the assigned roles, and volunteer auditions are being accepted and reviewed.  At this stage, CastAgent will now display another window containing information about all of the individual parts that are present in the chapter.  Using the voiceparts window, it’s a snap to see what parts still need voices, and to download the script for tryouts and final work.

At this stage, the voiceparts window shows up.

The voiceparts status window is composed of five columns:

  • STATUS shows a written version of that part’s status in the casting process.
  • GENDER shows which gender a given VOICEPART is intended to be: male(), female(), or either (no icon)
  •  TYPE shows a VOICEPART’s length of time in the overall story.  More on this in a moment.
  • CHARACTER, of course, refers to the name of the character.
  • ACTOR indicates the credit name (the name shown in the chapter credits) of the cast member assigned to the VOICEPART.

The voiceparts status window shows  individual character status through the use of color coding and simple text.

  •  Parts shown in green are wide-open, waiting for an audition and have a status indicator of  “OPEN”.
  •  Yellow parts have one or more auditions currently in review and carry a status indicator of “AUDITIONING”.
  •  Characters shown in red have been officially assigned to a volunteer, (STATUS: “ASSIGNED”),
  •  When the final voicework is received for it, will turn dark blue and list as “COMPLETED”.

Now, about the TYPE column: apart from showing its casting status, each voicepart also belongs to one of three TYPES, which indicate what kind of commitment  that part requires.

  •  Long-term characters are present through a majority of the story (or at least the current book).
  •  Recurring roles are parts that are present for some chapters, but not necessarily present throughout the story.  They pop in here and there, from time-to-time.
  •  Escape parts require no commitment beyond the one chapter in which they appear.  These are usually incidental characters that could perform the same duties from chapter to chapter, but aren’t necessarily the same person.  An example of an escape part would be a Flight Control watch officer, which tends to switch out from shift to shift.

With the voiceparts status window exposed, casting has begun, but that is just one part of the overall production process.  From this point, the Production Status Bar continues to display the current state of production for the chapter, right through to release.  (NOTE: The voiceparts status window and chapter script link will not be displayed if all of the available voiceparts have been completed.)

3 : Voicing

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At this point, recording for the assigned parts has begun. This phase becomes active when any cast member completes and submits their assigned part.  Voicing frequently starts before casting has been completed, so it’s not uncommon to see BOTH “Casting” and “Voicing” active on the PSB at the same time.  Casting is completed when all of the available parts for the chapter have been assigned.

4 : Production

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4. [ PRODUCTION ] : Here’s where the fun really begins here at the studio.  After a part is assigned and the voicework for it received and approved, editing of the clip can begin.  At this stage, excess noise and vocal errors are corrected before they are brought into the chapter’s master project file.  Production often begins even while casting and voicing are still in progress.

5 : Scoring

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5. [ SCORING ] : The starting of this phase indicates that at least one of the scenes for the chapter requiring music has been completed and is ready for music treatment.  However, since not every scene will necessarily require music backgrounds, it’s not always certain that scenes haven’t been completed already, based on this particular status indicator alone.  Scoring usually begins any time during the production process, and can sometimes start even while voicing is still taking place.

Pauses

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This isn’t a planned step in production, but sometimes it becomes necessary to pause at a particular stage for one reason or another.  Usually, production is paused when “real-life” concerns begin to infringe on available production time, (read: busy day job schedule).

The process for new volunteers runs as follows:

  • Review the voiceparts window to see what is still open and available for volunteers.
  • Download the script and record a few lines of dialogue for the part you’re interested in.
  • Email your clip to info@childrenofthegods.net, specifying who you are (how you would like your name to show in the credits), and the part you are trying out for.
  • If your work makes the cut, you will receive a confirmation email, and your part will be officially “ASSIGNED” to you in CastAgent.
  • Record your voicework for all of your character’s lines in that chapter’s script, and email the final work in .mp3 (no less than 128kbps), .wav, .ogg or .aiff format to info@childrenofthegods.
  • DONE

That’s really all there is to it!

Much of CastAgent is devoted to providing as much information about a chapter’s current state of completion as is realistically possible, but the big idea is to make it easier for you, the potential cast member, to see what’s what, and pick a part that suits you best!

If you’re starting to think that perhaps we’re taking things a bit too seriously with all this, please remember that we have fun bringing this story to life, and I want to make sure it’s as easy and painless as possible to get in on the action.

Thanks for visiting, and if you plan to throw your hat in the ring, I hope that above all, you have fun and enjoy being a part of this awesome journey!

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