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Mick Lauer @RicePirate

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GD, WD, VO, and BS

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RicePirate's News

Posted by RicePirate - September 13th, 2012


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Trick Question, a new toon, has just been released
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There's been a lot of support for this short ... which is very unexpected, and very very much been appreciated. We'll see how newgrounds feels about it lol.

Fun news, my wife voices in it, as the woman. Her first time voice acting, so be gentle.

Other stuff that's going on ... been voicing for a couple small flash and mobile games, as well as some shows for Mondo Media, I'll be sure to link any vids once they're out.

Also, will be back in NYC to record more Yu-Gi-Oh!

I'll keep this one short <3

New Toon :] and Voice Stuff


Posted by RicePirate - September 3rd, 2012


Two posts ago, I posted a long-ass description of all the shit I've been up to. So I decided to simply cut together a video to sum it all up. Links to the mentioned videos appear as spotlights on the bottom.

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AIR BREAK

Didn't expect the positive feedback. I have a number of other shorts in the same vein as Air Break that I thought about doing, so I'm certainly more inspired to kick them out. They're fairly quick and fun to make so... I guess my biggest concern was that it looked a lot like Cyanide and Happiness (except for having animated faces and various shaped heads and bodies).

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FREELANCE POLICE

Created by Twisted4000. I just wanted to give a shout out for the clear and obvious progress he's made as an animator. StarNova and this latest piece are just wonderful examples of the evolution of artists here on Newgrounds.

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That's it! Trying to keep it short and sweet. I've got some animations lined up, though progress has been slow since fucking returning from Alaska back in August.

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WHATUPDATE + Animation news


Posted by RicePirate - August 24th, 2012


The economy's been tough on a lot of people, and while the voiceover industry is standing strong against the storm, many voiceover professionals have been feeling the burn. With the combination of unemployment, retirement, dreams of stardom, moderately priced equipment, and easier-to-use software, an unprecedented influx of new voices has flooded the market. This causes a few key problems for established voice talent: namely, an under-valuing of services and an ever-more-diluted talent pool.

But many of the established voiceover pros, being the motivated entrepreneurs they are, don't go down without a fight. While some continue business as usual, others decide to branch out and coach or engineer demos, some sell their knowledge or advice to those still willing to battle it out on the studio stomping grounds, and some publish ebooks or host online webinars ... all with the purpose of sharing or selling the hard-earned knowledge they've acquired during their service in the voiceover industry.

Knowledge is power. Opinions and assumptions are not knowledge.

In an industry with so many fresh faces, it's easy to sell snake-oil. Now take a product people are unfamiliar with, but one they know is crucial yet understand little about ... and you can sell snake-oil to the most established name in the market. I'm talking about websites.

Voiceover websites.

Oh, the drama. Do it yourself? Get your cousin to do it? Get a professional? It's the internet, right? It's easy! You've seen those programs that magically build websites with the click of a button! How hard can it be? Should I actually spend money on this thing or is it just a matter of reading a couple online articles and figuring it out?

My answer is simple. Ask a voiceover coach if people actually need professional coaches. Ask an engineer if you really need an engineer to fiddle with all those levels and click around the screen. With no prior knowledge or experience recording a voiceover demo, it is flat out stupid to think that you can just pull a professional demo out of your ass. A demo, sure. A professional, competitive demo ... no.

The same goes for websites.

There's been a recent trend of pay-to-watch webinars (pre-recorded, lol) dealing with the subject of websites ... in this case, VO websites.

Look, I don't care if you don't know the first thing about html, css, java script, or even graphic design (which is a WHOLE OTHER PART OF THE PICTURE), I can look passed someone with no knowledge of how a website actually works convincing people to pay them to give their advice on the subject. I don't think it's ethical, but times are tough, right? I don't mind paying for knowledge. But that's not knowledge ... that's an opinion. If I want an opinion, I'll check my twitter.

According to Dan O'Day, there's three ways you probably got your website:
(1) "You created it yourself, which means you have more technical knowledge than [he] does."
(2) "Or a friend or relative built it for you."
(3) "Or you spent far too much money on a professional web designer."

Those are you options.

I'm literally laughing out loud just reading that, because he mentions all the useless "bells and whistles designers use" and after viewing his website, it appears "color" is a bell ... or whistle.

He continues, "Most voi[z]eover websites that I've seen, that were created by designers ... are a complete waste of money." So ... only the websites made by actual designers were the waste of money? Do you know how much they paid? What did they get for their money? Do you have a list of designers who waste peoples' money?

Now, I know he's not talking about ArtistUpgrade. AU clients' records speak for themselves. So I'm not taking offense, so much as I find it hilarious that for $99, Dan will shed the light of truth upon the shady and shifty world of webdesign.

Dan also claims, "It's a 2.5 hour audio seminar and workbook with information your web designer will hate Dan for telling you!"

No, Dan, I don't hate you. I think you're hilarious.

This whole article aside: I won't pretend to know everything. If anyone DOES drop $99 to watch this pre-recorded online video, and they feel there's some really legit info being shared. I'd be happy to promote this myself. More so than I already have with this article.

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Dan O'Day's promo page, via Julie Williams of VoiceOver Insider:
http://danoday.com/voiceoverwebsites/

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Also, new toon coming soon (next week????? I hope)

Webdesigners are a Waste of Money, and other helpful tips from Dan


Posted by RicePirate - August 15th, 2012


EXPENDABLES 2 game by Soap Creative on Newgrounds

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Hey guys, been away for a while. Alaska was great, we had sunshine for almost the entire 10 days we were there (with some rain at night). I came back to Minnesota with 10 days worth of work to catch up on, on top of my regular work load ... so I'm still playing catch up :[

That said, lots of fun stuff to share...

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VOICING FOR VIDEO GAMES

Dust : An Elysian Tail by Humble Hearts. Holy shit. I could write pages about this. I'll just say this. I'm honored to have worked with so many amazing people on a project that is amazing ... and amazing. The story behind it's creation, the 3 years it took virtually one-man to create this world, these characters, the GAME ... I'll stop, the stellar reviews speak for themselves. Please go to the facebook page to find out more about this amazing game.

D-Mac, for bringing me on the project, my humble gratitude with all my heart.

You can purchase the game here

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/* */
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Expendables 2 : Deploy and Destroy by Roadshow Films (and Soap). Always love working with these crazy peeps. The game is basically a suped-up tower-defense with free moving team members. I got to voice pretty much the entire cast of the movie, including Stallone, Willis, Statham, Norris, and Arnold.

Considering I had about half a day to record my lines not 10 hours off the plane from Alaska, I'm pretty happy with how the voices turned out. I also voiced this trailer for the game. Apparently the commercial (TVC) below is running on Foxtel ...? Is that an Australian tv channel ... ?

PS Lee and Mark rule <3 (and Ash)

Play it here

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Vegeta (Mugen Character) by Balthazar and co. One thing about voicing fighting game characters ... ouch. As fun as it is, my vocal chords hated me almost as much as my neighbors. Looking forward to seeing how this character gets flushed out.

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/* */
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VO WORK for VIDEO

There's been a lot of it. I spent about 3 grand on my studio this last Spring, and I've met my return on investment. Which is nice considering I still don't have an agent and haven't really been pushing my demo... yet.

In fact, I started compiling video clips from projects I voiced (different from my animation character demo), this one is primarily for Narration. I realized that for the past couple years I've been voicing all these projects without checking in to see the final posted projects. Much to my surprise, I ran across this little number, where I do a ridiculous promo narration along with every single voice that occurs, that includes the little girl going "yay!"

There's a bunch of other projects, but I realized it would make more sense to cut the narration video demo together and show that ... rather than bore you with links to each project.

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There's more going on ... and I have cartoons to post, and I've been in some really inspiring and warm conversations with Mondo, and working with Zach and Chris on their stuff, and Gonzo on a new thing, and Hernan and Ninjaco ... and Stamper?? Shit's great, it's stressful, it's crazy, but it's great.

One last shout out to the cast and crew of Dust, you guys have put a lot smiles on my face in the last couple weeks.

And to my babe, thanks for staying married to me for 5 years.

regular updates from here on out instead of this long ass bullshit.


Posted by RicePirate - July 22nd, 2012


I'm leaving in a couple days for a week-long salmon fishing trip in Alaska. Sunlight at night, bears, and glaciers. I've never been, so it'll be an adventure. While I have no idea what to expect ... I know for certain I'll be missing my computer, the internet, and animating.

Other stuff...

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STREAMLINING RICEPIRATE

In an effort to optimize my online presence, I built myself a website and created a Facebook page. Like many of the people on Newgrounds and Youtube, I've invested a chunk of time into my online portfolio of voice work and animation, and I figured the least I could do is tie all those floating tangents together, and streamline my online portfolio. I'll also be going through my NG/Youtube portfolio and updating/adding links to my facebook and twitter pages.

Links, if you're interested:

Facebook Page
Twitter
"Official website" [hub]
Youtube

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SLOW ASS SONIC

I had a Sonic the Hedgehog toon slated for a couple weeks ago. Slender came out and I made this a few days after. Then two days later, they released an update with a revised ending, lol.

I actually had almost half the original Sonic short complete (with wonderful voicing from Zambelis), however, it just didn't feel right. So I scrapped the whole thing and started over. Rather than pure fbf (which I've been practicing), I wanted to combine both fbf with tweening.
I've actually made quite a bit of progress and the folks I've shown it to have had very positive feedback, so I'm hoping folks will enjoy it.

What this means is, I'll have lots of "extra content/deleted scenes/alterate scenes" for the Newgrounds flash version: which is something I meant to do with this latest toon, to draw traffic from Youtube to Newgrounds.

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BEING STUPID WITH CHRIS

Aside from recently voicing together on a number of projects, we decided to take our Skype shenanigans to pootube. Our accounts is CrickZauer , and we make stupid shit like this...

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COLORADO

Tragic and baffling. My condolences, especially to anyone here who was directly affected by this horrific senseless event.

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I'M OUTTA HERE!!!


Posted by RicePirate - June 28th, 2012


The Past // Batman : The Droppings

All in all, as an exercise in animation, I'm very happy. In retrospect, I took on a little too much (in terms of fbf, shading, backgrounds, etc.), while ultimately spending less time refining the actual content. I won't apologize for the fart jokes, that's an issue of taste (or tastelessness), though even those gags weren't pulled off in the best way. I have a hard time explaining the process on this flash, but it basically comes down to "it got away from me, like a fish flailing out of my hands." The more I invested, the more I wanted to shape it, the more it came slipping out of my hands.

That said, I don't think Brock's voice and Kami's art were ill-used, there was a lot of energy and time invested in it, and for those who did enjoy it, they seemed to enjoy it quite it bit. All in all it got some good face-time thanks to Tom and NG and Brock and Ego on YT, and I hope it helped promote the other folks who made this flash possible (Kami, Devastus, and Brock ... not that he needs it :P)

I'm also curious what the traffic stats were on NG, as I tried to siphon some YT viewers into checking it out here for additional Flash-Only additional content. If it proved to boost the numbers even a little, I'm certainly tempted to up the ante on "additional Newgrounds exclusive content".

ALSO, I've been having a great time watching DeathInk draw stuff. Dude, you are so talented.

>>>

The Present // Sonic toon

Already well under way, this toon was initially one gag and has already begun to grow like a fungus. I won't be letting this one get out of hand. I'll also be focusing a lot more on the line-art quality. Probably less inbetween frames, but more keyframe poses. Keeping this one simple, so I can focus on a solid product while utilizing the process to really learn.

>>>

I'll keep ya'll posted. Long live Newgrounds.

Sonic and Batman


Posted by RicePirate - June 10th, 2012


The move from NYC took a hit to my exposure to the animation voice studios (4Kids and NYAVpost). That said, I don't plan on sitting back. I'm piecing together an animation voicing demo to link/submit/push. Obviously, the bulk of the work is from Newgrounds (and proudly so).

It's a work in progress, and I plan to update it regularly to ensure the best quality and variety.

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Batman Arkham City : The Droppings (or Droppings ... not sure)

... is going very well. The very amazingly talented Kamikaye is currently working on a cityscape background. Brock Baker's Harley Quinn couldn't be sexier (and stupid-er). Also, DeathInk surprised me with a "prequel" comic based on the animation ... don't know what I did in a past life to deserve that, but I'm honored and excited to see what happens with that.

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Posted by RicePirate - June 1st, 2012


UPDATE!!! (before this news vanishes from the FP)

Ninjaco's brings back those lovable pooping snowmen from SNOW BROS, check 'er OUT!

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I was in need of a background artist, and I got some great peeps interested, so no need to keep asking...

thanks for the quick replies guys :D

Hoping to have this done by next week .... I HOOOOOPPPPPEEEE

In other news, I hope Stamper is having fun giving blowjobs to all his gay animator house-guests... yes ... I'm jealous.

NEW ANIMATION!... and batpoop


Posted by RicePirate - May 20th, 2012


After Pico day, I dropped by NYC to record a short session for Edge Studio with Jay Snyder (some of you know him as Dan Green). While in the city, I crashed at my buddy's house while he was at work. Unable to sleep, he suggested I play Arkham City. 9 hours later, I was reminded of how much I've been missing since I stopped playing console games.

That said, I had an idea for a short parody ... and naturally, it's been growing out of control. That said, I hope to have it done by the beginning of June. It features the voice of the talented and sexy Mr. Brock Baker.

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The Awesome Tribute was a wonderful learning experience, namely in my limitations. There were about 4 other scenes that never made it in. That said I'll be finishing one last scene : Secret of Awesome.

I also plan to post the compilation (with the additional scene) on YouTube, and hopefully it'll get a little more face time as a whole, rather than segments. The last 4 scenes seemed to kinda fizzle out on Youtube without much view-age, not sure if it's cuz they just plain aren't that good, or that I made a mistake in separating them.

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The series is also still on the plate. Had a nice long conf with Hans about additional ideas. And while the pilot script is complete ... I'm pretty sure it is no longer "complete", and will need an additional half woven in. Clean up. Vocals. Animatic. And we'll see where it goes from there in terms of execution (additional animation help, etc).

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In terms of VO work, I need to reach outside my comfort zone and start making some connections here in Minneapolis. They won't be as fun and fruitful as those in NYC, but nobody's just gonna hand me opportunities ... so ... hustle.

I've got the studio, I have plenty of experience ... at this point, it's just a matter of hitting the pavement.

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Arkham City parody, Awesome Tribute final scene, and Series


Posted by RicePirate - May 9th, 2012


Everyone's already said it, so I don't need to repeat it. Pico day was awesome, more so than I was hyping myself up for. The pre-party with JaxaMoto, FFire, and Noah, and later hooking up with Luis, Swain, Afro, Ock, Jonas, Negative1, and whoever I'm forgetting considering it was 3am.

The Awesome Tribute was humble expression of gratitude and a great exercise in fbf for me, and I was really honored by the general response. Not to plug it on another channel, but I have the broken up scenes, posted on youtube. But as I always say, "best viewed on newgrounds."

What's next? Catching up on voicing for now. A number of upcoming NATA animations, as well as a couple others. Just voiced with D-Mac for the upcoming Xbox title (Dust). Also some voicing for a mugen character by Balthazar, creators of the award winning Goku Z mugen character.

Planning a series! No details to be shared now, but I've got some amazing people psyched for it, so I got no excuses this time. At the very least, I plan on creating the pilot, and if folks seem pumped for it, we'll push it along.

I'll keep this one short :D

Below is a segment I voiced (doing my GLaDOS impression).

And thanks Ninjaco for the amazing avatar art!!!!!!!!!! <3