dishonored valentines

2

gigiwilkins wanted Treavor, alter-cation wanted Martin… Then this happened. I’m sorry, korrenraa but Sokolov will be tomorrow and doodlier. I wanna draw some more Valentine silliness, but it will be late.

I will be drawing some Valentines with my Dishonored ocs too… Does anyone want a Micino Valentine (you know, it’s like a professional holiday for him… I guess)? Any other suggestions?

Stephen Russell Answers Fans: Part 2

Hello, everyone!  This is the second part to the Q&A between Stephen Russell and us fans.  He is extremely busy, but he still found the time to answer our questions.  So if you’d like to leave a small “thank you” for him, either here or in my ask box, I’ll be sure to send it his way.  I’m sure he’d appreciate it. ^_^

Also, in case you missed it, here is part one:
http://kirain.tumblr.com/post/146277968301/stephen-russell-answers-questions-from-his-fans

Personal Questions:
1. You’re a very talented voice actor and you can throw your voice so well.  Have you ever used this to pull any awesome pranks?  Do you have any funny stories in regards to any antics caused by your voices?

I used to enjoy talking to telemarketers in the character of a very elderly, hard of hearing and slightly confused person for whom English was not their native language.  Or even one they used very often.  This character had a lot of questions and seemed particularly puzzled by the concept of credit card promotions.  I figured if the telemarketers were going to waste my time, the least I could do was return the favor.  My wife tried to convince me this behavior, which I just saw as an opportunity to practice my craft, was cruel; but then she wasn’t the person trying to work from home.  When she retired last year and was, herself, subject to the endless barrage of telemarketing calls, she mostly solved the problem by canceling our landline.

2. What is the weirdest/most fun interaction you’ve had with a fan?

That time when someone asked me, “What is the weirdest/most fun interaction you’ve had with a fan.“

3. The last time you answered our questions, you said you used to sing in a choir.  Is there any chance we might get to hear you sing in an upcoming game?

I got to sing a little bit as Raoul in one of the "Thief” games, and I’m always hoping for more opportunities.

4. Have you ever read the fan fictions for the games you’ve voiced in?

I confess I haven’t. I wasn’t even aware such things existed.  I’ll have to look for them. I have to read quite a lot for my other work, so the opportunities to read just for pleasure are few and far between.

5. When did you start acting and what sparked your interest?

Third grade?  Fourth grade?  Somewhere in there?  As to what sparked my interest, I think it all boils down to my love of stories and storytelling in all its varied forms.

6. Did you always want to be an actor?

Yes and no.  I always wanted to be a performer and to be involved in the business of telling stories, and for many years I really thought that music and writing would be my avenue for that.  Music is still really my first and most enduring love, but I’ve learned I’m a far better actor than I am a musician.

7. It says on your bio that you’re a writer, too.  Have you published any novels or other works?

I’m primarily a playwright, as well as a songwriter, and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing somewhere around 18 of my plays for family audiences produced.  None of them have been published.  Not for want of trying, mind you.

8. In the previous Q&A you did for us, you seemed very passionate about the writing surrounding the characters you voice.  What do you think is the importance of storytelling and developing a meaningful narrative?

Story is the foundation for everything.  If you don’t have that, you don’t have a play, a movie, a song, a game, etc.  It doesn’t have to be that complicated, either. It just has to be something that makes us care about the situation and the characters in that situation.  The stakes have to be high, but that doesn’t always mean Armageddon.  In Jane Austen’s world, the right marriage proposal really was life and death.

9. What is your favourite part of voice acting?

The feeling that I get when I’ve really nailed a line.  I also really like all the people I get to work with - the audio directors, the writers, the engineers, the sound designers - all of whom are smart, funny, and totally dedicated to getting the job done right.  My other favorite part is when I see that red, white and blue truck pull up to my mailbox, put something in it, close the little door and then pull away, and I walk down my driveway and discover that the check has arrived.

10. What is your favourite band/genre of music?

Too numerous to mention. I’m a sucker for a good melody, no matter what the genre, and I like exploring unfamiliar territory.  In fact, I don’t even really like classifying music by genre.  I tend to think of music as either formal or informal, which roughly translates to classical and everything else, but even there the lines get blurred very quickly. I’ve mentioned somewhere else that I’m a huge Bellowhead fan, and one of the reasons why I like them so much is that their arrangements of traditional English songs draw from so many different influences.  I think “Stardust” is the most beautiful song ever written and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is the crowning achievement in all of Western music.  As you might guess, I can get very passionate about voices, both the ones I like and the ones I can’t stand.

11. When is your birthday?  We want to shower you with birthday wishes!!

I think last year it was on a Wednesday.  It probably will be again in about six or seven years.

Game-related Questions:
1. What’s it is like to voice Corvo in the upcoming Dishonored 2?  Is it challenging to voice him fully this time around?

Nothing but fun.  I was thrilled to get to work with the wonderful director Wes Gleason on this project, and we were also very fortunate to have in the studio with us Arkane’s Harvey Smith, who probably knows this character better than anyone.  When he heard the initial takes and said, “That’s Corvo, that’s our guy.”  I knew we were on the right track.

2. What has been your favourite game to work on?  Are there any that are particularly dear to you?  I’d imagine “Thief” has a special place in your heart.

“Thief” was pretty special because that’s where it all began, but, otherwise, I don’t really think in those terms.  I love to work and I love a challenge, so my favourite is usually the one I’m working on at the moment.

3. Do you improvise often, or do you have to read everything word for word with no exceptions?
4. Were all of Codsworth’s jokes scripted, or did you throw any of your own in there?

It’s kind of the same answer for both questions.  99% of what you hear in the game is what was in the script.  The voice recording happens pretty late in the development of a game, so there’s not a lot of room for improvisation.  On occasion, a line will feel a bit stilted or awkward in performance and then will need to be adjusted, and every now and again there will be an ellipsis at the end of a line that allows me an opportunity to continue a character’s thought beyond what has been written.  This happened most often with Codsworth, and I certainly enjoyed cracking wise when the opportunity arose, but, again, 99% of those jokes came from Emil Pagliarulo and the other writers at Bethesda.  They’re very funny people.

5. Do you ever get to work with the other voice actors?  For example, did you work alongside Courtenay Taylor and Brian T. Delaney, or was everything recorded separately?

Everything was recorded separately.  It’s a lonely business, voice acting.  Just you in a room with a microphone, a glass of water and #2 pencil.  And, on the other side of a wall of glass, half a dozen people judging every word that comes out of your mouth.

6. What’s your favourite silly name from Codsworth?

Fauntleroy.

7. What was it like recording all the different names that Codsworth can say?

Hypnotic.

8. Was it difficult voicing Nick and DiMA back and forth?

Those characters were recorded in separate sessions so, not really.

9. Do you think that if Nick had the chance to become a third generation synth, he would take it?

Hard to say.  But I do happen to know that if Nick had the chance to play third base for the Red Sox, he’d jump at the opportunity.  Why do you think he has his office in Diamond City?

10. How would you describe the relationship between Nick and his secretary, Ellie Perkins?  I always felt like there was a great friendship there, even though we didn’t really get to see that played out.

It’s kind of the classic noir detective/secretary relationship, like Sam Spade and Effie Perrine.  One of the things I really like about J.K. Rowling’s “Robert Galbraith” novels is how she riffs on that relationship with her characters, Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott.

11. Are you surprised with the reactions and fandoms surrounding Fallout and all the other games you’ve voiced in (Skyrim, Thief, Dishonored, etc.)?  Part of that is definitely because of your hard work and dedication to the characters you voice!

Yes, indeed. Surprised, delighted and very grateful.

12. Nick Valentine is by far one of my favourite companions and characters in the entire Fallout series. As someone with particular insight into his character, what would you say his reasons are for not being romancable?

Too busy thinking about playing third base for the Red Sox?  But, really, I think his work is his life and he’s just not that interested in anything that distracts from the case at hand.  It’s just the way he’s built.

13. What ending of Fallout 4 would you choose?

Myself, I love a happy ending, don’t you?

14. Would you say that robots like Codsworth are sentient?

Absolutely!

15. What were the hardest/most emotional lines to record in Fallout?

I think some of the exchanges with DiMA, but they were also some of the most fun to record.

16. How do you feel about Nick becoming such an influential character, along the lines of: “What would Nick Valentine have to say about that?”

Nick seems to have a pretty good moral compass, so I’m thinking there are worse individuals to look to for guidance.


I hope this answered all of the questions people submitted.  Thank you all so much for your patience and for participating!  Please remember to follow Stephen Russell on Twitter and continue to support him. ^_^

things you can imagine corvo saying now:

  1. [about food found on the ground] some may call these junk, me, i call them treasures
  2. everything can be mind controlled my friend, if i had a sister, id mind control her in a second!
  3. MORE stairs? who built this prison? a fitness instructor?
  4. beeeep beeeep beeeep
Stephen Russell Answers Questions from His Fans!

Hello, everyone! These are the questions that my friend and I gathered from all of you here on Tumblr and sent to Stephen Russell.  If your question is not on the list below, please do not take it personally.  It just means that your question didn’t make it to us before I had to close the post.  I apologize.

Much to my friend’s and my admiration, he answered every singlequestion we sent.  He even apologized for the delay and said he appreciated the questions and our patience.  This went far beyond what we expected.  He is a very busy man, yet he took time out of his busy schedule for us– his fans.

IMPORTANT:
Even if you didn’t ask a question, if anyone who reads this would like to leave a comment thanking Stephen Russell for his time, and for the genuine thoughtfulness that went into his answers, I will gather them up and send them his way.  I think that would be a nice surprise for him.  My words alone cannot do our gratitude justice, so I ask that you lend me your support.  Thank you and enjoy! :)


1) You have such a range vocally, going from rough to soft and also a range of accents.  Did you have specialized training, or was it down to years of mimicry/trial and error?

Thanks for your kind words! It was a combination of the two, really, but far more of the latter.  A lot of listening, a lot of imitation, a lot of experimenting with my voice to see what it could do.  The training part I got mostly through singing in choruses and choirs, taking individual voice lessons and singing with bands and as a solo act for many years.

2) How did you get into voice acting?  I know you’re a stage/film actor as well, but I’m told that voice acting is quite different.  What sparked your interest?

I had been doing voice work for commercials, narrations, industrials, radio drama, etc. for quite some time.  In May of 1997 I answered a casting call and went to an audition for something that turned out to be Thief, The Dark Project, for Looking Glass.  So my initial interest was really just about landing another job. However, once I started actually doing this work I became fascinated by the storytelling possibilities.  That’s what it all comes down to for me, no matter what the medium - stories.

3) How do you feel about the characters you portray?  How deeply do you get to know them before you voice them?

a) You can’t have a great story without great characters and I’ve been really fortunate to get to work with smart, witty writers who know how to create memorable characters, each with a distinct worldview, and then give them dialogue that brings out those subtle quirks of personality through which character is revealed.  It’s fun to slip into those characters and I’m always glad when I get to revisit a character I’ve worked on before.

b) One of the challenges about this work is that there’s often not a lot of time to get to know a character before an initial recording session, so you discover nuances of said character over multiple sessions.

4) How hard is it to break into the voice acting business?  What is some good advice you would give to a beginner?

Giving career advice to strangers is really difficult because it all depends on the individual and there’s no one single path that works for everyone.  It can be quite challenging to break into any aspect of the acting business, and anything you can do to gain experience or training as an actor is going to be of help in the long run.

5) Is there a character out there that you would like to portray in the future?

No one in particular. Creating from the ground up is always the most fun for me, taking on a character that allows me to stretch, that challenges me to learn something new, to find a new place in my voice that I haven’t used before.

6) Have you ever considered getting into animation; outside of video games?

Love to!  Happy to entertain any and all offers, provided they’re union jobs, of course.


Game-related questions:

1) How long were the recording sessions for Fallout 4?  What’s the longest recording session you’ve ever had?

Union contracts specify that sessions can last no longer than four hours, so no Fallout 4 session went over that time limit.  I can’t remember exactly how many days in total I worked on Fallout 4, but I know there were a lot of sessions over several years, usually three or four days back to back every four months or so.

2) If you have one, who is your favourite character? Who did you enjoy voicing the most?  Which character was the most fun to portray?

My favourite character is always the one I’m working on at the moment and they all have unique challenges and pleasures.  Voicing Codsworth was hilarious because Emil Pagliarulo and the other writers at Bethesda gave me so many good jokes to play with.  I always welcome a bit of humor.  I find that characters who take themselves too seriously are as tedious in games as they are in real life.

3) Who do you enjoy playing more in games: protagonists or antagonists?

Antagonists are fun because they’re usually bigger, broader characters.  Protagonists require more subtlety to bring out emotion.  Again, different challenges, both enjoyable in their own way.

4) What is it like to record interactions between two characters you portray?  For example; Barbas and Clavicus Vile or Nick Valentine and DiMA?

Lines are recorded individually by character, not sequentially or by scene, so we might do all of Barbas’ lines in one session and then Clavicus Vile’s dialogue in another, sometimes months later.  So, in general, I treat those lines where I know I’m talking to a character I’ve already voiced or will be voicing no differently than any others.  It is fun to hear them together later, though.

5) Do you interact with the rest of the Bethesda team at all?  Or is your work mainly separate from the rest of the game’s development?

Sadly, I don’t get to interact with the rest of the Bethesda team much at all, other than as disembodied voices in my headphones.  I have such respect for the work they do, that it would be fun to get to meet more of the team.  For that reason, going to E3 in 2015 was an enormous pleasure, as I got to say hello to Todd Howard, Emil Pagliarulo and others whose work I’ve long admired.

6) DiMA’s voice is so unique. How did you develop it? Did you get a lot of direction from the writers, or were you mostly free to create it yourself?

It’s always a collaborative effort.

7) What is your overall opinion of the Far Harbor DLC?  Did you enjoy working on it?

I think it’s brilliant and I loved working on it!!

8) Did it take time to discover the voice of the Mr. Handy robots, or did it come to you naturally?

It was shockingly easy. Codsworth may be my alter ego.

9) Was DiMA’s voice scripted or accidental?

The dialogue was scripted, certainly.  As for the tone and the specific vocal quality, again, a collaborative effort.

10) What do you think of your Valentine fanbase? Especially in the case of the fan girls who really want Nick to be romancable?

I think the Valentine fans are the nicest, kindest, most wonderful human beings pretty much ever. Now, by romancable, do you mean flowers and chocolate and long walks on the beach?  I do happen to know that Nick is singularly disinterested in flowers or consumables of any kind, though he does like a good shot of WD-40 every now and again, and, given the state of the beaches in Far Harbor, walking there might not be the most prudent course of action.

11) Are you excited for Dishonoured 2?  We are!

November can’t come soon enough!

12) Was Nick Valentine fashioned after you specifically?

I have been known to wear a rain coat, particularly during inclement weather, and I did own a fedora at one time.  (I wonder what ever happened to that?  Must remember to look in the attic.)  That’s about as far as the resemblance goes.

13) Dishonoured took a lot of inspiration from the original “Thief” games. Did the team seem excited to have the original Master Thief on board to VA for Corvo?

Everyone was very kind, yes.

14) What was your favourite Nick Valentine line/scene to perform?

That’s a tough one. He has so many great lines.  I could probably choose a different one every day.

15) How did Bethesda first describe Nick Valentine at the beginning of game production, and did they make any changes in Nick’s personality/back story/role later on?

I think we’ll just let the mystery be on that one.

16) For the role as Nick Valentine, who did you use for inspiration/ reference to develop the voice/tone?

We’ll let the mystery be on that one, too.

17) What was it like to voice act as Codsworth live at E3 and PAX Prime?  I didn’t realize you were improvising until I saw videos showing you were interacting and sharing dad jokes with fans.

Nothing but fun! First of all, it was great just to be there and to get to see that incredible animatronic Mr. Handy created for the event.  And then I just loved improv-ing and riffing on all the people walking by.  Is there anything better than getting an adult to sing “I’m A Little Teapot” in front of a crowd of strangers?  I don’t think so.

18) How do you feel about the fans creating and posting online artworks of the characters you voice?

I’m really impressed by both the quality and the quantity of creative efforts that these characters have inspired.  Some of the artwork is truly stunning and the fan fiction is often highly imaginative and well written. Keep up the good work, folks!

19) What is it like to bring these characters to life?

Challenging, in the best possible way, and rewarding like nothing else I’ve ever done. It’s such an honor to get to work with all the incredibly talented, smart, funny and creative women and men who create these games and these characters and I feel really fortunate that I get to do this work and they keep asking me back.

20) If given the chance, would you voice Garrett again?

As I mentioned earlier, I’m always glad when I get to revisit a character I’ve worked on before. But somehow it feels more natural to want to see what’s ahead rather than always looking back.

Finally, a big thanks for all these thoughtful and intelligent questions.  I really appreciate all the interest in my work.
Best, Stephen.

“…fix your eyes to what is edifying and to what is pure, and then you will be able to recognize the profane monuments of the Outsider.” -(The First Stricture)

If Overseer Renard comes to call, know your Strictures one and all… The Litany of Whitecliff will give you bonus points at an interrogation.

With Renard it’s never ‘whiskey and cigars’, it’s always a damn teaparty.

Corvo keeping Emily distracted so Jessamine can sleep in a few extra minutes

(◡‿◡✿)

Corvo bringing them both breakfast with a rose

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Corvo looming threateningly at any potential courting efforts by minor Lordlings

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Corvo and Emily planning a picnic. It’s a mess

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Corvo and Emily pretending there’s an urgent meeting Jessamine Absolutely Must Attend Today

(◡‿◡✿)

Corvo and Emily surprising her with a quiet dinner and silly pictures by both of them (Emily’s are better)

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Corvo and Jessamine tucking an exhausted Emily to bed

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Corvo and Jessamine enjoying the quiet night and admiring the stars

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Jessamine riding Corvo so hard into the bed he bites the pillow to keep from screaming

(☉‿☉✿)