The last time I worked on an animation project the director stood just a few feet away from me in the booth. Unusual, I thought. But as we moved from scene to scene he continually filled me in on the setting and the back-story, making sure I understood the context of the lines I was recording.
I had watched him do this with the actor scheduled before me. It occurred to me that he was in the booth to give instant organic feed-back to the acting and to paint the context as vividly as possible without the barrier of glass, microphones and talk-backs.
I also realized that this was a project where the director really did have the big picture, the vision, the entire script knocking around in his brain. He knew where each story line led and how to get the actors on the path so when the pieces , recorded lines, were stitched together in editing the result would be good story-telling.
Sure, it’s always better if you can have the entire cast in the studio at the same time. But very often, for lots of reasons, you just can’t. And if you have to bring the voices in one at a time, this was the way to do it.
There is a great article on Rock, Paper, Shotgun that addresses this issue (and others) as it relates to voice directing and acting for video games. Hat tip to fellow voice talkers David Houston and Bob Souer for the link.