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Fred Berman answered your questions

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  • Fred Berman answered your questions

    Thanks to Fred we've got our answers.


    Hey Fred, here are my questions, thought you might find them comical.

    1) What would be your reaction, if you knew that there's actually a person with the real name "Barry Wheller" ? What would you say to him ?
    2) Barry Wheller is the most hilarious person ever in the whole Alan Wake game by going "niggah" with those fat clothes and stuff, as if he just got back from a Hip Hop gig and his hilarious comments. Which comment of his made you cry from the laughs ?
    3) Did you play the games "Alan Wake" and "Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne" ?
    4) What was the most exciting moment in your whole life in your RMD job ?
    5) Finally, are you willing to keep your "com- er excellent" job in RMD to keep your Whellerism there ? xD

    1) If I ever met someone with the name Barry Wheeler I'd probably immediately ask him to be my agent.
    2) The Flaming Eye of Mordor line alway got me.
    3) Believe it or not, I've actually never played either game. In fact, I've never really played any games, other than Guitar Hero. If it isn't a single Atari joystick with one red button, I'm lost. Or if it's just text, even better. "Zork" for the Apple THERE was a game!
    4) The most exciting moment for me, truly, was finding out how popular "Barry" had become. It's always an amazing feeling to know that you've connected with the players in a positive way.
    5) I am willing to do anything and everything to keep Barry Wheeler alive and kicking more undead ass.


    What is your favorite moment in Alan Wake?

    "The Flaming Eye of Mordor" was probably my favorite moment in Alan just opened up a whole new layer of Barry.


    1. How did you prepare for the character?
    2. Would you say you relate to Barry?
    3. How fun is it to play Barry?

    1) When you do voice-work for games you really get little to no opportunity to prep. At the auditions you're given a brief background of the character and what the game is about, a picture of what the character will look like, and a few random scenes, most of the time with only your characters', a lot of it is trying to fill in the blanks quickly and then just going with your gut. Then, if you're lucky enough to book the job, you basically show up to record and do the same exact thing. You'll have the benefit of having more of the script in front of you (sometimes), but you really have no opportunity to take it home and read through to find the arch of the character. So, it helps to have a great director with you to help fill in the blanks and keep you informed of what is going on, what's going to happen, etc. Thankfully, Navid Khonsari, who directed Alan Wake, and who I had worked with previously on Max Payne 2, was super helpful in this regard. And again, it's also about going with your gut and making bold choices and then having the director reign you in and push and pull you to where he thinks you need to be.
    2) I think Barry really takes his job as an agent seriously. He wants to be the best agent there is and he deeply cares about Alan, as a client, but also as a friend. I take my job as an actor very seriously, and I want to do the best work I can, all the time. I also try to be an extremely loyal friend. So, in these ways, I relate to Barry. However, I would never wear that red puffy jacket.
    3) How fun is it to play Barry? An absolute blast. 'Nuff said.


    First of all, Fred, i must say that i'm a big fan of yours, since Vince. Man, how i laughed with Vince, and how much i laughed with Barry too, but you sir, has made me almost cry in the Well Lit Room.

    Now, the question: You know, when i hear your voice, the first thing that comes into my mind it's : "Joe Pesci". I mean, i'm a big fan of Joe, and man, your voice sounds a lot with his voice. More exactly, from Leo, of Lethan Weapon... so, i must ask that if he is one of several sources of inspirations.

    Thank and wish to see you in the next games!

    Thanks so much for the kind words! Vinnie was such a fun role, and it was really the first big video game role I had done, so it's great to know that he's resonated with the fans. Joe Pesci is definitely a big influence. "Raging Bull" and "Goodfellas" are two of my favorite movies of all time, and Pesci is just pitch perfect in both. With Vinnie (and Barry to some extent), there was the idea of this little guy who fancied himself a tough guy....and that is definitely "Leo" from Lethal Weapon; a guy who just loved to pontificate on everything and anything and wanted to make sure everyone knew his opinion. So, yeah, there's a lot of "Leo" in "Vinnie" (or vice versa), and we definitely had Pesci in mind when we were recording "Vinnie."


    I'm your biggest fan! (no, seriously)

    Thanks for taking the time to answer questions. I'd like to ask you what's your favorite acting role you've played (voice acting or otherwise) and why?

    And second, who's your favorite character in Alan Wake?

    Thanks so much! But I think my mother may fight you over the "biggest fan" title. Be careful, she's a Jewish mother, so she'll fight you to the death. Anyways...favorite role. Hmmm, I'm currently playing "Timon" on B'way in The Lion King and I'd be lying if I didn't say it's up there on the top of the list. But in terms of absolute favorite, it may be "Arnold Epstein" in 'Biloxi Blues' by Neil Simon. I played the role years ago in a regional theatre in Rochester, and it was probably one of the most challenging and satisfying roles I've ever done. If you've only seen the movie version, do yourself a favor and read the's VERY different, especially that role.
    My favorite character in Alan Wake? Why, Mr. Wheeler, of course....(but of course, he'd never let me hear the end of it if I said differently.)


    Fred, you're really great. Your voice completely goes with Barry.

    My question is: Since you're Mr. The Flaming Eye of Mordor, do you like The Lord of the Rings? And do you think Barry could do everything Alan had to do?

    Thanks for the compliment. Glad you dug Barry. I am a fan of Lord of the Rings....though (and this may be be sacrilege), only the movies, not the books. I started reading the books several years ago, and just couldn't seem to push through it. Then the movies came out and I was completely hooked. Though, now that I'm finishing up Game of Thrones, maybe it's time to revisit Middle Earth.....
    And yes, I think Barry could do everything Alan could do....but much louder.


    Did you finish the game Alan Wake and the DLCs? Did you enjoy it or played it together with your friends?

    What is it like to work together with remedy?

    Did you meet the voice actor of Alan, Matthew Porretta? Where you like talking about Alan and Barrys relationship to each other to get a better feeling for Barry?

    As I mentioned to TannosukeGR, I've actually never played the game. I've seen tons of screen shots and clips, but I got a PS2 when Max Payne 2 came out so I could give it a try, and after I realized that video game consoles had changed considerably since I last played Super Mario Brothers on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986, well, my puny brain just froze up in atrophy and I conceded defeat. That being said, the stuff I've seen looks incredible and the trailers for the game were better than most movie trailers.
    In terms of working with Remedy, I really only worked with the director, Navid Khonsari, and the on-site engineer, David Wilson, who were both fantastic.
    I met Matthew Portetta only once, and it was several years into the recording process, after we had finished most of the major stuff. Seemed like a really good guy. As I mentioned to Kranitoko, there's really no preparation time with video game V/Os, and you always record alone. So, I had to create the relationship between Barry and Alan by myself and pretty much on the fly (as I'm sure Matthew did as well). Thankfully, Navid helped us both, individually, reach a place where it all matched up and made sense when everything was edited together. It also helped that the relationship between Alan and Barry was very clearly laid out in the script and a lot really interesting layers were explored within the text.


    - how much was manuscripted, how much of your output was improvised? It seems (sounds) like there were many freely interpreted moments and the overall feel of the performance was relying quite heavily on the catch of the moment. I personally value improvisation and carpe-diem-ism (heh) very much and am always willing to dig deep into other people's tools; what puts you "in the mood" - i.e. do you require a thorough explanation of a character or do you do your own investigation?

    - when creating a character, which comes first: the behaviour, the speech or the looks?

    If memory serves, most of, if not all, of the dialogue recorded was as written. There were a few times when I would throw in my own stuff, but Navid was pretty strict about sticking to the text. Now, that isn't to say that he was stifling in any regard and unwilling to hear my ideas. A lot of times it was about playing around and improvising a bit just to get comfortable and loose and then taking that same energy and applying it to the written dialogue. But, my feeling is, someone took a long, long time to put those words to paper, so it's my job to work as hard as I can to make everything he/she wrote shine in the best light possible and give the director and editor as many exciting choices to work with as possible. And, of course, if a line is really awkward or I just can't wrap my head around why/how to deliver it, then, hopefully a discussion can be broached between myself and the director (and writer, if they're present).
    In terms of creating a character, it really differs from role to role. And generally speaking, the behavior, speech, and looks all inform each other to some degree. That being said, in video games, the first thing you have is that avatar or screen shot of the character - so the look is already set up for you. And that look will inform the behavior. And of course, the text then informs everything else - what the character says, how he says it, what other character say about him, etc....So, again, I think they inform each other in some way.

    Mera Benzema

    Hey Dear Fred.
    1) Do You Play Games? What Have You Played Recently? Specially L.A. Noire, Did You Play It?
    2) How Did You Start Your Relationship With Remedy?
    That's It For Now. I Can't Find Anything to Ask Right Now.

    1) Please see my responses to Jester and TannosukeGR.
    2) My relationship with Remedy really started with Max Payne 2. I had worked with director, Navid Khonsari on that, as well as some other games for Rockstar. When Alan Wake was casting, apparently the folks at Remedy said they wanted a "Vinnie Gognitti type" for Alan Wake. Since Navid and I had worked together previously, he was able to say, "Hey, I can do you one better: I can get you Vinnie Gognitti!" So, it was just really great timing.


    Are you working on anymore AW projects

    How much freedom did Remedy give you?

    I'm not sure how much I can say re: future Alan Wake projects, as I'm not sure when/if things are getting released...but let's just say that Barry Wheeler has been making a few visits to the recording studio lately, so you may not have heard the last of him just yet....


    Did you cringe having to say the line "You need to throw me a bone here best seller"?

    "Good agents never cringe." - Barry Wheeler.
    Last edited by The Darkness; 07-26-2011, 08:49 AM.
    When it's all dark...light is so precious, just like the darkness

  • #2
    Re: Fred Berman answered your questions

    ahahaahhaha... Amazing and funny answers. Thank you, Fred. I hope to hear your voice someday.

    The Darkness, I think we should question the last two protagonists of Alan Wake, which are Thomas Zane and Sarah Breaker. I said my thoughts, because I see we're hitting our questions on the actors.
    The game can take you in a journey of fantasy, cause your mind is the creator of fantasy !


    • #3
      Re: Fred Berman answered your questions

      Originally posted by The Darkness View Post
      However, I would never wear that red puffy jacket.
      Hehe. An answer to one of my questions xD


      • #4
        Re: Fred Berman answered your questions

        So did he just stop halfway through his answer on mine or is it missing?

        If its him just stopping that damn him!
        Team Yu!/TeamYuNeedsYOU


        • #5
          Re: Fred Berman answered your questions

          thebestbit... LOL
          The game can take you in a journey of fantasy, cause your mind is the creator of fantasy !


          • #6
            Re: Fred Berman answered your questions

            Originally posted by thebestbit View Post
            So did he just stop halfway through his answer on mine or is it missing?

            If its him just stopping that damn him!
  's exactly the answer !!! Fred must have made a mistake
            When it's all dark...light is so precious, just like the darkness


            • #7
              Re: Fred Berman answered your questions

              thebestbit you've got your full answer in the first post ! a great answer indeed.
              When it's all dark...light is so precious, just like the darkness


              • #8
                Re: Fred Berman answered your questions

                i love these Q&As so much.

                but hoos next?
                End of the internets


                • #9
                  Re: Fred Berman answered your questions

                  Originally posted by jkler View Post
                  but hoos next?
                  I think the next victim of The Darkness is the one who casted Thomas Zane.

                  (crossing fingers...)
                  The game can take you in a journey of fantasy, cause your mind is the creator of fantasy !


                  • #10
                    Re: Fred Berman answered your questions

                    Originally posted by jkler View Post
                    i love these Q&As so much.

                    but hoos next?

                    sarah breaker
                    "This is the way the world ends
                    Not with a bang but a whimper."

                    -T.S Eliot-


                    • #11
                      Re: Fred Berman answered your questions

                      Can't wait for the next one!
                      What the Helheim?


                      • #12
                        Re: Fred Berman answered your questions

                        Thanks this is amazing


                        • #13
                          Re: Fred Berman answered your questions

                          Hah! Brilliant! Thanks for that The Darkness.
                          Shane: Editor-in-Chief - - (now offline)