6 December 1955, Long Island, New York, USA
Andrea Romano has been casting and directing voices for over 31 years. Her credits include a 5 1/2 year stint as casting director at Hanna Barbera, directing Disney's DuckTales (1987), Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers (1989) and some seasons of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1988), many of Universal's Land Before Time home v...
Andrea Romano has been casting and directing voices for over 31 years. Her credits include a 5 1/2 year stint as casting director at Hanna Barbera, directing Disney's DuckTales (1987), Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers (1989) and some seasons of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1988), many of Universal's Land Before Time home videos, Warner Bros. Steven Spielberg Presents Tiny Toon Adventures (1990), Animaniacs (1993), Pinky and the Brain (1995), as well as Batman: The Animated Series (1992), Superman (1996), Batman Beyond (1999), Teen Titans (2003), and Justice League (2001). Also for Warner Bros., Andrea directed 23 direct to video films in conjunction with DC Comics and Warner Home Video. Her other credits include 3 seasons of "The Boondocks (2005)" for Sony, and "Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005)", The Legend of Korra (2012), El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera (2007), and SpongeBob SquarePants (1999) for Nickelodeon. She currently directing "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)", "Turbo FAST (2013)", "The Adventures of Puss in Boots (2015)" and Voltron: Legendary Defender (2016).
We did the auditions for months and we had maybe 150 actors for the voice of Batman and we kind of had a Clint Eastwood thing going with a k...
We did the auditions for months and we had maybe 150 actors for the voice of Batman and we kind of had a Clint Eastwood thing going with a kind of raspier, quieter sound and then Kevin Conroy walked in the room and did one of those wonderful things that happens once in a lifetime. He just nailed it and we all just said, "We're done!"
[on Steven Spielberg] For those fans who don't know this already, he was very hands-on. He was not just a figurehead. He looked at storyboar...
[on Steven Spielberg] For those fans who don't know this already, he was very hands-on. He was not just a figurehead. He looked at storyboards, he looked at story ideas, he read every script, he had input. Matter of fact my one real massive claim to fame is although many have been directed by Steven Spielberg I am one of the very few who has directed Steven Spielberg. I have the outtake reel in case I'm ever broke.
[talking about a typical voice session for Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005)] Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005) has its own specific challen...
[talking about a typical voice session for Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005)] Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005) has its own specific challenges regarding recording. The actor who voiced "Aang" (Zach Tyler) lives on the east coast. The rest of the actors in the main cast reside in the Los Angeles area. It's a major part of my job to make sure it sounds as if these actors were all in the room at the same time...so that it sounds like the characters are all in the same scene. It would be disconcerting if Toph and Katara and Sokka were all talking at a conversational level (volume) and Aang sounded like he was shouting his lines!
It's the voice director's job to make sure the writer's and producer's requests are incorporated into the recording session...after all, whe...
It's the voice director's job to make sure the writer's and producer's requests are incorporated into the recording session...after all, when it comes right down to it, it's the producer's show. It's my job to be sure to get them the vocal tracks they need to make the cartoon they desire.
It was a different time. There were only a handful of people doing this work. It was a simpler time in many ways and yet, it was more comple...
It was a different time. There were only a handful of people doing this work. It was a simpler time in many ways and yet, it was more complex when we think about our technology now and how easy it is...we go to an ADR cue that's at time code 10 minutes thirteen seconds 15 frames-- we go right to it. Back then we would have to roll through the reel all the way to get to that so there are certain things that are easier now because of technology, but there is a simpler mentality about cartoons. There were really no mean-spirited cartoons then and with the exception of the cartoons like the classic Warner Bros., Looney Tunes and Jay Ward cartoons they were mostly made for kids. There was not really much concern about broadcast standards because of trying to push the envelope. We were making children's shows -- Smurfs, you know. So I was at Hanna-Barbera for 5 ½ years when Disney approached me and said we're going to create a division of Disney called Disney TV Animation and we are going to do a series called DuckTales (1987). We are going to audition five different directors (at this time I was just a casting director) and they asked if I would come in and audition by directing an episode. They were doing 65 episodes and that was a huge number -- usually things were ordered in 13 episodes. It was also the time of merchandising when some of the cartoons were simply 22-minute commercials to sell the toys. So they were going to take the first five episodes and had five different directors before making a decision as to who was going to make the rest of the 60 episodes. I was apparently the 2nd director that came in to audition and after I finished they said they weren't even going to see the other three people. They wanted me.
So when I first started casting at Hanna-Barbera it was a time when celebrities and known recognizable on-camera actors wanted nothing to do...
So when I first started casting at Hanna-Barbera it was a time when celebrities and known recognizable on-camera actors wanted nothing to do with animation and they wanted nothing to do with voiceovers. They thought it was beneath them. And then there was this whole paradigm shift where people realized that they could be cast in roles that wouldn't be cast on camera, that it was a very good money-making industry, and that it was great fun. That was the most important thing: that we made sessions fun. They were fast and furious, but they were really fun. We made sure there was a lot of laughing going on, even in a very serious "Batman" show. And so, all of a sudden, agents - I have always had a very good relationship with agents because I was one. Before I was a casting director I was an agent. When I became an agent - when I became a casting director, I maintained my relationships with the agents, and so they would feel comfortable calling me and saying, "Hey, I just signed Blah-Blah-Blah, and they mentioned that they're interested in voiceover, and they're specifically interested in voiceover for animation." Come to find out, a lot of the reason was-aside from the fact that they may not be cast on-camera in these roles-their kids couldn't watch a lot of their work that they were doing on camera. You do a show like "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000)" or "Criminal Minds (2005)" and your young kids can't watch those shows, but you do a "Batman" episode and you're the hero of the household. You suddenly are like every kid in the neighborhood is in your driveway going, what, you did a "Batman" episode, when is it coming out, when can we watch you? And so a lot of actors got very interested and would actually approach me. Mark Hamill actually approached me to ask if he could be a part of the "Batman" series
I began my career as an actress, receiving a BFA from the State University of NY at Fredonia (who recently honored me with a lifetime achiev...
I began my career as an actress, receiving a BFA from the State University of NY at Fredonia (who recently honored me with a lifetime achievement award). I then went on to Rutgers for a year in the masters program. Before I finished my degree, I felt the need to get out of academia and go test the waters in the real world. I spent some time beating the pavement in Manhattan while working as a cashier at Capezio in the Village (dance and high fashion clothes & footwear). In 1979, I packed up my life into my mother's attic and moved to San Diego (with the huge sum of $400 to my name). I very soon discovered the lack of acting opportunities available in San Diego. Luckily, I was contacted by a college buddy who turned me onto a job as a voice over agent's assistant. Voice over agents represent voice actors for commercial and animation work as well as promo and movie trailer work...all voice over work. I began as an assistant...a few months later I was the youngest franchised agent in Los Angeles. I left there a few years later to start a voice department at a "boutique" (meaning specialized...not a million clients) agency. After being an agent there for a few years, I was offered the job of casting director for Hanna Barbera productions. It was truly the offer of a lifetime. I had the wonderful experience working with the brilliant Gordon Hunt (he was doing all the voice directing for Hanna Barbera) one of the best mentors anyone could hope for. I was at Hanna Barbera during the time of "The Smurfs" (1981)_, The Snorks (1984), Popeye and Son (1987), Pink Panther and Sons (1984), A Pup Named Scooby-Doo (1988)...dozens and dozens of cartoons were produced there every season. In 1989, several people from Hanna Barbera took a giant leap of faith, left our secure jobs, and formed Warner Brothers Animation. I became a freelance voice director and haven't stopped working since! (Whew!) We made several series with Steven Spielberg...Tiny Toon Adventures (1990), Animaniacs (1993), Pinky and the Brain (1995), Freakazoid! (1995). I also started casting and directing action cartoons like Batman, Superman (1996), Justice League (2001), Batman Beyond (1999). I did many series for other studios as well...DuckTales (1987) for Disney TV (even did a season of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1988)!), Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers (1989)...a few projects for Universal (the first 5 or so videos of The Land Before Time (1988)).
I started out as an actress, when I was in New York, and then I moved to Southern California to San Diego where no one told me that there wa...
I started out as an actress, when I was in New York, and then I moved to Southern California to San Diego where no one told me that there was no acting work, and then a friend of mine who I had gone to college with, undergraduate work, called me to interview for a temporary job at a talent agency in a voiceover department, and that's where I started learning anything about voiceover. And I was there for about three or four months as a temp, and then the person that I was temping for decided not to come back, and they franchised me. I want to say that this was somewhere around 1980, and for like a little tiny period of time I was the youngest agent in Hollywood, and I got to go to a lot of recording sessions. I'd go to a lot of Hanna-Barbera sessions because I loved Hanna-Barbera so much, and that gave me a great insight into how cartoons were made. So when in 1984 Ginny McSwain, who was the casting director at Hanna-Barbera, called me up and said 'Do you want to come interview for this job,?" I jumped at the chance, and went into the interview with Gordon Hunt - arguably the mentor to every voice director that works today - hired me almost on the spot. But I had a little bit of background because I had been going to sessions. I had watched Gordon work. I was such a huge fan of animation. I watched cartoons like a crazy person when I was a kid, back in the day when cartoons aired on weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings, and that was it. That was it! You had to rush home after - you know, TV - after school to watch TV for a couple of hours before Mom came home and catch what cartoons you could. So, I learned a lot on the spot, on the job, but I had a little bit of background about it. I learned when I was at Hanna-Barbera. I thought it was important to learn what every aspect of cartoon making was. So, I learned what a storyboard artist does, what a writer does, what a layout artist does, what an in-betweener is, what all that - so that I understood what everybody's contribution to this thing was. And, because in voiceover we do the voices first, and then it goes away for animation for 9-10 months, and then it comes back and we do ADR to picture, there's a big gap in my job, where I don't know what the heck is going on. So I thought "Let me find out what that is," and I think that's a really smart way for any voice director to appreciate what everybody's contribution is to make a good cartoon. Because, knowing that, what we give the animators after that initial record will really be the blueprint for the entire cartoon. So if an actor does a very kind of low-key slow read, that's what's going to be animated. If it's a really energetic, high-energy read that's what's going to be animated. And so it's crucial that we get it right. And knowing that, I think, helps everybody feel better about what you're doing and that you respect what they are doing too, and understanding what an editor goes through when they're trying to get like a tie-in - a razor blade in-between one line and another: "Can we cut that apart to make the scene work this way?" All those things, I think, were really key things. So I learned a lot on the job.
If someone were to observe a recording session like this, it would resemble an old radio show broadcast...many actors in front of microphone...
If someone were to observe a recording session like this, it would resemble an old radio show broadcast...many actors in front of microphones in a sound proof booth. Oftentimes, a voice actor can't make a session at the same time as the rest of the actors (celebrities often have limited availability, and so are often recorded separately). This certainly can be accommodated, but it's not the most advantageous way to record (in my opinion). I'm of the mind that a large part of an actor's performance comes from reacting...and it's hard to react when there's no performer there to act with. However, many animated features never record 2 actors in the same session at the same time...and quite successfully, too! It's just not my personal preference. Sometimes we record from a script, and sometimes there's a storyboard (a comic book looking item that breaks the script down into small panels which help to show the action.). Although most studios want to record from storyboard, once production starts to lag behind (as it often does), the recording is typically done at the same time that the storyboard is being created. Hopefully, the board artist has a chance to listen to the recorded, edited dialogue track and make any adjustments before the board is finalized.
I was at Hanna-Barbara for 5 ½ years approximately and that's where I met you, which is one of the joys of my life and I remember you telli...
I was at Hanna-Barbara for 5 ½ years approximately and that's where I met you, which is one of the joys of my life and I remember you telling me years and years ago, "Andrea, I don't know...You want me to do this boy voice and I don't know if I can do little boy voices. I always think of myself as the cute little-girl voice." And I said, "Nancy, I know you can do it." I remember it being like Popeye or something.
SpongeBob SquarePants (1999) is very challenging because all the actors can't always be there at the same time. I'm one of those directors w...
SpongeBob SquarePants (1999) is very challenging because all the actors can't always be there at the same time. I'm one of those directors who really enjoy an ensemble record. I like to give the actor a chance to react to the guy before them. That's not to say that I am not very successful at getting the correct performance when I have to record actors individually. I like the energy of all the actors in the room. It's like when you do the table read, doing the rehearsal and the actors can cut up, play, ad-lib and do all that stuff. I like to bring that into the recording studio as well. However, you don't always get the chance to do that. SpongeBob, we have the wonderful Clancy Brown who plays Mr. Krabs, he works a lot theatrically. He's even right now in Texas for three months, so I have to record him separately from the cast and that creates a challenge.
All voice directors work differently. Here's the way I work: I prefer, whenever possible, to record the entire cast at the same time (the is...
All voice directors work differently. Here's the way I work: I prefer, whenever possible, to record the entire cast at the same time (the is sometimes called "ensemble" recording). This session would begin with a rehearsal or table read...during this time, I describe the action to the actors while they read through the dialogue lines out loud. This is the time when questions can be asked and answered regarding the action (i.e. "how far away are these two characters?", or "how far am I falling when I scream?" or, "What does 'Guard 2' look like so I can give him the right kind of voice?"). Since we record the voices before animation, we have to be very careful to supply the animators with the best possible vocal tracks since it will absolutely effect their work.
Example Example Example
Andrea Romano'S roles
Green Lantern's Ring
Abin Sur's Ring