INTERVIEW – In Conversation With Matthew Curtis (Harper Pendrell, Unforeseen Incidents)

By Marty Mulrooney

Alternative Magazine Online recently reviewed Unforeseen Incidents, describing it as “one of the best point-and-click adventure games of recent years” with a main voice actor that “does a brilliant job keeping the proceedings feeling light and fun at all times.” AMO is therefore proud to present an exclusive online interview with the main man himself Matthew Curtis, aka Harper Pendrell!

Hi Matthew, thank you for your time and welcome to Alternative Magazine Online!

Hey Martin! Pleasure to be here. Nice comfy chairs. Very clean.

When did you first realise that you wanted to become a voice actor?
Honestly, as far back as I can remember. I have always loved performing, my first stage role being a honey bee in Winnie the Pooh when I was four year old. Voice acting always fascinated me. I have a vague recollection of watching an episode of DuckTales and recognising the voice of Owl from Winnie the Pooh and realising it was also the voice of Mr. Whittaker on a radio show called Adventures in Odyssey. So I got out our tape recorder and started practicing.


How did you break into the VO industry?

With a hammer.

*Polite silence*

My hammer of hard work.

*More polite silence*

And it’s more of a chipping away at than breaking into, and if anyone asks I’m just cleaning up around here, alright?

Alright! You recently voiced the main character – Harper Pendrell – in point-and-click adventure game Unforeseen Incidents. I thought you did a wonderful job, as I’m sure you could tell from my review – congratulations! How did you become involved with this exciting project?

Thank you! It means a lot for a voice actor to hear that. Generally if we do our job well no one should really notice us at all. We are like superheroes and we do our jobs.

I was fortunate to get involved with Unforeseen Incidents through an online casting call. I saw the posting and I really liked the idea. I read the audition and really enjoyed the writing so I sent my audition in and hoped for the best.

How would you describe Harper as a character?

Real. That seems a bit simple but that was one thing that really set Unforeseen Incidents apart. The script was very well written and it really made Harper a person. All I did was give him a voice. Through the writing you could see that while he could quip and had a bit of happy go lucky attitude, there was an element of sadness that made him a person.

What was it like working with Backwoods Entertainment and Alasdair Beckett-King?

GREAT! Alasdair was a blast to work with and Backwoods Entertainment were very clear on what they wanted and answered any questions I had. My one regret was due to the amount of lines Harper had (over 3,000 or about 35-40 hours of dialogue) and in the interest of time, most of the recording had to be handled on my own. But they were very clear on what they wanted and when they did sit in on a session it was brilliant fun.

How did the recording process work?

Most of the time I handled the recording on my own. I would receive the script in batches with each scene laid out and my lines with any notes about what was happening. I would then pop into my home studio and record. I generally did three takes for each line with different options for the scene. Alasdair would then come back with any notes, if they were needed, and any revisions if needed.

How much direction were you given?

The first couple of sessions had Alasdair sitting in on the recording. This really helped me to understand the flow of dialogue from the character as well as the intentions and general dialogue expected. Once Alasdair and the game devs were comfortable with my choices, I was allowed to self direct and record on my own which streamlined the process.

How close is Harper’s voice to your own?

I used my regular speaking voice for Harper.

Do you share any character traits with Harper?

Besides both owning and using a multi tool on a daily basis? Oh yes. The happy go lucky attitude with a bit of snark comes to mind as well as some sadness from loss.

Are you a gamer yourself – and will you be playing Unforeseen Incidents?

Oh yeah! I love my games and Unforeseen Incidents is next on my list. My favourite go-to game though is Kerbal Space Program.

Would you like to see a sequel one day?

Definitely! I’m not sure where it would go but I know that they could make it work.

You’ve done voice over for many different mediums, including radio, TV and audiobooks. What’s your favourite medium to work in and why?

Animation and videogames, hands down. I love bringing characters to life.

Are you still working on your own audiobook of Lord of the Rings for your father?

Shhhhhhhh! That is supposed to be a surprise!

What’s next for you Matthew?

Voice over wise? Well feel free to check out Celflux. They recently launched an IndieGogo campaign to launch the animated series. I perform as the villain in that and you can check out the trailer below:

You will also hear me around in a few video games and other animations coming up. Check out the development updates from Team Dogpit’s Red Star Azimuth; the game dev is always posting them on her Twitter: https://twitter.com/ManuelaXibanya

It’s looking like it’s going to be a great game with a focus on narrative and puzzles. There are also some general mutterings about the Zombie Catchers animated series where I provide the voice of AJ. You can check out the trailer below:

Thank you for your time, I really enjoyed your voice acting in Unforeseen Incidents and I’ll look forward to your future projects!

Thank you and I am glad you enjoyed the game!

AMO’s readers can find out more about Matthew Curtis by visiting: 
www.micthematt.com

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