While we continue script review of The Incredible Petrified World, I went off on my own and riffed a 10 minute short… the 1954 classic Tomorrow’s Drivers , in which Jimmy Stewart espouses the importance of teaching drivers education to 6-year-olds, so I could work out various production elements before we try to use them on a larger scale production:
This version has full theater silhouettes (that mostly work) and text-only subtitles for the riffs, but is designed so that we can easily strip either of these elements out and substitute voice actors, should we get a couple of volunteers who want to become the new voice of Tom, Crow, and Host… or possibly three (or four) brand new characters sitting in the theater, depending on how far we eventually take production into filming live-action Hosts/Mads skits. My experiment here shows that it’s entirely possible for one person to produce an entire episode on their own with nothing more than an iPhone, a blank wall, and a copy of Adobe Premiere.
I’ll be posting more information on how this short was made, and how I plan on improving the process for the actual Fanficisode, over in the Production Discussion thread.
For now, please turn down your lights (where applicable) and enjoy Tomorrow’s Driver.
You should check out https://app.blasteronline.com/speechelo/ it is an inexpensive text-to-speech program. A one-time cost of, I think, $20 gets you half a dozen voices. Another $50 gets you a ton more.
I might check it out to see if they have a free trial, but a lot of comedy boils down to timing and precise delivery, so to be of any use, it’d have to be damn good at recognizing unusual names and phrases, or at least give you the ability to spell things out phonetically and hopefully add accents and stresses on specific parts of the sentence.
I’m not quite sure how useful an AI comedian is going to be when a joke name-drops Danny Bonaduce or requires that a line be said in the style of a character on Green Acres.
Uggh… tried Speechelo and immediately regretted it. They say money back guarantee, but funny how there’s absolutely no option on the website anywhere or in their support section to request a refund. The two American male voices you can get in the non-premium version bears no resemblance to the smooth sounding “indistinguishable from a real human” voiceover in their example video, and sound about as good as the voices you can download to your GPS which have no idea how to pronounce the word “boulevard.” Oh, and there’s no way to stop the company from constantly spamming you about their other products or the upgrades they want you to buy for a product that theoretically might do what the basic version was advertised to do, because they’re not “advertisements” they’re “seminar invitations.”
My advise to anybody considering using these guys… run a mile, it appears to be a total crock.
After I’m done with the Incredible Petrified World test, I might try going back to this one and start playing around in Premiere’s various sound editing tools to see if there’s anything that will let me auto-tune my own voice to sound more like Tom or Crow’s.
I absolutely cannot do impressions, and have no idea how I’d pull off me trying to do an impersonation of Crow trying to do an impersonation of someone else, but if I do a deeper baritone voice mostly on the inhale for Tom and a higher nasally voice while jamming a couple of pencil erasers up my nose for Crow, maybe there’s a chance I can alter the pitch/speed and add in various filters that will get me in the general ballpark for their regular riffing voices.
But more than likely, I’ll just end up looking and sounding like:
I bet your card company will let you dispute it if the software company won’t.