nikolay_yeriomin's profile
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Sun, Nov 7, 2021 11:31 AM

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Guidelines expansion neccesity: uncredited voice appearances of notable actors

#211106-221333-672000 is an addition to the cast of Eternals (2021), that is, of now, very much confirmed by director and overall heavily publicized. It was, however, declined with reason stated as "Does not meet contribution guidelines". 

I have re-checked cast guidelines because they had slight changes as of recent and to my surprise they now indeed say this:

1. Must have an on-screen credit - Due to the difficulty of verifying uncredited voice involvement, we don't allow uncredited voice credits.

It certainly explains a high rejection rate as of late for a certain type of roles (I have been trying to add James Cameron voice work in his own movies for ages and was also wondering why John Carpenter's cameo in Halloween (1978) disappeared from his filmography and cannot be added back; my own voice work in my directorial titles which is also habitually uncredited suffers from this constantly, too), but it was previously stated that there are exceptions, mostly notable actors who are confirmed via numerous sources. So, if now that is not the case, a lot and I mean a lot of previously eligible credits should be deleted, most of which are very high-profile. I'm talking millions of edits which will not please anyone involved. Just some examples from the top of my head omissions of which from filmographies will inevitably stir a constant and unpoductive edit war: Peter Sellers in Beat the Devil (1953), William Conrad in all 120 episodes of "The Fugitive" (1963-1967), James Earl Jones in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005), Quentin Tarantino in Jackie Brown (1997), Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004), Diary of the Dead (2007), The Hateful Eight (2015) and Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood (2019) and Bryan Cranston in "The Stand" (2020). I would argue that changes of this scale to filmographies of certain actors will be considered downright disastrous and disrespectful. Orson Welles is known for doing a lot of voice work due to radio background and reducing that aspect of his filmography, while not exactly tarnishing the legacy, significantly plunders the scale of his work to those unfamailiar with the fact. 

Another problem is how much roles of that sort were omitted from the credits earlier, to this day, despite being a legit SAG-AFTRA specified job. That might also cause a lot of controversy considering that voice actors are now highlighting their dissatisfaction with being either uncredited or not credited enough in the credits of live-action movies and series. Recent examples of change in that area saw the addition of Amy Louise Pemberton in "DC's Legends of Tomorrow" (2016-) and Tara Strong in "Loki" (2021-) to the main cast of the series in both cases. Saying an unncessary "no credit = no acting" to a whole segment of the industry now renegeotiating that exact thing with producers is highly unnecessary in the current situation in my humble opinion. 

 

At the very least rules should specify what to do when there are definitive confirmations of who exactly voices the role. One way is to add them to Other crew, which would be really odd in my humble opinion (and I'm saying that as a person who has a voice actor listing there, albeit a very technical one on Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), which I can agree is not enough for the cast inclusion per se, falling srictly into looping territory), but at least merit the listings which should be there. However, giving the aforementioned recent controversies and changes in the industry that will most likely be deemed a very unnecessary and rude demotion of talent.

Accepted Solution

Employee

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6 m ago

Hi All -

I can confirm that as Mahershala Ali's uncredited voice performance in the post-credit scene for "Eternals" is a noteworthy cameo, the credit is eligible to be listed on the site.  I have now approved the credit and it should be live on the site shortly.

Cheers!

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Are such submissions automatically declined in the contribution pipeline?

Not everyone is going to come here to get a declined submission reversed.

(edited)

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@Peter_pbn I don't think they are declined automatically per se, probably just more declined in cases of submission overload. 

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@Michelle Greatest thanks! 

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6 m ago

For reference, the former version of the guidelines said:

  1. They must have received an on-screen credit (i.e. no uncredited performances)
  2. They must have been credited in the cast section of the end titles (i.e. no 'background voices' or adr work). Additional Voice credits are permitted for animated titles or videogames as long as they are listed within, or immediately after, the main cast list.
  3. Adr/looping/background voices must be submitted as Additional (Other) Crew credits. When in doubt, send it as a Additional (Other) Crew credit. Announcer credits for non-fiction titles (game shows, sporting events etc) should be submitted as Additional (Other) Crew unless they are credited in the cast section of the end titles. If the person is playing the character "Announcer" they should always be listed in cast.
  4. Their work must be featured in either the original language version of the film or (for animated titles and videogames) on the USA English-language release (i.e. no dubbing credits)
  • We make rare exceptions to rule #1 for 'voice cameos' by high-profile actors (i.e. Quentin Tarantino's uncredited "answering machine" voice in Jackie Brown (1997)).

(edited)

Employee

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6 m ago

Hi Nikolay -

To my knowledge, we still make rare exceptions to the "uncredited" rule  for 'voice cameos' by high-profile actors.  I have filed a request to re-include this in our current Help Guide.

Concerning the credit rejection, an issue here is that the voice was featured in a post-credit scene verses featured during the span of the film.  I will confirm our policy for this use case and post the details here once I have them.

Cheers!

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@Michelle

Why would it matter where it occurred in the film? Samuel L. Jackson has credits for only appearing in post-credit scenes. 

Employee

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Hi @adrian -

This is a bit of a gray area, which our editors review on a case-by-case basis; generally, to be eligible the cameo in the post-credit scene must be a noteworthy cameo.

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@Michelle

If there is a scene after the credits, it is always a noteworthy cameo. I cannot think of a single instance where you would not want to have that credit listed.