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1. What is the process for making an audio fanfic?
First, the fanfic is chosen, either by someone recommending it or by one of the site managers seeking it out. Once we've obtained the express permission of the fanfic author to use their fic, we move the project to the Current Projects page, where all the roles in the story are cast. We send scripts to the voice actors, and they record their lines and send the audio files to the project's director. Once we receive all the lines in the story, we edit the voice clips together, add sound effects and music if appropriate, and post it on the site!
2. How long does it take to make an audio fanfic?
That depends on a lot of things, such as how many roles need to be cast, how many chapters it has, and how quickly we are able to find a director and voice actors for the project. For a one-shot or a single chapter of a longer story, it generally takes a few months to get the project fully cast and to receive all the lines from the actors, but it may take longer.
3. What jobs could I do on AFL?
Currently, there are three main jobs: directors, fanfic authors, and voice actors. Directors oversee the project and make final decisions about casting and artistic direction. Fanfic authors write the fics that we turn into audio fics. Voice actors play all the roles in the audio fics. Additionally, there are techies like sound editors who edit the clips together into finished projects and sound effects editors who do sound effects for the story. However, we are open to suggestions if you have other talents. For example, if you can play an instrument or create digital music, you could create background music for the audio fics. If you create fan art, you can make covers for our podcasts. For more detailed descriptions of each job and what it entails, go to the Jobs on AFL page.
4. Am I good enough to be a part of an AFL audio project?
If you can make sounds that you can record on your computer and send to us, then you are good enough! As long as you are OK with the idea of your voice being heard and as long as people can make out what you are saying, you can play a role. If you goof up during your recording, or even if you stutter, it doesn't matter - most of the time we can edit the clip so that the mistake is completely gone. Even if you can't speak, are too shy, or don't have the ability to record lines, you can still be involved as a director, sound editor, musician, writer, or artist. Those roles are just as important as the voice acting!
5. Can I play more than one role in an audio fic?
Absolutely! You can play as many different roles as you have voices for.
6. Is there any limit to the number of roles I can have at one time?
No, currently we have no limit by number. However, you shouldn't promise to do more roles at once than you can handle. If you have a lot of time on your hands, you can totally take as many roles as you'd like. But if you have limited time, you probably won't want to take on more than one or two roles at once. Remember, by agreeing to take a role, you are agreeing to be a part of that project's team, and for the project to run smoothly, each team member needs to be able to play their part.
7. Can I play a role of the opposite gender?
That is entirely up to the project director who are the ones in charge of casting the project and how the finished podcast will sound. However, if you see a role of the opposite gender that you'd like to try out for, go ahead and ask! Most directors are open to females playing male roles and vice versa, so it never hurts to ask.
8. What are audition clips? Do I need them to play a role in an AFL audio project?
Audition clips (or demo reels) are sound files that give you a chance to show off your acting talents. We post these on your AFL profile (or link to them from your profile if you have a demo reel posted on an outside website like YouTube or Soundcloud). Directors can listen to these audition clips to decide whether you'd be good for a role in their audio project. Some examples of audition clips you might want to include are your normal speaking voice, singing, doing accents, doing specific character voices, and speaking with different emotions.
You do not have to have an audition clip or demo reel to play a role in an AFL project, but we highly recommend it. Most directors will want to hear your voice before they cast you in their project. If you have audition clips or a demo reel that you would like us to put on your AFL profile, you can send them to us here.
9. Once I am cast in an audio project, do I have to wait until the story is fully cast to send in my lines?
No. In fact, we encourage voice actors to send in your lines as soon as possible after you receive your scripts, even if you don't speak until a future chapter or the story is not fully cast yet. That means, by the time the story is fully cast, we already have the majority of the lines and don't have to track all the actors down to get the lines from them. We can go ahead and edit everything together that much faster.
10. What if I make a mistake while recording my lines?
No worries, we all stumble over lines on a regular basis. Just keep your mic running, pause, go back to the beginning of the sentence, and read it again. We will edit the mistake out so it sounds like it never happened.
11. What format should I send my voice clips in?
Mp3, mp4, wav, and wma sound files are all compatible with the sound editing program we use.
12. What equipment do I need to do voice acting?
All you need is access to a computer, a microphone, and voice recording software. For the software, we recommend Audacity, a free, open source program that is easy to set up on your computer and use. Mics are available for a wide price range, though you certainly don't need to get a fancy one to record your lines. The Samson Meteor Mic is an excellent quality mid price range one that you can order on Amazon.
13. Once I am cast, do I have that role permanently?
As long as you get your lines sent to us in a reasonable time, you have that role permanently. However, to make sure that projects don't get stalled, we do have a deadline and recasting policy.
Narrator Roles (1st or 3rd Person)
2 months from receiving script
Non-Narrator Character Roles
1 month from receiving script
Re-Recording (All Roles)
1 month from receiving instructions
We understand that unexpected things come up and that this is something you are doing for free and for fun on the side, so we usually give actors a couple warnings past the deadline, and we're willing to work with you if you let us know that you've been sick or had something come up. However, if we don't hear back from you after sending a warning or if you continue to not send in your lines after the date you agreed to, we will re-open the role so that it can be re-cast.
And if for any reason at any point you decide you don't want the role anymore or you have other commitments that you know will keep you from turning in the lines, please contact us as soon as possible so we can re-cast the role. This is respectful to everyone else on the project team so that the audio project can carry on.
14. Will you make an audio version of my fanfiction story?
Submit it and we'll see! Each fanfic recommendation is handled on a case-by-case basis, but there is a very good chance that we'll happily make an audio podcast of your story. Just please note, that at this time we do not make audio podcasts of stories with content rated higher than T (PG-13). To submit your story, go here.
15. I want to recommend my favorite fanfiction story. Can I do that?
Absolutely! Anyone can recommend any fanfiction story from any fandom, as long as the story does not contain content rated higher than T (PG-13). You can go here to submit a fic recommendation. Once we receive the fic recommendation, the story will go to the Pre-Production page. We will contact the author of the fanfic for permission at that point, and if they say yes, we will work on turning the story into an audio fic.
16. Will you ever accept stories rated higher than T (PG-13)?
We do not currently accept stories with a higher rating than T (PG-13) and this rule will probably not change. This is NOT because we do not believe that there are excellent and well-written M- and MA-rated stories. However, for various personal reasons, neither of the site managers (Razzle and Sauron Gorthaur) read M- or MA-rated stories and we do not feel comfortable working on projects with those ratings. We also want this site, and all the projects in it, to be open and friendly to fans of all ages.
17. What exactly do project directors do?
Like theatre or movie directors, AFL directors are in charge of how their project will ultimately sound. Directors make the final decision about casting roles, and if more than one actor requests the same role, the director will decide who to cast. Directors are responsible for giving actors directions on how to record their lines, how they want characters to sound, how they want names pronounced, if they want music or sound effects in their project, etc. For a more detailed description of what directors do, go here.
18. How do you decide who directs a project? Can anyone direct a project?
Yes, anyone can direct a project, even if you are a beginner (though we recommend starting out with a one-chapter story with a small or medium-sized cast to get an idea for how it works). All you need is enough time to work on casting your project, to give directions to your voice actors, remind them when their deadlines are coming up, and listen to their lines. You must have an email you check regularly that you are willing to give to the cast and crew of the project as well. And of course, having a good sense of creativity and imagination is always a bonus!
The order in which directing rights are determined is as follows:
1. The author of the fic ALWAYS gets first crack at directing.
2. If the author doesn't want to direct, the right passes to the person who recommended the fic.
3. If that person doesn't want to direct, it opens up to anyone to direct.
Projects that do not have directors yet are listed on the Pre-Production page. We also have templates and materials to help directors create scripts, actor deadline spreadsheets, reminder emails, and more in our Guides section.
19. How do I find actors for a project I am directing?
There are essentially three different methods of casting your project.
1. Passive Casting. In this method, you simply wait for actors to contact you asking for roles.
2. Active Casting. You go through actor profiles (on AFL or other sites) searching for people to play the roles. Once you find someone, you reach out to them to offer the role.
3. Auditioning. We can also post auditions for roles at Voice Acting Proboards. Use the audition template in our Guides, send it to either myself or Razzle, and we will get it posted. We generally let auditions run three weeks, and then we will email you all the applicant clips for you to decide who you want to cast.
Usually, directors will need to use all three methods at some time or another to get the story fully cast.
20. What are AFL Librarians and how are they chosen?
Every library needs librarians, right? Librarians are staff members of AFL, with more power than a regular member, but less power than a site manager. Librarians can accept new stories and new members without first consulting the site managers. They help out the site managers by answering questions from new or prospective fanfic authors, directors, or voice actors, overseeing projects, and contacting AFL members. They still ultimately answer to the site managers (Razzle and Sauron Gorthaur) though.
Librarians are chosen by the site managers. We look for members who have been with us for some time, who are active members of AFL, who have experience with a variety of voice acting, directing, and sound editing roles, and who seem like they will be sticking around for some time.
For more information about librarians, go here.
21. I'm underage. Can I still participate in AFL?
If you are less than 13-years-old, you will need to have the permission of your parents or guardians, just as you would for most social media websites. Please let us know if there are any restrictions your parents or guardians have for your activity on AFL (no T-rated stories, no roles of the opposite gender, no roles that contain swearing, etc). If you have parental permission though, you are welcome to participate in any aspect of AFL!
22. Hey, this site looks pretty cool! May I spread the word about it?
Yes, please do! We would love to get more people involved and continue to spread the word. Tell your friends! Post about us on your social media accounts! We'd also love it if you spread the word to your local community like your public library or community theaters. We plan to create a brochure handout on our Guides page that you can use to help spread the word.