Tuesday, December 31, 2019

TC & Company's Year-End Round Up

2019 client review TC and Company

From regional VoIP companies to international tourism campaigns, it's been quite a year for voice overs & production. There was a good amount of rekindling of older VoIP clients or those who were in the dormant pile. What was there to lose...aside from a little time and a little dignity maybe. The odds were in our favor and it proved to be an excellent timing thing. To boot - all of them had graduated to the new 'Dash-Board' systems for easy email file uploads. The Tv & radio spots came in as well. From next door with radio and as far away as Jordan in the mid-east with TV. There was a lot of stretching creatively too. So, we had some fun, maybe even established some recurring roles. And then there was the Haunt Industry throwin all sorts of business our way this year. The Creepy-Guy voice was getting a work-out with plenty of opportunity to create new characters with a bit of dusting off of the Pooh Bear as well. Scroll on down for the complete skinny.

It all started 15 years ago with an outfit that specialized in Haunt-Indy media called, Elswarro Films. They reached-out and asked if I could create a creepy-guy voice that could go 'high energy' to include the incidentals of most Haunt venues around the country. To date, we've pretty much settled in the eastern 1/3 of the country - lending specialty voices to Haunts, Escape room & seasonal venues. Go to Post

Voiced a travelogue for Phenomena Advertising, Beirut, Lebanon. Still a bit daunting with 5,600 miles between us. They wanted to promote travel and tourism in the Mid-East regions like Abu Dhabi, the UAE, Lebanon and Jordan. The script called for two voices to weave the story-line along with the premise of taking off on a journey...complete with airline pilots narration at beginning & end: Go to Post

Got to be the MC in the NOLA film - Boogie Spooktakular. A spectacle of fun for the whole family with a cast of characters that inspire kids to have sing-a-longs and create their own fun amidst a safe scare-free environment. For the MC voice - Think a-bit-daffy with a dash of Pee Wee and a pinch of surfer-dude wonderment and Voila! Go to Post

From VoIP to radio. One of the perks of voicing company VoIP's is that you sometimes get to be cast in their radio & tv advertising, as is the case with Water Mill Building Supply radio campaign. This wasn't going to be a typical :60...insomuch as they had 223 words that needed to be fit into what is usually 160 words. All brought on by adding another client, located in another state with their own website & app that had to be mentioned. Go to Post
Fantastic Plastic Video & Film Production for a major Auto Group in the Southeast has chosen Tom Clifford as their character voice for their new TV ad campaign. Much like that of Winnie-the-Pooh, Tom conveys the warm & fuzzy sound of a mythic story-teller. Tried walking the audience through in rhythmic rhyme as the story unfolds with the turning of pages. This was a great vehicle for our character talents to shine and it came out like 'totally cool' man. Go to Post

After Tucker Carlson got in hot water in March with unearthed audio tapes it was a prime time to unearth an On-Cam Tv spot I did based on his early Sunday morning political show "Crossfire". I was cast as the Tucker Carlson element, right down to his bygone bow tie. Watch as I...or Tuck gets pummeled by none other than WWE's Kane the Destroyer!  Go to Post

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Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Irishman's - Pesci & finding Mr. Roger's voice

WoW, look at that. Wait around long enough and what's old is back on top. Case-in-Point, Joe Pesci's casting in The Irishman. Ya woulda daught his career was all but finished. So, great for him and could this also translate into more work for guys like us who do Joe. Better be ready. Time to start getting the dialogue and how he figures into the story-line. 
Also, just-in-time for Thanksgiving is the Mr. Rogers bi-op - A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. It stars Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers. Interestingly, Tom isn't really in-the-Neighborhood of Mister Rogers voice characteristics. Fred's not all that difficult to mimic. Keeping in mind to be kind tho, maybe it was a parody issue. Nonetheless, the reviews and interviews are glowing...just somewhat devoid of that simple omission that Fred Rogers is Tom Rogers. Which, can make it difficult to convince an up and coming director of a more accurate version...Can you say Alternate facts!

We all thought it might be openly sensitive to today's issues if we had Mista Rogers introduce Mr. Russell Bufalino to today's boys & girls. He's very much like other kids dads in that...he paints houses. Ya know, Buffa in Italian means - funny or clown. Let's see where it takes us for a few respectable laughs in Mr. B's abstracts.

Last year at Thanksgiving we had Pee Wee Herman up & running much the same way as this years re-surgencers. Pee Wee's Playhouse was marathon'ing over at IFC and we piggy-backed on that for a Thanksgiving ride of sorts with a video promo featuring Pee Wee.


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Thursday, October 31, 2019

TC & Co. has Got a Halloween Extravaganza

It's Halloween!
You'd think we would have the edge on how to celebrate the holiday...we've been talkin about since July. It's kind of a bit anti-climatic. Just got A 4 yr. old 'Gekko' knockin on the door...he gets M & M's plus a Snack Pak. That sorta did it!

Time to enjoy the holiday, I guess. Here are a few event attractions that are new and makin Halloween a little more spirit-immersive for today...Halloween! So, check out the Temple of Anibus. He's comin from the lagoon to exact some justice for disturbing King Tut's Tomb!   -   Pharaoh's Fury

Don't be lookin at this one after dark. Cripes, it'll give you the willies there would be such pandering to the lowest base of horror....Yeah Baby!

Stitch - is the worst mamacita of them all. And he uses that pyscho-weird stuff that gets a little too real and close to home - NOooo!

Careful what you click for!

 Here's to everyone's Halloween being a real shocker and win 1st prize for the bestest costume of the evening. If that's what you're goin for. Click for archive moments that'll put the Tobin in your Bell.

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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Tom Clifford is Scaring up some Shocking Results this Halloween Season.

It all started about 15 years ago with an outfit called Elswarro Films. They reached-out and asked if I could create a creepy-guy voice and as time went on, could I adjust it to go all out high energy and then sell the crap outta the incidentals of most Haunts around the country.

That being accomplished and with a client list that kept building on top of polished production content... all was right in The Haunt World. Then, the bottom fell out with Jason Swarr leaving the Haunt Industry to pursue a career in film making. Jason was great with forwarding all of his client contacts and even schooled me on some of their finer details. Made some new acquaintances and over the years cultivated some mutual relationships.

Fast forward ten years into the future and I've had some very good luck (not that I didn't work for it). Been able to maintain a presence on the eastern seaboard doing all sorts of voice characterizations as far up as New Hampshire & Massachusetts and as far south as New Orleans, LA. Year after year working regularly as the Creepy-Guy. The CG voice was fashioned in many ways after Tobin Bell's character: Jizzsaw from the Saw movie franchise. Here's how it all started: Kentucky Scream Park

Take a look what we're doing this year for Canobie Lake Park ScreeemFest: 
They have a regular theme park going throughout the year and do it up B-I-G for the Halloween Season. Last year we shifted from a buffer agent (Yeah, Sen. I used a buffer) direct to the actual ad agency. We're adjusting nicely this year. Of course it's always about the Grants.


The Kidz Zone below is where younger kids have fun at the Scout Island Halloween festival in NOLA. We're featured as the spaced-out voice of the Host character in the 'Boogie Spooktakular' an
animated cartoon musical adventure! Check it out at:
Boogie Spooktakular

What Scout Island liked on the audition mp3 was the playfulness of the host character. Kids are introduced to a silly bunch of characters like: Mumzy, Wolfi and Helga in a tone of wide-eyed amazement...and served up with a side of Pee Wee. These characters spook up that Halloween spirit and teach addictive dance moves to boogie down to. It also gives kids a chance to express themselves with other kids while having fun...safely.

The Mortuary Haunted Mansion Presents - The Cult Of 13 (below). It's a complete shift from wide-eyed la-de-dah to the Creepy-Guy voice. Turned up full throttle 'high energy' to scare-up some shocking results for 'Friday The 13th' believers & shakers!
The Mortuary took full advantage of this September's early calendar of Friday the 13th, with their Cult Of 13 attraction and began the Halloween Season early this year. 

Stretching this year's season to almost 7 weeks!

Here’s the opening line from this year’s video promo of the new
The Cult of 13 attraction at NOLA’s The Mortuary Haunted Mansion.

One of the greatest phobias known to man is the fear of Friday the 13th. You believe that something terrible is going to happen. You become paralyzed with fear and feel powerless to overcome FEAR, TERROR, PANIC. 

Dare to face your wildest nightmares! Experience Friday the 13th at The Mortuary Haunted Mansion.

Sorta gets you all creeped-out…or laughin your ass off. Check out the promo trailer for lots of
chills & thrills from — The VoiceOverGuy. 

This is probably not advisable viewing by younger audiences:  Play Spot

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

TC & Company Accents-the-Positive for Jordan Travel & Tourism

Tom Clifford, TC & Company voice of Voyage VoyageWe left off here in October's BLOG with a promise from Phenomena Advertising to be considered as voice-over for their new Voyage/Voyage campaign... to promote travel and tourism in the Mid-East regions like Abu Dhabi, the UAE, Lebanon and Jordan.

Tom Clifford, TC & Company voice of Voyage VoyageSure enough PA came calling. They, like so many others these days are trying to gather as many young ears-&-eyeballs for consideration of Mid-East travel as possible. The most recent campaign was for Jordan... a land steeped in history. To some, a trip to Jordan could be a pilgrimage. After all Jordan's famous for its archeological wonderment. Case-in-Point, the Hollywood blockbuster Indiana Jones and the last Crusade features Jordan's, Treasury at Petra. Carved into the side of a sandstone hill, Petra appears in several scenes of the picture.

Tom Clifford VO, TC & Company voice of Voyage Voyage
 The movie's fictional Canyon of the Crescent Moon was modeled on the eastern entrance to Petra, a 250-foot-high sandstone slot canyon known as the Siq that leads directly to Al Khazneh (the Treasury).

The above photo depicts Petra on the left with Indy's rendering on the right.

Phenomena Advertising, located in Lebanon have themselves a ton of archaeological wonderment. Working with them is still a bit daunting with 5,600 miles between us. Being seven hours ahead of us here on the east coast you have to get used to early morning starts and early quitting times. Ten O'clock in the morning is five in the afternoon over there. Everyone's flexible. We used a good amount of Skype for direction, pronunciation and tone of voice. For file transfers over 50 & 100 MB's, we used WeTransfer for temp cloud uploads. Here's a Travel Resource link:  Voyage Voyage Dot World

BTW, as a final reference to the film's climactic final scenes, actors Harrison Ford and Sean Connery burst forth from the Siq and walk deep into the labyrinths of the Treasury in their quest to find the Holy Grail.
But, as usual, archaeological fact bowed to Hollywood fiction when Indy came to Petra.
In reality, the Treasury is nothing more than a facade with a relatively small hall once used as a royal tomb. In 1985, the Petra Archaeological Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, and in 2007 it was named one of the new seven wonders of the world.

So fasten your seat-belts, click the 'Play' button below and get ready to take off to adventure!! 

Click Play above

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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Scout Island Scream Park begins the season with Tom Clifford as Host

The Kidz Zone is where family's younger kids have fun at the Scout Island Halloween festival in NOLA. We're particularly grateful to be featured as the voice of the Host character in the 'Boogie Spooktakular' - an animated musical cartoon adventure...

Scooby-Doo style!

The Boogie Spooktakular is a spectacle of fun for the whole family with a cast of characters that inspire kids to have sing-a-longs, featured dancing and generally let kids create their own fun amidst a safe scare-free environment. So, the voice had to be engaging to kids and keep things moving along. Think daffy MC with a dash of Pee Wee, a pinch of surfer-dude wonderment and Voila!

Check to play Promo

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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Water Mill Bldg. Supply casts TC & Company to voice its Radio Summer Splash

One of the perks of voicing company VoIP's is that you sometimes get to be cast in their radio & tv advertising...as is the case with Water Mill Building Supply. Offering customers in the Hampton's, the Quogue's and in Montauk quality hardware with all the finest trimmings.

WMBS, as they are known in their condensed form for online and smartphone presence, wanted a young trusting read for a co-op radio campaign with Royal Building Products. But wait, after hearing I could put 200 words together and still make it under :60 seconds they decided to stretch the envelope ever further and throw in a few additional words for their Connecticut subsidiary; Country Lumber. Ah, a Challenge! 160 or so words is the usual amount for a Sixty.

Whoa, it's not as easy as you think to fit 1:10 seconds into :58/:59. For those who are strictly digital, it's important to point out that speeding things up can only get you so far until it's stretched to the point of sounding robotic. The initial vo track was recorded at 44,100 kHz. We sped it up to 45,300 kHz. Most sounded OK but there were pockets that weren't sounding natural. Those areas were replaced with the original track. Just a sentence or two was all that was needed. Ahhh, but we were still long by about 3 seconds. Wait a minute - how 'bout we take advantage of a well known trick used by the car industry...The 'fine print' disclaimer! You know the deal; rat-a-tat-tat the fine-print at a hundred miles per hour and EQ'd to sound like one's inner-most thoughts or an airline Capt.'s debriefing via overhead speaker. Worked perfect for the last lines.

And just when we had it...the client called and said we gotta use the entire client name for the smartphone app. So, instead of wmbs we now had to say Water Mill Building Supply.  

Luckily, before we all had heart attacks, the client gave us their blessing of taking out some not-so-essential words to help with the effort. That kept the integrity of the spot intact regardless of its bulging 223 word count. Here's the abbreviated version of the Water Mill Building Supply radio spot.

Click to Play

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Friday, May 31, 2019

Major Southeast Auto Dealer casts Tom Clifford as the voice of their TV Story Book Character

Fantastic Plastic Video & Film Production for a major Auto Group in the Southeast has chosen Tom Clifford as their character voice for their new TV ad campaign. Much like that of Winnie-the-Pooh, Tom conveys the warm & fuzzy sound of a mythic story-teller. He walks us through in rhythmic rhyme as the story unfolds with the turning of pages. This was a great vehicle for our character talents to shine.

Did our homework on the voice to the degree that I know Sterling Holloway's interpretation of 'Pooh' is somewhat different than today's - Christopher Robin's 'Pooh' which sounds a bit British. I auditioned using copy from Dr. Seuss' "Sam-I-am" . They wanted that same cadence. Came out where we split some hairs and developed a unique voice for the client's new character. Fantastic Plastic relayed the client's reaction to the finished spot:
"The client is ecstatic at the results, already talking sequel." 

There's nothing more satisfying for an actor to learn that their homework paid off with an "extremely happy client".  Equally important is knowing that as part of a collaborative effort of art and scripting, I was able to bring their vision to life. Hopefully, there will be 'life' after this initial concept.

Here's an excerpt from Fantastic Plastic's 'profile' page regarding the overall concept to final production of the Story-Book approach:

We're pretty happy that we were able to turn this around from concept to delivery in about three or four days.

First, Honda ad guru Ben Boles (who we think pretty darn highly of), floated the Seuss idea as something his Big Boss wanted to try. At that point it was pretty much just "One car, two car," and not much more. 
We jumped on it and the creative director wrote the script, and made arrangements with the artist to create all the illustrations. Before the drawings were even started, the editor began creating the book animation just with blank pages.

While the artist was at work, we hit up voice actor Tom Clifford (who can impersonate darn near anyone) to see if he could do a voice reminiscent of the late great Sterling Holloway. Surely enough, he could. Then  spent a day coloring the drawings like a madman, and putting it all together.

Fairly frantic days, extremely happy client. That's a good combo.

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Monday, April 29, 2019

Tom Clifford celebrates another 25 years voicing Oxford & Simpson's imaging

It leaves a body all warm & fuzzy to be re-cast as the voice of Oxford and Simpson for another 25 years. They're upgrading their VoIP on which we've been a regular fixture for 25 years. When it came time to load the voice imaging they didn't want any other voice but TC's !

Celebrating long term work anniversaries seem to be happening a lot lately. O & S and TC & Co's. association started in1994. Back then the technology was altogether different and in some ways, very much the same...go figure. Back then all the VoIP voicing was done onsite via a telephone hand-piece and physically coding and assigning the prompts to record and playback. When we went back this month to re-voice the new system, we still had to do it On-Site.

However the Day, Evening and Special greetings, menus and sub-menus were able to be done via prerecorded wave files from a  professional studio. There was a bit of a learning curve on this one regarding the sample rate with these newer "advanced" systems. We had a similar case in Atlanta we kept referencing. We were told verbatim that these advanced systems require very small wave files Kilobytes not Megabytes. (8k X 8 bit) to be precise. We were also steered towards this new app software to record the files. And guess what? Really crappy sound. But wait - didn't we see somewhere within the support pages that 16 bit was also acceptable. Let's try one and see if the Phone Co. accepts it. Yep! It worked and sounded 100 % more fidelious...and no one complained.

O & S has now moved into the hotel suite and hotel specialty design area. So, it's not just about 'Relocating Corp. America' but broader aspects of commercial aesthetics. Basically, 'curbside appeal' to optimize value for the corporate landlord.

We're happy and honored to be a part of Oxford & Simpson's next 25 years. We know all too well that a good deal has gone into getting folks to call a company. That first impression has to continue supporting the entire company image far into the future. We're grateful to be included...I'll tell ya, we're grateful to be anywhere...ya know what I mean! For-a-listen -

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Tucker Carlson takes a beatin as Tom Clifford takes the Fall

Based on the early Sunday morning political discussion panels ala "Crossfire", I had auditioned for and booked an on-camera TV spot that featured that exact set-up for a UPN parody promo. I was cast as the Tucker Carlson element..right down to the bygone bow tie.

Our four panel set resembled that Sunday political discussion look...except for a misplaced hulking figure known affectionately throughout the wrestling world as: Kane-the-Destroyer! Guess who's about to get a dose of good 'ole whupass. This could get ugly. They gave me a stunt double. But I still got grabbed, hoisted and shook like a rag-doll a full day till we made the switch.

Tom Clifford vo as Tucker Carlson

I had asked my stunt double, (spoiler alert) the guy being thrown thru the glass table, if he knew Jery Hewitt. Did he ever - with glowing reverence. Jery is a world renowned stunt-man and stunt coordinator. Knowing Jery, who I've mentioned in earlier blog posts as a friend of George Willig's, paved the way for me to be treated as One-of-the-Guys for the entire shoot. At the time a stunt coord. was required on set. Kane was this imposing mammoth 7' bear who wore a mask. But, a cool dude out of character.


Dig that appearance by fellow panelist who is none other than New York's WPIX' Magee Hickey. We actually auditioned together and maybe my being a fan played a part with the chemistry between us. Magee was a total delight and helped keep me centered with the ever changing sides. Just saw her on Showtime in the Pelican Brief doing her thing.

Below is the UPN promo link where we're featured as the Tuck-ster getting pummeled by WWE's 'Kane' for being well, Tucker Carlson.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Last...Last Call with Carson Daly - Tom Clifford voices John Kerry

Not much this month compares with the latest news-of-the-day...Carson Daly calls it quits as the host for Last Call w/Carson Daly.

The series began as a traditional talk show but changed formats in September 2013. At that time, shortly after Daly had been named as a host of “Today,” he began filming only the segments that aired at the opening and conclusion of each episode. The interview segments were then taken over by the show’s producers.

“Last Call” first launched in 2002 and will have aired 2000 episodes upon its conclusion.
Back in the early 2000's I got a call from my agent at Abrams Artist's to do a John Kerry imitation for Carson's show here in New York, before he left for L.A.

John Kerry at the time was running for president. I did a Kerry voice-over for a Post Run-for-President Tv spot. It went over a video montage of the worst crap Kerry could find on Tv. Got some nice laughs. Here's the sketch below:

Carson's team was 2nd to none with steppin up in the walk-the-talk department. Always thought that a good team is an extension of a good host. I remember asking one of the team if I might get an autographed head-shot of Carson. Sure - they fired back,  let us know your address. It's for my daughter and if he could make it out to her, that would be something else. Wham..Bam a week later Carson's head shot arrived with a cool sentiment inscribed to my daughter. We wish Carson all the very best as a home-dude with the F-A-M...and with his new digs at the Golf Channel.

This just in from Variety.com (3/14/19):
The Peacock network announced last month that “Last Call with Carson Daly” would end its run after 17 years and 2000 episodes.
Before “Last Call,” the show was titled “Later,” hosted first by Bob Costas (starting in 1988), and later by Greg Kinnear, and then Cynthia Garrett.

Lilly Singh, who first amassed fame as a YouTube star, has been tapped to replace Carson Daly as the host of NBC’s 1:35 a.m. talk show.
The re-titled “A Little Late with Lilly Singh” will launch in September, and as noted by NBC, will make her the only female to currently host a late-night talk show on one of the Big 4 networks. “A Little Late” will feature Singh conducting in-studio interviews, as well as feature pre-taped comedy sketches and other “signature elements.”

“Lilly is truly a star and we’re thrilled to welcome her to our NBC family,” said Doug Vaughan, executive vice president, special programs and late night, NBC Entertainment. “She is a multi-talented performer who will surely have a great rapport with not only all her guests but also with our devoted late-night audience. We can’t wait to get started.”  

Click Here - for video of Lilly w/Jimmy Fallon & Seth Meyers:

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

SHUTDOWN Anthem (TC & Co's Musical Parody of the longest Gov't Shutdown in history)

During the Martin Luther King weekend had a chance to have a little fun with what's been said and done about the recent Government ShutDown of partial services. Now in its 33rd day, it has become the longest Gov't ShutDown in history. And there doesn't seem to be any real end in sight. OR, it could be over in a fell swoop...as its become the norm of late. With that in mind, whatever would be created needed to be done n-o-w. Or, it would be an obvious moot point to take aim at it once the ShutDown is o-v-e-r.

The idea hit me while tooling around in the kitchen to make lunch. For some reason the Beatles song Don't Let Me Down entered my head. Can't say why. Radio wasn't on...maybe social media flashed it for some sorta subliminal thing. But, it was one of those Dah-Ha moments. It had "don't SHUT me down" written all over it. Hey, this could be my ticket for the coolest video that goes viral. Yeah..yeah, especially with 6 followers! Went over to Utube. They had a piece of karaoke music of the song without vocals...or very suppressed as you can faintly hear at times. Keeping in mind that at any second the ShutDown could be resolved, I added just a few renditions of screeching DSMD without any time-intensive overdubbing or sweetening. The Rep. Senate Majority Leader (Mitch McConnell) was added, a smidgen of the real bloke's at the end and a ditty of John and voila, the soundtrack was done.

Added some shots from GooG of the ShutDown situation around the country and let Microsoft's default video editor 'Movie-Maker' do the sequencing. Done. But, Freakin Large. In the words of Charlton Heston "As god is my witness" the (58:00 sec) file was exactly 100 MB's. Blogger won't accept it. It has a 100 or larger MB max. So, I went into Movie-Maker again and made a few fades shorter at top & bottom and it came in at 99.7 MB's. AND Blogger took it. The original version is on Facebook

So, below video is a musical anthem to the quandary our country seems to be in. Forgive the strain in the voice without any benefit of harmony tracks, but it's kinda about the premise...and it sorta gives it a texture of Whining,  Painful, Anguish. Oh, The Pain (Dr. Smith). I did another pass of the music track with some enhanced (Flanged, echo delay, EQ and pitch), but it's coming in at 100 & 102 MB's for the same quality. Odd, insomuch as it's a second less than the original and an mp3 was used instead of wave for the soundtrax? So, here's an audio (only) link to the embellished ShutDown soundtrax.

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