By Beth Ann Downey
When Dave Villani got the call for a last-minute voice-over recording session from a San Francis-co-based production company, he didn't think too much about it.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Dave Villani, shown at his Data Music Services recording studio in Altoona, recorded some of the voices for Call of?Duty Elite video game. Below is a script.
Villani, an instructor of Communications and Integrative Arts at Penn State Altoona and owner of Data Music Services on 19th Street in Altoona, has gotten many such calls before.
Then, a limousine pulled up in the parking lot of his studio, and actor/comedian T.J. Miller stepped out.
The voice-over Villani recorded with the celebrity was for the popular military-based video game franchise, "Call of Duty," for its newest release, "Call of Duty: Elite." The game was released for Xbox 360 on Jan. 24, and sold more than one million units in its first week.
"I hadn't heard of 'Call of Duty' because I'm not a gamer," Villani said. "After [Miller] left, I looked it up online and realized how big it was. Some people, friends of mine or people in recording, I happened to mention it to them and they told me the impact that the game had. ... Then I realized what the impact of this session was."
The opportunity arose for Villani because Miller - who has appeared in movies like "She's Out of My League," "Get Him To The Greek" and "Yogi Bear" - had been in the local area giving a speech at St. Francis University in Loretto.
Villani believes there were some last-minute changes to his voice-over script that needed to be recorded immediately, as the session took place just a few weeks before the game was released.
Villani said Miller was funny and cracking jokes, but also got to work quickly.
"He dug right in," Villani said. "They faxed a couple of scripts over. He'd do a read, correct himself a few times. They offered direction over the phone, he'd do another take. They were laughing too at the other end.
"He's just funny, he's a funny guy. I can see where he picked the right profession."
Villani's job was to get a good, clean recording of Miller's voice and do a little bit of mixing and mastering. But because of the tight deadline, it all needed to be done that afternoon and uploaded to the producers in California. Villani also overnighted a hard copy of the recording to Los Angeles as a backup.
Though it was all in a day's work, Villani said he's glad that representatives at that level in the industry were happy with his services.
"They went out of their way to say that," he said. "Normally you might not expect that; they would just say thanks, send the bill. But they went out of their way to comment that they were just really impressed with the service I gave them and they were happy with what I did. ... Here are people at that level that are happy with what I did, and I can compete with somebody out there."
Robert Trumpbour, an associate professor of Communications at Penn State Altoona who has worked with Villani due to has background in radio, said he's not surprised that Villani was "tapped" for this project because of his reputation in the area.
"If you were to try to identify one person who is really known for audio production in this region, I think Dave would be the guy," he said. "He really has strong skills."
But Villani, who's not one to brag, maintains that the opportunity was "just another session" to him.
"It just happened to be a high-profile session, though I didn't know it at the time," he said with a laugh.
Mirror Staff Writer Beth Ann Downey is at 946-7520.