Heavy Rain Interview – Madison Paige Speaks
The actress who provided the voice and facial capture for Madison Paige, Judi Beecher, speaks exclusively to Play about working on the game and how it all came together.
For Issue 193 of Play we got the rare privilege of speaking with Judi Beecher, the actress who provided the voice and facial capture for Madison Paige in Heavy Rain. Jacquie Ainsley has very much been the face of the character, but Beecher’s part in her creation cannot be underestimated. She revealed to Play a little about the process of creating Heavy Rain and her feelings about Madison Paige.
Play: How did you come to be involved in Heavy Rain?
Judi Beecher: My French agent contacted me in July 2008 to audition. Quantic Dream had heard my voice over demo and requested that I read for the role of Madison Paige.
Play: Was there an auditioning process?
JB: Yes there was. The audition process consisted of my cold reading 5 or 6 different scenes each scene had five different endings. I read each scene with the diverse endings. I loved the auditioning process, because I was able to show so many different colors for the same character in the same scene.
Play: Were you offered the chance to provide the full motion capture and likeness for Madison Paige as well as the voice and face capture?
JB: I came on the project a year after they had begun and I worked on the role from casting to finish over a year. The character of Madison had already been established and the first Demo- the Taxidermist had already been made, when they recast Madison. They were considering having me do the body motion capture as well as the facial and voice but they were concerned that it wouldn’t match what Jacqui had already done, she is an inch taller then me and had already begun the body capture, they would have to had to have redone the whole thing. I believe there was also a stunt person that did the stunts for the character of Madison as well.
Play: We understand that the process of recording the dialogue could be quite intense. How did you find it?
JB: It is very intense. You are in a small dark room, seated in a chair, motion detectors all over your face, including your eyelids. There are cameras all over the room and a guide camera in front of you. There is a limited range of motion, around three feet, that you can move so that the camera’s will pick up all the facial expressions. David sat in the booth to the left and acted all the scenes with the actors. It became very intense at times, especially during the non-verbal scenes, or chase scenes, it was easy to become light headed, as there was not much air in the room. We would work around 8 hours a day with a break for lunch. I’ve done TV leads, feature film theatre. This was definitely one of the most challenging jobs I’ve had of yet, but very enjoyable. I felt like if I can do this I can do anything as an actress.
Play: Did you need to learn the script by heart before recording?
JB: Yes, you are not able to look down at your script while you are reading, as the sensors will pick that up. So each scene needs to be memorized. Yes it took me about a month to memorize all the dialogue; my character had 150 pages of scripted dialogue. It was quite difficult to memorize it because each scene had five different endings and you had to make sense out of everything.
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