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Replica Studios contract renewal

 
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tokyofan
Been Here Awhile


Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 266
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2022 1:41 am    Post subject: Replica Studios contract renewal Reply with quote

So, a year ago I voiced an AI character for Replica Studios which they lease to developers for games, animation, the meta verse, etc. (along with other AI voices in their library). I was paid $1500 for the initial recording and one year usage. They now wish to renew the voice for another year for $500. I have no idea what's a fair amount because they provide no metrics other than saying "The voice has garnered use and good feedback as being a voice that's versatile, yet unique."
Anyone else do anything for Replica? Do I take the money or ask for more? Feel free to reply or PM me.
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 10865
Location: Portgordon, Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2022 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every time your work is used you lose a session fee. How many times has your work been used - SOLD? They know and you need to know. How much is your session fee per hour? How long did the job take you? Your number should be at least 25% of that per sale. Ideally it should make you a regular monthly income or you should reply "do not wish to renew.".
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tokyofan
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2022 2:48 am    Post subject: Re: Reply with quote

Thanks! I'm going to ask for metrics on how many paid hours the AI character voice generated for Replica in the last year...along with the scope of projects and clients. Hopefully, any details provided will help me decide whether to accept the renewal as presented.
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Bob Bergen
Flight Attendant


Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 855

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2022 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a lot of chatter these days about AI. The non-union world is being horribly hit as actors are finding past work being used for new content without compensation. Actors are discovering by participating in many P2P sites they have given permission for their voices to be used for future AI content.

I am of the school you cannot stop the tide that is technology. And though many will argue AI still cannot replicate great acting, it's getting closer and closer. We cannot stop the technology from getting better. BUT-we don't have to participate and (or) assist in it's advancements.

I firmly believe AI will take over the majority of the vo industry. I doubt in my lifetime, but I would be arrogant to think that's not possible. No one ever thought the vo industry would go 80% non-union. No one ever thought the majority of actors would ever do the work without benefits. No one thought major buyers would work with non-union talent. Tons and tons of arrogance on the side of the union and union actors allowed this to happen, all with the help and advancement of technology, along with actors happy and willing to take the work.

Now, fortunately the union has protections in place when it comes to AI. But that only protects past union work. And, the tracking of how and where it is used is close to impossible with the vastness that is the industry today. I think the bigger threat for the union performer is AI being used to manipulate conversations, or rather create damaging comments that could negatively impact a performer's career. In this day and age of PC, where words are being judged and (or) have the same punitive consequences as actions, we are going to see more and more celebs and politicians have their voices manipulated to say whatever anyone wants, just to take them down. I can see the day when IT people are hired by studios to put out there a fake sound byte to take a celeb down just before their big movie comes out as a way to control box office. By the time the crime is discovered, the damage is already done. And as we continue this trend of guilt by accusation, ignoring due process, the damage will continue to follow those effected.

Yup, I know I took this to an extreme. But AI is going to extremely effect everyone some day. We cannot stop it. But we don't have to have a hand in speeding it up or advancing it by volunteering to take part in it.
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todd ellis
A Zillion


Joined: 02 Jan 2007
Posts: 10250
Location: little egypt

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2022 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i just turned down an "AI" gig last month. they were very cagy in the presentation and it took a few emails for me to understand what they were doing. as a non-union voiceoverist, (i don't consider myself a "performer" or "actor") i see every gig as a paycheck. x% to pay the bills, y% back into the business z% to savings so i don't have to work till i die. if you're going to use my work forever --- for whatever you want --- whenever you want --- that's a number you don't want to talk about.
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Bruce
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Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 7657
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2022 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thoughts:

Renewal rates should have been included in the original contract.

If the original $1,500 fee didn’t have a session fee broken out I’m thinking you have a right to at least another $1,500.

Presuming you say “no” to renewal will they stop re-selling your voice? Will they stop all the clients they’ve sold your voice to already from using it going forward? With video games and animation, narrations, audiobooks, you’re paid for that one performance. With AI your voice performs new projects again and again with no financial accountability to you.

You seem to be in an ethical tough spot. Make the best choice you can.

B
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tokyofan
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 266
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2022 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to hear from everyone on this! I did get a reply from Replica and they were very transparent about the # of hours the AI character voice was generated and how much revenue was made from it in the last 12 months. They are not ready to do profit-sharing yet but they hope to do so going forward. Given the metrics provided, I do think the renewal offer is mostly fair.

My understanding is their clients buy packages giving them a fixed # of hrs of generated voices they can use on their projects.

When I first auditioned I was under the impression that the AI voices would be used primarily for development, pre-production, and modeling. And if you listen to the samples and what the tech is capable of currently it's definitely not ready for prime-time, IMO.

I assume that if I said no to the renewal then the character I voiced would be removed from the library and not available for future projects.
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Jack Daniel
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Joined: 23 Jun 2016
Posts: 564
Location: SoCal

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2022 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tokyofan wrote:
They are not ready to do profit-sharing yet but they hope to do so going forward.


Going forward, I hope for helicopter-drops of palettes of cash, but I am not planning on it. Vague promises cost nothing and provide for even less.

I used to work in the world of startups where vaporware and earnest but vague promises were the very fabric of life. I have no tolerance of them now :)
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Jack Daniel
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