Union Contracts Now Include "Vocally Stressful," "Atmospheric" Work

Two major unions supplying voice actors for video games have both won pay raises under provisional new contracts, which also spell out terms for "vocally stressful" work and "atmospheric" roles in which one person voices multiple minor characters.

Assuming the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists ratify the contracts, their terms will be in effect until March 30, 2011. Under the deals, SAG gets an immediate 3 percent raise in its scale rate. On top of that, in April, both SAG and AFTRA get a 2.5 percent raise.

Also of note: the real screamer roles - "vocally stressful" they're called under the new terms - will require a notification by employers to actors. The two sides must also work out a set of guidelines for such stressful work by the end of the current contract. Additionally, the contract creates an "atmospheric voices" class of work, which allows developers to hire a single voice actor to play numerous roles in a single recording session.

SAG, AFTRA Renegotiate Acting Contracts With Developers [Gamasutra]