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The global lockdown has forced entertainment companies to get very creative. We've seen movies that were meant for theaters at home and television shows filming remotely. We've also seen a host of new new projects that likely would never have seen the light of day had it not been for the lockdown, designed to entertain us when we need it most. One example is a collection of animated shorts starring Frozen's Olaf the snowman, that were created while everybody, including voice actor Josh Gad, was sitting at home.
This has resulted in Josh Gad using skills far beyond his ability to make voices. The voice of Olaf tells THR that he's had to become an amateur sound engineer since he was doing his own recording, which has actually gone much better than he would have anticipated. According to Gad...
I'm more resourceful than I ever gave myself credit for. I've somehow become a sound engineer in my quarantine — I've had to record a number of things at this point. It's so funny because the first thing I had to do were the Olaf shorts that we put out on the Disney social [channels] when this whole thing started. I literally had no idea what I was doing, and they were walking me through it. Now I look back at that stuff and I'm like, 'Oh God, that version of Josh Gad is such an idiot. Here's what I would do now, and I would use this.' It's been a lot of learning about what capabilities we have as artists, and it takes a crisis to discover that we're capable of so much more than I think we give ourselves credit for. Having said that, I cannot wait to work with proper sound engineers again because let's just say that I'm definitely skirting by.
Most of the shorts are barely more than a minute long, and most don't require Olaf to do much more than grunt and giggle. Still, it's more than a little remarkable just how much can be accomplished while a collection of different Disney animators and the voice actor are all stuck at home. The shorts look as good as anything from modern Disney animation.
One exception was the final Olaf short, a complete song, which Josh Gad must have been singing in living room.
Josh Gad usually needs to just focus on his performance and there are other people who make sure the recording of that performance is right, but now Gad's the one who has to handle the more technical side. He's even surprised himself with how well it has gone. He's even seeing a noted increase in his performance over time, as he knows that what he was doing at the beginning of the run of shorts wasn't as good as what he discovered later on.
Not that he thinks he's anywhere close to a professional sound engineer yet. Josh Gad has maybe learned enough to get by, but that's all.