Sometimes when you try to think of the worst scenario you just end up feeling worse and worse and more paranoid.
Sometimes you end up coming up with a better idea than the one you had in the first place that you were trying to safeguard.
So, in my instance, what would be the worst scenario regarding getting a voice actor for Warren? Not being able to get anyone, obviously, so, how would I deal with that if it happened?
- make Warren a mute character.
Now, having him with a Welsh accent and actually speaking is an endearing idea, and would help to emphasize both the location of the film (the village is visually grounded in your typical small, Welsh, valley-based village), and the idea that Valerian is not from the immediate locality (Sam, Valerian's voice actor, has a well spoken, Northern based accent).
However, the more I thought about it, the more I wondered how to make Warren seem mismatched from his surroundings as well as Valerian to emphasize their situations being alike, but different; in the story Warren meets Valerian beside a lake where the colour gathers- the colour runs down through the water cycle and ends up in one particular lake which is acting as a water sink, but the colour is so concentrated that it behaves like toxic waste (turning the entire lake pitch black as they run together), and nobody will approach it. Warren, however, still visits the lake, as he believes that there must surely be some way to recover it, and he is also seen as a bit of an oddball by the inhabitants of the village.
Now, simply having him being slightly rejected by the village and wanting to escape it because of his determination that it is possible to stop the train could be a sufficient reason for him to be a bit of a loner, but it would be perhaps a little too weak to communicate in three minutes without heavily explaining it in dialogue, but supposing he is either genuinely mute or so shy and ignored that he simply doesn't talk any more? He has been rejected and blanked out so much that he has lost the confidence to speak at all; even with his new found hero he doesn't say a word, and would if anything be even more shy of speaking to Valerian because of his respect and awe for this tall and elegantly colourful stranger. This actually adds more connotation to the story and gives Warren a stronger character; by actually removing his ability to communicate verbally this will communicate more about him as a person and make the audience more curious about him. It will also make him more endearing and draw Valerian to him, as he realises that Warren is obviously very insecure and needs someone to look after him and give him hope. He needs a friend- one of the revelations at the end of the story is that what Valerian hasn't realised is that he hasn't simply given Warren a friend, he has received Warren as a friend; something neither of them had at the beginning.
Obviously this will cause a huge shift in the script and the perspective of the story; it will now have to be Valerian who summarises the situation and narrates the areas of story that need... well, narration. Fortunately this can create an extra opportunity to misdirect the audience about a key twist in the plot and make it easier and more shocking to reveal later on (got you interested yet?... I thought not), amazing what thinking in a negative way can do for you sometimes! Needless to say this will also save me a huge amount of time and stress trying to audition children, work with them, and of course will reduce the amount of lip sync, whilst synonymously it will be a challenge to have Warren communicate his character to us and everything he is thinking without any words. This will be a great opportunity to test my ability to act in a subtle but readable way via the animation and scenario placement alone.
So! Now on to reworking the script (again) and starting to storyboard the film in ernest... productivity team, go go go!