Wednesday, May 21st, 2008
21
MAY
Niko Bellic voice actor unhappy with pay

Grand Theft Auto IV - General News | @ 09:02 AM MDT | By Neil
Michael HollickIn the Xbox 360 version of GTA IV, you can unlock an achievement for collecting $500,000 in the game. That sort of money would be a dream for Michael Hollick though, who's saddened by the amount of money he's been paid by Rockstar for providing the voice of Niko Bellic.

Apparently, since taking on the job in 2006, Hollick has been paid around $100,000 for his work and with it being a video game, there are no performance related payments or royalties in sight. Hollick blames his union for not having proper practices in place when dealing with game voices, but he claims that it's "tough" seeing the game pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue without getting a cut.

The news comes in the week following a Wall Street Journal report that Take Two paid $84m in royalties in 2005. The "bulk of funds" were paid to Sam Houser and other Rockstar executives, the newspaper claims.
Viewer Comments
Jonny98
Registered User

Registered: Apr 2008
Posts: 10
I wouldn't blame him if i had to give a company tons of dialogs and making the game as good as it is i would like my money too!
05-21-2008 10:02 AM
mom4i_krus
Registered User

Registered: May 2008
Posts: 0
a think he's got a point
05-21-2008 10:39 AM
jwrebholz
Cola-addled Smartass

Registered: Jun 2004
Posts: 454
I think he does too.

And this is a bit unrelated, but he even looks a little like Niko too, isn't that weird?
05-21-2008 11:26 AM
Comeback209
Registered User

Registered: Mar 2007
Posts: 212
$100k for sitting in a box and talking? I'll take the job!
05-21-2008 11:33 AM
Zidane


Registered: Nov 2002
Posts: 6,317
I could go on about this all day, but I'll keep it brief: I don't agree.

And "Comeback209", it is SO not that easy.
05-21-2008 11:50 AM
Jay
(V) (;,,;) (V)

Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,402
Its better than what Young Maylay got paid..

He only got 4 glasses of grape drink and some KFC. jk
05-21-2008 12:15 PM
dronkmunk
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Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 2
^UM WOW
05-21-2008 12:20 PM
Josh1988
Registered User

Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 40
It is definitely not that easy. It takes a lot of concentration and hard work to do a voice-over job. You have to say each dialogue a bunch of times over and over. Many hours in a studio. Each actor has to have their part done just right. As for Hollicks pay, he probably does deserve more. I mean a leading actor in some movies can make a couple $MILLION$. This game has reportedly made more than any movie.

[ post edited 05-21-2008 12:45 PM by Josh1988 ]
05-21-2008 12:28 PM
manlington266
Registered User

Registered: Apr 2008
Posts: 0
BAWWWWWWW

He didn't make the game, why should he get the money that goes to the developers?
05-21-2008 12:33 PM
Jay
(V) (;,,;) (V)

Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,402
Cmon mate, you must recognize the Chapelle joke =p
05-21-2008 12:33 PM
Lisitza
mmm ground beef

Registered: Apr 2003
Posts: 185
i think he should have gotten a little more cash... but he probably signed the contract. He is my favorite protagonist in all of the series. It's a shame, he only pulled in 50,000 a year
05-21-2008 12:37 PM
RocketDescends
Registered User

Registered: Oct 2007
Posts: 8
The really SUCKS!!!! Give him a cut!!!!! He so deserves! Niko is my favorite GTA main character!
05-21-2008 01:13 PM
Anonymous
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Posts: 0
that's messed up for 2 years imo.
05-21-2008 01:26 PM
GWB_FTW
President of the United States of America and Commander of the Free World

Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 15
Its not like he is Sean Connery or Robert De Niro..
05-21-2008 01:41 PM
Zidane


Registered: Nov 2002
Posts: 6,317
Why would that make a difference? Because they're "Hollywood actors"?
05-21-2008 02:03 PM
Tendercrisp
Hi.

Registered: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,445
I think he should get payed more.

Although at least he has the benefit of being famous in the voice acting community now. Might not get payed much for GTA IV, but this opens opportunities for other jobs at least.
05-21-2008 02:51 PM
nYgel
Registered User

Registered: Apr 2008
Posts: 63
this goes two ways. Yes he deserves more due to the large success, but not much more really. He did voice over work... voice over. I understand the amount of time and technique of doing this kind of work, but then again, editing that game took way more time and effort. They should be getting the money.

Also he can demand more for the DLC. He's GOT to do the VO work on that.
05-21-2008 03:15 PM
haitianKNIVES
Formaly cosmic

Registered: Apr 2008
Posts: 2
I feel bad for both sides. He's the voice behind one of the best characters in many moons. The VA should have got more money, but if he had a better contract, he probably would've got some royalties. On the other side, R* tried hard to avoid this kind of thing. Ray Liotta killed it as Vercetti, but was a real hassle to deal with behind the scenes.

Moral of the story, damned if you do, damned if you don't.
05-21-2008 04:47 PM
Sheep Shagger
Registered User

Registered: Apr 2008
Posts: 44
Tough spot. He does deserve a bigger piece of the pie considering his role, but it looks like he signed on for the $100K.

Big companies always take advantage when possible, R*/Take2 is no different. Surely they used either his lack of work or lack of knowledge about gaming proceeds to their advantage.
05-21-2008 04:59 PM
RocketDescends
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Registered: Oct 2007
Posts: 8
He sorta looks like Jason Newstead from his days in Metallica.
05-21-2008 05:09 PM
Comeback209
Registered User

Registered: Mar 2007
Posts: 212
I would never say a job like that isn't hard, but it beats the crap out of picking fruit out in the 100+ heat for less than minimum age or any other grunt job that I've had before my current It gig. Thats for damn sure.
05-21-2008 05:27 PM
Patrucci
Registered User

Registered: May 2008
Posts: 1,890
Although, The Kid May Be Pissed, But Thats What He Signed For, If He Signed For Royalties etc. Than I'd Be Pissed too. But Considering He Signed For It. He Needs to Stop Complaining.
05-21-2008 05:39 PM
GWB_FTW
President of the United States of America and Commander of the Free World

Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 15
Zidane, yeah, this guy has done no work what so ever. If you knew anything about the show biz you would know that bigger names attracts bigger attention and bigger crowds.
05-21-2008 05:50 PM
chrisandy
Registered User

Registered: Apr 2008
Posts: 10
"Zidane, yeah, this guy has done no work what so ever. If you knew anything about the show biz you would know that bigger names attracts bigger attention and bigger crowds."

So when Samuel L. Jackson did the voice work for San Andreas, they made a big fuss out of it?

The guy (Hollick) spent two years doing the motion capture and the voice over. $100k for two years of grueling work, for a game that makes that much money? It doesn't surprise me that Rockstar is kind of cheap when it comes to paying the people they use, unless its the president and his brother..
05-21-2008 06:48 PM
rappo
Professional Dumbass


Registered: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,960
Zidane is a voice actor himself, GWB_FTW, so I'm sure he has a good idea of what the business is like :P
05-21-2008 07:12 PM
Zidane


Registered: Nov 2002
Posts: 6,317
Hey, GWB_FTW, I'm saying because if someone is a "Hollywood" actor, or "star", he or she gets paid FAR more and everyone makes a big deal out of them being cast in something, like a video game for instance. Say one great rookie voice actor does a killer job as a main character with thousands of lines in a huge video game, yet in the same game some "Hollywood 'talent'" makes an appearance with just a few lines, done lousily. Who do you think gets recognition? And the bigger paycheck?
05-21-2008 07:42 PM
JoshyJordison
Registered User

Registered: May 2008
Posts: 0
LOL He does like Jason Newstead... and for the money part he should keep it quiet and accept it
05-21-2008 07:45 PM
Josh1988
Registered User

Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 40
It def depends on what kind of contract(s)that he signed if he has an argument or not. Unfortunately well probably never know.
05-21-2008 08:15 PM
GarrettQ
Registered User

Registered: Jul 2007
Posts: 90
I understand his point of view, and yes he does deserve more, but unfortunately, this is the way things are. (This is a general example, there are exceptions) The construction worker makes 25-30K a year, and at the end of the day he is exhausted from work. The Superintendent on the building site makes 75-90k a year, and goes home with a cramped hand from pointing his finger. The less you actually work, the more you get paid. Its all based on experience and education. It honestly takes alot more experience and education to design a game as vast as GTA then to do the voice over work for any character. Hollick is a fine talent, but talent doesnt always justify the big bucks, and neither does the amount of work you do. However these circumstances i mentioned are not always the case, but quite often they are.

GarrettQ
05-21-2008 09:29 PM
raikkonen
Registered User

Registered: Nov 2004
Posts: 402
He kinda looks like Niko. Don't you think????? the eyes and the shape of the head! maybe niko's based after him!
05-21-2008 10:07 PM
Ænemy
Digital/Concept Artist

Registered: Apr 2008
Posts: 236
Probably does suck to miss out on all that money. I totally can understand that, but he should see that he sits in and speaks into a microphone for a few hours. And BAM! Makes $100k. Jesus, next time he turns somethin' down, I'd bolt into the deal faster than you can say the first 3 letters in the alphabet.

Ugh...

He looks a little evil. Or insulted.
05-21-2008 10:33 PM
sasagd
Most inactive Member

Registered: Nov 2004
Posts: 201
I can't agree with /Enemy, as zidane said, it's not that easy, besides I think he did motion capture for niko too, and it was a two year work.
05-22-2008 05:15 AM
WiM
All for one.

Registered: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,142
You would expect that he earned more....
05-22-2008 06:57 AM
pundit
Registered User

Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 80
Jason Zumwalt also made a "Rent Roman" movie..
he's got the same sentiment i think...
05-22-2008 08:56 AM
Kodo


Registered: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,446
He knew he wouldn't be getting royalties from the start, he got paid $1,000 a day which was 50% more than the other voice actors, and now he's opened up for more acting work. It looks like things are pretty much in his hands regardless of how he looks at them.
05-22-2008 09:11 AM
spatuluk
Registered User

Registered: Oct 2004
Posts: 135
As much as I love the job he did on Nicos voice, and I'm sure it was a tough job, it's his own fault for not negotiating better at the start.

If you sign a contract and do the job, you can't complain afterwards because you suddenly decide you're worth more. Tough titties!
05-22-2008 10:01 AM
Josh1988
Registered User

Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 40
Thats why they have contracts. In show business its a dog eat dog world. The actors may think they deserve more sometimes but its the writers and directors who do the REAL work. Which is a tougher job. Writing an entire script? or being told what to say and do?

[ post edited 05-22-2008 12:30 PM by Josh1988 ]
05-22-2008 12:29 PM
dokujitsu
GTA addict since 2001

Registered: Nov 2004
Posts: 329
I think they could've paid him a bit more for 2+ years of work. The game's doing so well and all.
05-22-2008 04:16 PM
deadlyMETAL
OMGOMG

Registered: May 2008
Posts: 0
OMG I thought that was a picture of Jason Newsted!! =0

Well, I agree he should get more pay for his services. $100K is a lot of money, but so is the $84mil going to Mr. Houser. I mean no disrespect to anyone involved here, but I think that Hollick deserves a good deal more than that, as opposed to Houser who is merely at the top of the employment chain for the game's makers. I mean, just take his $100K times ten and he'd likely be all set, and the company really wouldn't be missing that $1Mil hardly at all: they'll be making a whole lot more than just $1mil off the game every bloody month from now til thsi day next year and then some!

Give your employees a little more cash, corporations, you can spare it.

All the same, rock on Rockstar and Hollick and company!
05-22-2008 04:57 PM
jay gully80
Registered User

Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 70
those who say that this guy shouldn't complain.... go back to san andreas. go back to vice city. you don't deserve to enjoy his acting. this man pulled off an OSCAR AWARD worthy perfomance for a game that made more cash than any movie EVER. don't feed me that crap about "oh, its not like he's robert dinero". go check out how much dinero was paid to do SHARK TALE. i couldn't find it, i was looking. but i did find out that Eddie Murphy was paid 8 MILLION or so up front to do the voice over for Donkey, from the movie shrek 2. lets see how much shrek 2 earned...(surfing web)...104 MILLION. so eddie gets 8 million for a 100 million movie. and my man Niko gets 100,000 for a 800 million game? at this point, i want to voice my opinion and say things that would get me banned from the forums. i love rockstar... but this is BULLL (editing myself). rockstar, you owe this man more money. period. and if he doesn't get some compensation, i will lose ALOT of respect for the integrity of your company. this is like when a major rap label makes tons of millions off of a rapper, and the rapper gets hardly more than a car and some jewelerly to compensate for his work. rockstar, if you're proud of your work. if you're proud of the quality of your game (mainly the acting). if you proud of the fact that GTAIV got perfect 10's across the board on reveiws, then you should show some gratitude to this man. Hollick deserves it. i've said my piece.
05-23-2008 11:22 AM
MurphySk8
Registered User

Registered: May 2004
Posts: 169
Notice how he doesn't really complain about it in the entire article, and he says outright that he doesn't blame Rockstar at all, because it's the way videogames are handled? He said he was annoyed by it, that it got to him, but he's not bitching about it. The NY Times just wants a catchy title for their article, so they made it seem like the entire thing is about him bitching about his pay. It's not. Besides, Rockstar paid him more than what's considered average pay. Or did anyone actually read it? :P
05-23-2008 12:26 PM
jay gully80
Registered User

Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 70
GTAIV = 800 million

shrek 2 = 104 million

eddie murphy gets 8 million

hollick gets 100,000

point blank. period.

i don't care what you say about 'he got more than average'. voice over acting is voice over acting. whether its movies or games. hollick gave far more dialogue then eddie gave for shrek. 100,000 compared to 8 million??? how in the hell does that equal "more then average pay" in your mind? of course he's not ----tching now. he's extrememly proud of how the entire world is currently deeply engaged with his work. he looks up and see's commercials with his voice. he turns around and see's a billboard with a picture of the character he did the voice for. and at the moment.... he still has some of that 100,000 left in the bank. TWO YEARS FROM NOW HE'LL BE BROKE. and sam houser will STILL be driving one of the lamborginis he bought thanks in large part to Hollicks acting. how many more oppertunities will hollick have to make money even with this popularity??... think about it. he did a voice over for a russian gangster. what other video game would dare use NIKO's voice? none. do you think dreamworks or pixar are looking for the voice of a russian gangster? no. this work, no matter how great it was, is not going to lead to any more work in the future. its a once in a life time thing... and he did it the best it could be done for the most popular game there ever was.
I MEAN DAMN!!! they got 50 million from microsoft just for DLC!! why couldn't they at least pinch a million from that money and give it to there STAR?? put it this way.... most people will STILL be playing GTAIV by the time Hollick spends the last penny of his 100,000. that is sickening to me
05-23-2008 01:28 PM
jay gully80
Registered User

Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 70
rockstar does all this BIG talk about how VIDEO GAMES are equal to MOVIES. then they fail to show that type of respect to their star. if they believed what they preach, Hollick would have gotten paid like he did a voice over for a movie... not a Pepsi commercial. one thing i cant stand is POLITICIANS and thats how rockstar looks right now. preaching on and on about how video games deserve the same respect as movies, only to turn around and tell their star that he doesn't deserve enough money to be even remotely respectable compared to people who do the exact same thing (only alot easier) for movies.

hypocrytical, political, and just down right GREEDY
05-23-2008 01:44 PM
jay gully80
Registered User

Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 70
with EA already trying to buy out take two and ruin gta for ever.... do you guys really want to play with KARMA?? Karma is a B*tch. do whats right. give the man some money to spend. geez.
05-23-2008 01:57 PM
jay gully80
Registered User

Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 70
i'm sorry for b*thin so much, but it frustrates me. one day i will be one of greatest game designers/ developers ever. yea i said it. and without the slightest bit of arrogance or pride. i'm working on it now. IF i was in rockstars shoes, i would have said, "ok, you get 200,000 now. and for every 100 million copies we sell, you receive another 100,000 check." add it up, thats one million now and counting. one fiftieth of what they got from microsoft for DLC. its right. its fair. and the real NIkO would be out there cruising and enjoying some of the benefits that he earned. instead of chasing down any job he can find while all the people he's trying to get jobs from are busy playing GTAIV.

karma is big. in the rap game, there is only one truly FAIR producer.... DRE. and through him we've got NWA, Ice Cube, EASY E, SNOOP DOGG, TUPAC, TUPAC, TUPAC, EMINEM, and 50 CENT. all of those rappers have completely dominated the rap industry during their times. with out them.... there would BE no rap. now compare that to DRE's old partner..... SUGE KNIGHT. broke, in prison, and if it wasn't for DRE he would have NEVER had snoop or Pac. Dre pays his rappers what they are worth. Suge Knight paid tupac nothing. its called KARMA
05-23-2008 02:20 PM
bennifer3000
Registered User

Registered: Jan 2008
Posts: 250
Voice Acting is incredibly difficult. You sit in a booth and do a line 300 times and only then 50 fragments of those 300 make up one of your lines. Then at the end of the day, your throat hurts, you can barely speak, and you have to do it all over the next session.

That being said, he was paid for his contributions to the game and if he didn't have the foresight to include a clause in his contract the was directly related to sales, then he's pretty much out of luck. That's the business of it.

If Rockstar was appreciative of his job, then it'd be NICE for them to send him a little extra, but they are in no way obligated. He's also a little ungrateful. No one heard of Michael Hollick before he was in GTA IV and Rockstar put him on the map. So, suck it up.
05-23-2008 02:57 PM
jay gully80
Registered User

Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 70
zidane... i'm curious, what type of voice overs have you done? i'm asking because i'd like to hear your skills. commercials, cartoons, games, whatever, good luck with that. no not luck, i hate that term. however, i wish you success. just from your pic, i could see you doing futurama or something from Adult swim lol. i believe that the animated cgi movies will return to real voice actors. since they have started using all these hollywood actors, the quality of animated films has really dropped. i mean, look at that movie, Open Season, with martin lawrence AND ashton kutcher. two GREAT comedians, but that movie just SUCKED. martin and ashton need to stick to their day jobs.
05-23-2008 03:02 PM
jay gully80
Registered User

Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 70
i didn't say rockstar was obligated. its just that they look pretty damn hypocritcal. no one was making the argument that movies and games should be treated equal until ROCKSTAR used it to influence its ESRB ratings. they don't have to do anything. but niether does EA sports ever have to upgrade the graphics to Madden. Rockstar usually goes the extra mile to seperate themselves from other companies. i think now would be a very good time to go one of those extra miles. i mean... Its NIKO man! hell, niko's loved by conan obrien, jay leno, david letterman, etc. they don't have to do the NICE thing. of course not. no company does. but i would expect Rockstar of all companies to respect their STAR. especially after all the 'GTAIV is equal to a movie' flap. maybe they just made the movie so damn good that i just feel bad for my man, Niko. HELL! the niko on my game already has more money then Hollick got paid.

if they would have never stood so firm behind their statment that Games should be treated like Movies.... this argument would be dead. now... all i'm saying is.... what about the voice actors???? if both industries are so equal in your eyes, prove it rockstar. hell, i paid 60 for the game and not one penny of my money is going to support the actor that contributed so much to the game i love. makes me feel like i bought a bootleg CD and the guy who deserves his cut isn't getting it.
05-23-2008 03:23 PM
Zidane


Registered: Nov 2002
Posts: 6,317
jay gully80, I SO cannot agree with you more about the whole "Hollywood actors" doing voice roles. It pisses me off to no end seeing silver screen actors taking actual voice actor roles, and flat out sucking at it. You mentioned "Open Season". The movie was only as popular as it was because of its "star-studded cast" bullshit. It's recycled and outdated 3D animated entertainment, and quite frankly Toy Story looks better, and it's over 10 years old. It's the way to make your project huge without making it great - and that's hire celebrities!

But I'm getting a little off topic... Michael Hollick did a great job as Niko, and put a whole lot of time and effort in to make the character what he is. Let's face it, Grand Theft Auto is retardedly huge. Michael knew how big the game would be. I'm sure he's seen billboards of past GTAs (assuming he resides in New York) or seen TV commercials. I don't know if Michael thought he might be being underpaid from the beginning, or if this all came about after seeing how big the game is and how much r* is making. If he thought his paychecks were weak during the beginning (which really couldn't have been too bad) then he should've said something to the producers if he was actually concerned (unless he was afraid of being recast in case r* thought he was being greedy). It's said and done. Like it or not, r* isn't obliged to pay him any residuals due to the contract that was signed.

I also can't help but wonder how much Ray Liotta was paid for his work as Tommy Vercetti... But let's save that for another day.

[ post edited 05-24-2008 01:07 AM by Zidane ]
05-24-2008 01:03 AM
Sane_Or_Insane
Registered User

Registered: May 2008
Posts: 29
Put yourselves in the developers' shoes if you are the boss would you want to keep the money for yourselves or would you rather give it to your worker?

I can totally understand how the boss feels even though I am not one. The person who used his voice for Niko's character can only blame himself for being dumb I am sure he knows how much he would be paid for the job before taking up the job if he felt that it was peanuts he should have rejected it and asked take two to go fly a kite or something but he didn't.

Maybe he was silly we will never know but maybe at that time he felt the money was alot. If that was the case why complain now. By saying he is unhappy do you sincerely think take two will take pity on you and give you more money? NO!!! they will not cos I am sure they have a contract signed by you and there is no way you can fight that shit.

All of you who wants to take up offers maybe should read through your contracts before signing to prevent such things from happening again. I also helped my company make lots of money and when I asked for a small pay rise my boss said to me IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY WITH YOUR PAY YOU ARE WELCOME TO LEAVE THERE ARE ALOT OF OTHER POOR PEOPLE WHO WILL TAKE YOUR JOB AT A LOWER PAY. There you have it there is no fairness in this world the rich just gets richer and the poorer just gets poorer.

I feel sorry for the guy but he just have to face reality and move on with his life.
05-27-2008 07:49 AM
 

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