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Underdogs United- Now Streaming on MAX!

In the early days of lockdown, Digital Arts was tasked with casting and handling all of the recording for a new animated series titled Underdogs (which later become Underdogs United). It is based on the movie Metagol (Spanish for table football), which was later called Underdogs in the US when it ran on Netflix. It follows the activities of a foosball table whose soccer players come to life when the humans are gone, and an entire world that exists inside of an arcade.

Veteran casting director Andy Roth was tasked with finding voices for the series, which was produced by MundoLoco CGI, one of the top animation studios in Latin America. However, since Covid lockdown had just begun, there were technical hurdles to overcome. Digital Arts' Frank Verderosa was tasked with checking home studio quality for each actor, having already mastered and helped lead the charge for pandemic remote audio sessions. Roth assembled a fantastic cast consisting of Grace Choi (Gigi, various), Monique Gabriel (Emma, various), Jeremy Levy (Kiko, various), Ryan Nicolls (Capi, various), Marc Thompson (Waldabort Worst, Sgt. Referee, Mike Morales, Greta the Groundskeeper, others) and Jason Yudoff (Beto, various). Each actor worked from home with several shifting their locations more than once during the show's production. When the world began to open back up, a couple of the actors eventually came to Digital Arts for in-person sessions, even with the rest of the team on Zoom across multiple time zones- from Argentina to Los Angeles, New York and even Hawaii!

Source Element's tools proved to be invaluable for this process, with Verderosa making use not only of Source Connect to record each actor- but also Nexus (to handle the session routing between Source Connect, Pro Tools, Zoom, and even Source Connect Now,now called Source Nexus Free) and Source Talkback (which made it possible to get rid of headphones for remote recording at home).

Underdogs United on MAX coming together in Pro Tools
A Pro Tools Timeline for one of the last episodes

To say each session was a pleasure would be an understatement! Producer Deborah Morabia kept us organized and on-task, while the writers and actors made light work of knocking out the episodes. Initially working against animated storyboards and pencil tests voiced by the animators and staff for timing, we often had to adjust copy for timing and language purposes- often leading to some all out belly laugh moments in session. Perhaps it was lockdown wearing us all down- but it was often hilarious. If you want to meet the cast and crew, you can watch a replay of a Zoom event that was held last year discussing the process. There were also some amazing moments where the US voice actors met their South American counterparts!

Underdogs United is now streaming on MAX.


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