Since 1996, Mila Belo has made the female voices of Contra Informação (and the various versions the program has gone through over the years). Now, in the new life of the “Do Contra” format, he coordinates the entire team of voices.
“Do Contra” premiered on March 1st and has daily online sketches on the Sapo portal. These are short episodes shaped by the present, which – as always – are intended to mock politics, sports and the media in our country, among other things.
In the production of the program, VHS tapes were recorded for many years, which were essentially compilations of interviews and public interventions by the personalities represented by the “Contra Informação” puppets.
The idea is that the speakers – or imitators, as they call themselves – study the characters and try to caricature them as best they can by picking up on certain tics or exaggerated characteristics of the timbre or accent.
Everything will be easier in 2021. Any political figure, sports director, center, or television presenter is just a click away – and the learning material is endless.
“In addition to trying to find the melody of the person’s voice, we need to caricature a little to be funnier. If it’s noodle soup or if you don’t say the ‘l’, we’ll exaggerate a lot there, ”he explains to NiT Mila Belo in the booth where the voice-offs are being recorded, in the studio of producer MauMau Mia in Carnaxide.
Mila Belo does the female voices and coordinates the team.
This is also where the sketches are edited and the entire post-production process takes place.
Mila Belo explains that for this version she had to make new characters, like the dolls of Marta Temido and Cristina Ferreira, but that the old ones are already part of her.
“The old ones are always kept here, just get the chip. Of course, it is always advisable to look it up, also because the person is older, speaks slower or has health problems … We always need to update our files to be as real as possible. “
“It’s great that Marta Temido and Cristina Ferreira are so far apart because I can play with each of them in so different ways and maybe exaggerate a little because this is also a caricature. Just like Odete Santos used to be, a cartoon that I loved to do – and still today, the one that I think I will like best [risos]. One day I spoke to her, she said: The voice is very good, but the doll is very ugly. And then we changed the doll and then everything was fine. “
Miguel Lambertini took on characters like Miguel Sousa Tavares.
Mila Belo also says that there have been cases where the characters portrayed didn’t like the way they were portrayed and that in one particular case there was even a lawsuit.
“And there was a time when we were almost asked to have a doll in ‘Contra Informação’. They gave a little hint and stuff, and I, “because I’m not, I just do the votes” but there were always a lot of people asking for a doll, which was almost a prestige. “
Mila Belo coordinates a three-person team made up of veterans João Canto and Castro, Ricardo Monteiro and Miguel Lambertini (who is also a chronicler at NiT).
Miguel Lambertini will play characters as diverse as José Rodrigues dos Santos or Jorge Jesus. And there is one more special thing: it will make the voice of the new coronavirus.
“It’s something I enjoy a lot, it will appear as a unit in ‘Contra’,” explains the comedian. “It’s a virus that is known to be very devious. And it’s funny because I thought of a voice for him and then the director Filipe [Portela]showed me the doll and the voice got a little smarter. I think it will be a fun doll to relieve a little of the tension we have about this invisible being and give it a face and a voice so that we can put into perspective a little bit what we have all felt with this virus. The idea is to play with the thing and ease the feeling we all have against this evil creature. “
Ricardo Monteiro is another voice.
The day we met the Do Contra voices team in the studio, Miguel Lambertini was taking sketches on March 1st, while Miguel Sousa Tavares was doing it. “She is a challenging character. It has a very deep tone and like you should be smoking about five or six packs of tobacco and I don’t smoke at all [risos]I have this distance. But it’s a doll that will be cute, that will be a good challenge. “
“José Rodrigues dos Santos has to be one of the voices I’ve been imitating for a long time because I’ve been making imitations since I was a child and he’s a very well known voice and I’ve always worked on it. It has this very unique timbre, but I think that each of the copycats gives it their own stamp, ”adds Lambertini.
This time around, the program will also include musical parodies, which can be more challenging depending on the difficulty of the original song. “Then the metric has to match exactly between the original letter and the [João] Quadros created for this letter. “
While João Canto e Castro trains the voices in the production room and waits for the respective recording time at the booth, he listens to the voices of the characters he will interpret with headphones. While you are recording, look at pictures of public figures who will help you embody the characters better.
The lyrics are by João Quadros.
Miguel Lambertini does something similar. “When I’m recording for myself, it’s important to imagine how the character is speaking, and that’s why I do facial expressions because it helps me a lot to get to the timbre.”
The comedian, who has actually already written a text on the same topic for NiT, explains that he grew up with “Contra Informação”. “For someone who has always enjoyed making voices and imitations, it is a dream come true to work on them these days. It’s a historical program of humor in Portugal, and as a comedian, it has that important side for me too. And then I’m happy to be able to work with this incredible team from Contra Informação that I learn a lot from. I think it’s going to be an important humor these days because we have to have satire, it’s getting more and more relevant. “
Also read NiT’s behind-the-scenes story of shooting the puppets (to explain how the whole process works).
The program is also edited in this studio.