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What are voice-overs
As the process and technology of media and entertainment evolved, there have been several techniques which have surfaced as met by the demand and need in the process of telling a story. One of the techniques which have become a norm be it in radio, television shows and series, video-games, movies, theatrical arts and even on office presentation, is the use of Voice-overs.
Voice-overs have become so common, that it is almost impossible for an average person living in a city to encounter a voice-over be it on television, radio, malls and even on the parties and events that you go through. The world today uses voice-overs in many different ways and there are very few forms of businesses and entertainment that won’t use voice-overs. In most cases, except for live events, voice-overs are usually prerecorded played on top of a video or film.
Voice-over, in its most basic form, pertains to the act of a voice-over talent to read a script for various purposes. These purposes include, but may not be limited to, the description of an act, the narration of a story, explanation of a subject matter, or even the announcement of an event. The voice used may or may not be within the production proper and may usually be uninvolved directly with the production but act as a third person explaining, narrating or announcing something.
Generally, Voice-overs may follow five general techniques:
- As a character- Voice-over may assume a character for narration or to portray the voice of an actual character in the media.
- As a creative tool- Voice-over may be used as sound effects of some sort
- As a way to provide information- Voice-overs are often used in documentaries and news
- Translation- Voice-overs may be used as a replacement to the audio of a video or film to translate the entire media to another language. This is common in countries that are generally multi-lingual.
- For commercials- Voice-overs are generally used in advertising either as a character, a creative tool, and even translation.
It is used actively in radio which depicts or narrates stories. In News, it is used to explain or provide detail to the news subject or event.
In most entertainment media, voice-overs are usually divided into two categories.
Synchronous voice-over is a voice-over style wherein the voiceover is narrating the action that is taking place at the same time. This is commonly used in most forms of media entertainment such as on movies, television shows, and other media which is telling a story.
Asynchronous is used in order to report or explain information as a scene occurs. This is commonly used in documentaries and news reports to add information as the subject is being shown in the film. This technique is also commonly applied in various advertising tools on radio or TV.
Voice-overs are also used in other means such as on on-hold messages, announcements in malls, airports, and even on tourist destination. Live events of all sorts also tend to use voice-overs for the introduction of guest, stars, announcing, and other tools.
The truth is, we cannot live without voice-overs in our world today. And that makes voice-overs important and equally amazing.
10 ways to use voice-overs talents
Due to the extremely useful nature of voice-overs, there have been various ways to use it effectively. The application of voice-overs covers a wide range of events. From entertainment to business, news and events, and even education, voice-overs are actively used.
Below are the most common ways of using voice-overs:
- The narration of videos/films- Various movies may use voice-overs as a means to narrate a story. There have been various movies that apply the use of film narration wherein a character narrates a story to allow viewers to understand the setting of the story more and more. Some variations of voice-overs in the film include characters to voice animated or other characters. The scope of using voice-overs for the purpose of narration may not only be limited to entertainment but may also be used in advertisements, plays and other productions wherein the telling of a story is required.
- Commercial, promotional and Advertisement purposes– Commercials usually use voice-overs to explain, add detail or to emphasize a product. Due to the limited amount of time for the advertisement to present its product, voice-overs become a handy tool to present the product and explain the detailed nature and qualities of this product. Sometimes narration may be used within an ad if the advertisement is actually depicting a story. Overall, the usage of voice-overs in advertisements may even be necessary in most cases.
- Documentaries and other Explainer videos– The best way to appreciate how voice-overs are used in documentaries is to explain what a documentary would look like without it. Having a person explain and explain about the subject of the documentary would leave viewers nauseated by the sight. Especially if the subject of the documentary has no capacity to explain itself. Famous documentary shows about plants, animals, events and other forms use documentary. It is in fact, almost impossible to find a documentary which does not use voice-overs.
- Dialogues in interactive mediums– As technology progressed, voice-overs may be used in several applications that may be necessary for day-to-day life. Our phones use voice-overs in various famous applications used for direction, gathering information, or simply to let our devices “read” something. Other interactive mediums such as video games use prerecorded voice-overs in many cases when characters of the game interact with one another. There are even devices displayed publicly wherein people can ‘interact’ with, that use voice-overs for information. With today’s technology, the usage of voice-over will continue to increase until devices that cannot produce recorded voice-overs become obsolete.
- Presentations for corporate, private and other settings– Voice-overs can allow people to prerecord effective or “perfect” dialogues or sounds which may be edited to further add impact and effect to a presentation. As such, it is common for various events which require a live presentation or hosting event to use voice-overs due to its effectiveness. Be it a corporate presentation using PowerPoint, to hosting of an event such as weddings and other awarding ceremonies. Hardly any of these live events can become effective as the demand today require these techniques to be used as it is effective. It may even be argued that effective productions always utilize voice-overs.
- Live productions– Theaters, plays, and live shows are dependent on voice-overs as voice-overs can help in a variety of ways. Just like in film media, voice-overs can be used to narrate a scene in a play, provide a detailed explanation to prepare the play for scene changes or time skips that are often used in most stories. Some productions may even require the use of on-the-spot dubbing which becomes a form of voice-over in that particular instance.
- Translation of a production– Due to the nature of how our world is interconnected and is commonly interconnected and updated with TV shows, movies and other media belonging to other countries, it is common practice to use voice-overs to replace the actual audio of a video in order to translate it to a more understandable language. This is particularly useful in several famous forms of media including anime, television series and international news events. Almost every county uses voice-overs as a tool to change the language of the dialogues of the characters in a particular film or show.
- News reporting– if news channel would focus its lenses on the reporter, then it would be a boring news channel. News reporting is in fact, reliant to the use of voice-overs to effectively present the news in an effective, sensational, and dynamic setting. Except in the cases where a live report is being done, in most cases \news, reporters have already captured several scenes of the subject or event and use these pictures or videos as the image as the reporters narrate or explain the event of the subject.
- Radio– Radio as a medium is a medium built on voice-overs. Since voice becomes the primary and only tool to deliver information, the radio voice-over field would definitely be the most experienced of all voice-over techniques as it has been in the air far longer than any other media forms. The science and techniques of voice-overs in radio are particularly different in essences as unlike other forms, there are no visual aids that guide or further explain or narrate the subject of production. It could even be said that it was the techniques used in radios that may have spilled over to other media forms as the practices applied in radio had become the foundation of other media in terms of voice-overs.
- Audiobooks and other audio reading applications or tools-Another form of the medium which relies on voice-overs are audiobooks. The evolution of our technology has even breached the definition of voice-over in itself as various text-to-speech technology are able to ‘read’ through the words of a book. Various tools used for the blind and other helpful devices also apply this same science. Some have prerecorded audio which may replay the recorded word when prompted, while other applications are able to read the said subject.
10 benefits of using voice-over talents
As using voice-overs have become a popular option across various tools and broadcasted media platforms, people are left with a choice whether or not they should hire a professional voice-over talent or simply use their own voice as the voice-over. However, although that may be a cheap and affordable option in a short-term perspective, the long-term effects may actually make using voice-overs a more effective choice. Here are several reasons why using voice-over talents are useful:
- Experience in the Field
The most obvious reason why people should get voice-over talents is because of their experience. Never underestimate the science behind art or field. People who study music find themselves into a world of wonder that previously was unknown to them. They see the theories, the practice, and the very science which dictates why something must be done in a specific manner. Every field in this world has that and voice-over is no exception.
The professionals who do voice-over understand things which the common man don’t. From the manner which they deliver a sentence and even on the way they enunciate it.
So instead of studying all these hard works which require decades of study and years of experience, hiring someone who is actively involved in that field. The voice-over talent would be literally “speaking from experience.”
- Voice-over talent’s have voice-over skills that command attention
Using voice-over talents can provide one thing that amateur voice-overs can’t provide. And that is the ability to make an impact with their voice. We all know that there are some people who have a natural flair in talking. For some, it’s as if their voice commands authority. Voice-over talents, who have built a career in speaking will naturally have this charisma which makes their voice commanding, authoritative, and attractive. As such, the voice-overs that these professional do can provide a powerful attractive force that can draw viewers or listeners to the voice.
Not everyone has this skill or innate talent and therefore, not opting to hire a voice-over talent may miss the targeted audience as they are never drawn in in the first place.
- Skilled use of pacing and phrasing
Let’s face it. Not everyone can pull-off flawlessly speaking a hard tongue-twister. And while the voice-over talent may not necessarily be able to do the same, their training allows them to maximize the potential of the script with the techniques in the phrasing of words as well as the pace. This allows the production material to have a more lose constraint as the talent can adjust their pace and phrasing and say the right words, in an effective manner, at a more desirable moment.
- Diversity of roles
A voice-over talent is someone who would have assumed a lot of personalities and thus have a lot of voices. It’s no secret that animated shows or cartoons would often use one talent to voice a variety of characters. While amateurs would still have to take the time to discover the right way to actually do the voice-over for a single person or scene, a hired talent may offer a variety of voices in a single production allowing his voice-over to fit appropriately. The diversity may even breach the gender, racial or age limitation. Some voice-over talents can assume the role of the opposite gender, another accent and even sound younger or older.
No matter what the language is, people will have a hard time understanding another person who has a different pronunciation, diction, and accent. Even English speaking countries find it hard to understand the accent of another. And this dilemma will arise no matter what language you plan to use for the voice-over.
Voice-over talents are learned in using neutral accents which may be able to cater to a wide range of people. At times, the voice-overs may need to have a certain accent but at the same time maintain the clarity. Voice-over talents are equipped with such skill.
- Fast Learning Curve
As the script or product may at times be unique and different, the production itself may take time to learn and understand as new skills may be necessary and new demands must be met. Voice-over talents are able to easily adapt to the diverse environment and easily learn and improve faster than selecting non-professional talents.
Going hand in hand with their skill to learn quickly, is the ability for professionals to adjust and play around with their role to achieve more impact. There are moments when the script itself isn’t maximized. Voice-over talents are capable of improvising as needed to improve the script itself. In doing so, they maximize the timing, emphasis and other factors which may have been ignored.
- Style in voice-over
Due to the experience, they have under their belt, some voice-over talents may have developed a unique style that can provide a more effective and powerful impact on a script. Selecting a voice-over talent with a specific style can allow the voice-over to be even more effective.
- Professional Level of Quality
One of the advantages is that during the planning and conceptualizing of the script or even the production itself, the voice-over talents can offer a higher level of professional dealing. This increases the chances of having problems with the voice talents, the willingness, and flexibility to adjust to a recording and other behavioural factors that could be faced during the recording. This also includes being able to re-record a voice recording if it does not fit your standard. Another benefit is the strict adherence to a schedule which may be critical in many productions.
- Save more money
Since you have a reliable, professional and effective voice-over talent who may also have the equipment to record a voice-over, ultimately, hiring a voice-over talent may be more cost-efficient as opposed to using your own talents. The possibility of reshoots and usage of computers to edit the audio file will take time and ultimately cost money. Professional voice-over talents can record their voice-over a smooth, uncluttered environment saving time in the editing process.
10 questions to ask yourself before hiring voice-over talents
Hiring a voice-over talent requires a lot of responsibilities on the part of the employer. Any hired talent can only go as far as the capability of the person who hired him or her. Voice-over is also dependent on the goals and preparations that the employer must have. The danger is deciding to hire a voice-over talent only to provide a half-baked script ultimately leading to higher cost and a waste of time. So here are some questions to ask before hiring a talent:
- Do I understand the script?
The most important question that a person should ask is whether or not the person understands the script to be used. This is vital as it will guide the overall feel, genre, speed, pace, and even the style to be used. Understanding the script also means knowing what the message is and who the intended audience is. Not understanding the script itself may lead to the misuse or poor delivery of the voice-over itself.
- Do I know the direction or goal of the voice-over?
Aside from understanding the script, knowing what the intended goal of the voice-over is also important. Is the voice-over there to inform? Is it there to add emphasis or an emotional effect? If no goals are determined prior to the recording, then it may be that the recorded voice-over may either be incomplete or too much after the recording. This ultimately means losing more money and wasting a lot of time.
- Do I know who my audience is?
The audience taste will ultimately determine the voice-over talents that you need. With the particular audience that you have, you can determine what talents you need. Is the audience native English speakers? What accent must they have? Is it effective to use neutral accents or go with British accents, Australian, southern or even Asian English speakers? Should the voice-over be done by a male or female? A child, teen or an adult? Knowing who your audience is, is knowing what people to audition for the role.
- Do I have the necessary equipment for recording or editing?
Failure to understand the immense necessity in order to have a high-level production is often times an issue. Many fall into the mistake of believing that just because it’s just a simple voiceover, a simple recording tool is all that you may need. That is wrong. As technology improved, the unconscious bias we have today and the level of demand has increased by several folds. Take, for example, the special effects in a movie. Decades ago, when there was no CGI, and all that our grandfathers could see were black and white, it was enough. Try playing it now and have the younger generation watch it, and they would probably demand to watch something else.
The same could be said with sound. It’s not a simple ‘voice’ that they are looking for, but something clear and audible. One without distorted noise or muffled sound.
Investing in technology is a necessity today.
- Am I clear in explaining my expectations of the voice-over?
Having a goal and a vision and successfully passing it on to another are two different things. A person may know exactly what he or she wants but when this vision is passed on, will that vision retain its original essence or will it change as the listener interprets it in using the context of the interpreter?
At this point, being too broad with what you expect the voice-over to be can be frustrating. If you envision a “jolly or “playful” method of doing the voice-over, the talent will most likely record the voice-over on his or her perception of what jolly and playful is.
Therefore, being clear, specific and setting expectations is a necessary step.
- Am I capable of determining the talent and capacity of my voice-over talent?
Like any managerial related task, how you maximize a person’s potential is important to be able to do the job. Knowing the capacity of your talent allows you to assign them in specific roles and not overuse or underuse a talent.
- Do I know the specific style that I am looking for?
You don’t hire a heavy metal guitarist to play in a jazz contest. He or she may be good, but it’s just not what the audience is looking for. Voice-over styles have also evolved today. Picking the talent with the wrong style or method of delivery could make your entire show fall into deaf ears.
- Is everything finalized?
Picture yourself hiring the talent and spending a lot of money for him to record the voice-over and then suddenly a shift in direction occurs? You spend more money on re-recording and possibly reshooting the scenes. Another probability is that when you finally recorded the voice-over, you realize that it’s not as awesome as you envisioned it! This then leads to reshoots or changing the entire script! Making sure that everything is finalized doesn’t only mean covering all the bases, but making sure that all the bases covered can accomplish your desired vision.
So ask yourself If everything is finalized and make sure that whatever is final, is really final and won’t go changes because of the lack of vision or planning.
- Am I sensitive to the overall sound quality that is needed for the project?
Let’s just face it. Not everyone is gifted with ears that can appreciate sounds. Something that may be trivial for you, may be bothersome to others. Your personal preference in terms of what the voice-over talent must do, may not necessarily be appealing to everyone else.
- Am I knowledgeable about the world of voice-overs?
This question doesn’t simply pertain to the technical aspect of it, but to everything else. Are you financially knowledgeable about the rates that the average voice-over talents have? What qualities constitute an effective voice-over talent? Who are the big names in the industry? Knowing all of these could help you find the right talent at the right price.
10 interview questions to ask the voice-over talents before you hire them
Regardless if it’s for film, a commercial, a corporate video or even a radio program, voice-over talents must have the effective skills and experience to make the production successful. This is especially true for productions which rely heavily on voice-overs. As such, the filtering and the screening of the perfect voice-over should be of great importance. Here are some of the questions you can ask when interviewing voice-over talents:
- How do you deal with stressful situations?
This should be at the top of your questions to ask. Productions at any level, carry with it a high level of stress, demands, and even outlandish time constraints. It is therefore important to know how the talent will react when placed in a stressful situation. What if the recording is already halfway through and suddenly the talent disappears? There might even be cases where you would need to do a re-recording of the script putting the talent in an inconvenient situation. Therefore, knowing how talent reacts can give you an idea if you should hire him or her.
- Why do you want to be a voice-over talent?
Strength without determination is blindness. Determination without strength is futility. A hired voice-over talent, who is simply in this business because of the lack of employment, could be dangerous. People who aren’t motivated by a vision, encouraged by the prize, and persistent for a purpose are the best employees to have regardless of whatever field.
In the world of voice-overs, casual talents who simply want to give it a shot, or see this job as something easy would be surprised when they become immersed into the world. Talent’s who really know what a professional voice-over talent is, and who wants to be in this world strive harder, work better and are generally easy to talk to.
As they say, if you find a job, that you love, you are playing, rather than working.
- What are your strengths as a voice-over talent?
The voice-over talent must know what his or her strengths are. This is because knowing the strength in terms of behavioral or even technical can make it easier for you as a client. You know if want to hire the talent immediately if the strengths this talent has is well-fitted for your production.
- What are your weaknesses and how do you overcome it?
While the previous question, is a positive self-assessment, only a professional voice-over talent can seriously answer the next one. This is a question which allows you to subtly cross-examine the talent by determining if the talent has experience, knows the quality of his or her own work, and check if the talent is indeed serious in this career. To know your strength shows you know what you are good at, but knowing your weakness shows that there is a desire to grow.
- What sets you apart from other voice-over talents?
This question broadly covers the behavioural and technical aspects of being a voice-over talent. And depending on their answers, you can immediately tell which one is a pro, while which one is fairly new or still an amateur in this field.
Those with skills know how to answer this question in a technical aspect. A simple demonstration can even be requested if the need arises. If the talent responds in the behavioural, and can only give answers related to that side of the question, then he probably has not much to offer in terms of skill. Still, for small-time productions, that could be more important than skill itself.
- What was your previous voice-over jobs?
This question can lead to a variety of follow up questions. It also allows you to gauge the skills of the talent based on what the demands were on their previous jobs. This question allows you to dive deeper than what is written in the talents CV and mark the details of the talents work.
- What problems did you face on your previous jobs and how did you overcome it?
As experience is the best teacher, it seems only fitting to ask this important question and see what the talent has learned from his previous jobs. It also gives you more insight into the personality and overall behaviour of the talent. This question also provides a sturdier foundation of trust to what the talent can do based on what the talent has done.
- How many accents do you know?
There are as many accents as there are languages out there. Even the English language struggles from this. For voice-over talents, having an accent can be beneficial or detrimental depending on the need. A talent which is flexible and can provide a variety of accents or maintain a neutral accent is someone who can easily fit in a variety of projects and can even adjust to meet the needs of the video. Be it for the purpose of art, comedy, or to target a specific market group, a talent with more than one “voice” is always a big plus.
- What’s your speciality?
A mark of a pro is having a speciality. This is applicable in every work of art out there. A musician can specialize in a genre, an artist can specialize in a certain art style, even actors have roles which they are simply “fitted” to play. This question is meant to further scrutinize how compatible the talent is in regards to your production.
- Can you work with a team?
Talent is not enough most of the time. Flexibility, personality, courtesy and even the professional treatment of the job is just as important. What use is a good voice-over talent when he or she can’t work with the team? Voice-over talents need to be able to work together and live with whoever they are working with.
You can also follow up on this questions by allowing the talent to share his or her experience of working with a team to understand how the talent adjust to compensate for a need, or to give great contributions.
20 tips for choosing the perfect voice-over talent for your corporate video
There are various things that a client will need to look out for when hiring voice-over talents. Those with a keen eye, or in this case, a keen ear for details have to ensure that the talent they have possesses some key ingredients to ensure that he can help you with your video. Below are twenty tips to consider when looking for the best talent for corporate video.
- Choose a team player
You’d be surprised at how many people couldn’t work in a team setting. Those who are dogmatic, arrogant, or simply unyielding in what they can deliver despite their above-average talents would only lead to conflict. Corporate videos demand a level of professionalism coming from talent. If the talent cannot adjust to the ever-changing demands of an organization as well as meet the evolving demands from the talent, then you can better look for someone else.
Team players are those who can take in criticism, work with others and deal with personalities especially if other members of your team may be the odd one out.
- Go with the style that most suits your Video
Your video will have a specific style and feel depending on its nature, goals, and the companies culture. This factor could determine whether or not you will hire a female or male talent, the talent’s ethnicity, age, and other factors. The perfect talent is someone who is perfectly fitted for your video.
- Select the ones with experience
Experience is another vital requirement as a person with experience can deliver more, provide better insights, perform effectively and simply knows to gauge his or her own capabilities and know when the voice-over can be completed. Experience tells us if the talent is skilled because experience always teaches. Those with a lot of experience can even provide more assistance as his or her insights may cover not just his field, but aid in planning, direction and even the technical parts of the video.
- Get the innovative ones
No matter what the field, career, or business, it’s always a given fact that those who innovate, succeed. In the world of voice-overs, only a very small percentage of all voice-over talents ever make a good career as they soon garner a lot of clients and attention. Those who are stuck with what they know or what they have will simply stagnate. If you manage to find someone who is innovating, you get a talent whose potential is yet to be seen.
- Aim for Flexibility and Diversity
A talent that can do various accents, various styles and even improvise with the script is a priceless talent. This is because a talent with flexibility and diversity can cover a larger scope and provide voice-overs for varying scenarios and scenes. This is also something that can start long-term employment as the talent can always provide an impressive voice-over for whatever corporate videos you may need.
- Look for the ones with Acting skills
It’s no secret that many actors are as great as voice-over talents. We look to the renowned Mark Hamil who played Luke Skywalker in Star Wars but few realize that he is also the voice to the critically acclaimed voice of the Joker in the Batman Animated series. In fact, you can rarely find an animated movie or a video game that does not use Mark Hamil as the voice for Joker.
A talent with acting skills can powerfully portray the role that he or she is granted.
- Hire the one who understands your product/ business
Voice-overs are never supposed to be mindless script readers who give a voice to a video. They carry with them the emotion of the video itself. As such, a talent who understands the product, the company or even the purpose the video itself will be more effective than those who do not. Whenever we want to watch something or buy a product, the best people to ask are those who have it. If these people love the product, it’s no task for them to convince us as we can see how that product has affected them.
Have you ever been convinced to watch a movie or series, by someone who is a fan of the franchise? Voice-overs can also give that effect.
- Employ the ones with the biggest portfolio
It’s one thing to go over a person’s job experience, it’s another to look over the talents portfolio. While a person’s previous job experience allows you to see what that talent has been involved with, a portfolio allows you to see the actual product of where he or she has provided the voice-over service. This could easily help you go over the portfolio and have a lot of demos from the talent.
You then can check his diversity, range, versatility, and skill. If he or she has some works similar to your planned video, then you can easily determine whether or not to hire the talent.
- Select the one with the most reasonable rate
Reasonable rate does not necessarily mean “cheap.” A talent which is expensive but has the experience, the diversity, and skill to match it could be more profitable than cheaper ones. This is because it will save time, effort in recording and even lesser editing.
Knowing to gauge a talents price based on what he or she can deliver is dependent on the size of your video, its audience, and other factors. If the video is something that would only be used in a small event, then hire the ones who are cheaper. If you are looking for talent for a series of videos, then it’s better to go with the ones with a more competitive rate.
- Partner up with the full-time talents
Availability is an important factor to consider. If you think that you need only one session to record the audio, you are in for a terrible surprise. There could be various changes along the way while making the corporate video. Some things that weren’t considered may eventually pop up or in other cases, a new demand is required. If the talent you hired does not have the availability for all these possible changes then you would probably end up hiring a new one and might even scrap everything you already have recorded. Those who are full-time in this field and are readily available are the ones who can stick and stay with you until the video is completed.
- Work with those with a good track record
Beyond portfolios, and job experiences is the question of whether or not the talent was able to do it without any known issues. A good track record means that the talent was able to work seamlessly and have a good commendation from his or her previous clients and managed to do over and above what he or she was tasked to do.
- Make sure the Talent’s a Pro
With the number of people aiming to be a voice over talent, it isn’t surprising that you may come across people who are either trying to be a voice over talent, someone who is relatively new in the field or even someone who has been working on another voice-related job be it in radio, some events host, or others.
While it is understandable for people to do this as there is nothing wrong with simply trying to make ends meet, your video may not have that luxury as it would demand to be dealt with by professionals.
- Take the trainable talents
The world today is vastly changing. The moment you purchase a smartphone or a laptop, it’s already obsolete when you walk out of that store. The voice-over talents today must learn new tricks if they want to stay relevant. For companies which have been actively creating videos, the demands of their video grow as more and more corporate videos are created. Having a talent that is also trainable and can learn new skills is vital in these situations.
- Ask for a custom demo
The best way to see if a voice over talent can perform your specific video is to have the talent do a custom demo on a part of the script or request the talent to do a voice over for something similar. Other productions such as in film or TV, the actors are requested to play out a scene or portray something similar and the same arrangement can be done for voice-over talents.
- Choose those who have a technical understanding of recording and audio editing equipment’s
Being technically savvy is always a plus. Having an understanding of the audio editing applications that could be used can allow voice-over talents to adjust depending on the need. Some voice-over talents may even have their own little studio at home and can do the editing themselves. Having this added knowledge can save your company time and money,
- Hire the ones with good character voices
Just like actors, there are talents who are more suited for specific roles or when they assume a specific character. Being able to “play” the part is different than being able to actually become it.
- Seek the Sensational
Like Mark Hamil who has done marvellously on his sensational voice-over for the Joker, looking out for this sensational voice for a specific role is important. There are talents who were simply made for corporate video because their voice, command, charisma and even that X factor that they simply carry around gives them this control an impact when they speak. This means you have to invest more time during the audition and would ask for custom demos in order to find someone with that special trait. The worst thing you could do is settle with the average when the outstanding is somewhere nearby. This may take time but once you find someone and develop a long-term deal with them,
- Employ those who can work for long-term
A partnership with a voice-over talent is always beneficial. They develop an understanding as they work with you and know more about the company. Long-term talents also learn the necessary skill and understand what your script may need even during the conceptualization stage. Eventually, you can work together with the talent in writing the script itself as the talents insights may soon become more and more vital. This saves more time and resources since you no longer have to train them and the need to reshoot or re-record the voice-over also lessens.
- Work with those nearby
Just because all you need is their voice doesn’t mean you can look for someone half-way around the world. Now that voice-over talents can be found online, it is still better to have someone nearby. This eliminates the need to adjust the time for those living in different time zones. Communication becomes faster, you could even meet up with them for briefings rather than hold online meetings. For companies which have their own recording studio, it’s better to use that rather than ask the talents to send their recordings online. This also allows clients to directly interact with the talent while they are recording rather than ask for a recording, and send feedback to the talent to record again afterward.
- Have an open mind when hiring a voice-over talent
The problem that many clients usually have is that they would hire a talent based on their ethnicity, gender or age. Not because of any racist or gender bias, but because you would connect their voice to their ethnicity, gender, and age. Can an old man sound like a young girl? The truth is they can. Around the world, there have been voice-over talents who would voice-over the most unexpected role. If you want a young voice, don’t make the mistake of thinking someone more mature can’t get the job done. You might be surprised to find someone of a different ethnic race who can pull off an accent totally different than their own. Hollywood has been doing this for years. The actors they hire to play roles is not bounded by race, age or gender. Several of the most iconic characters be it in cartoons, anime, and other fields are voice by the opposite gender or ethnic group.
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