When I tell people that I’m a voiceover actor and that I work from a custom built recording studio in my home, there are several responses I get. 1) Kind of a “deer in headlights” response, to which I get asked something like, “What’s voiceover? What kind of projects do you work on?” 2) A genuine interest response with something like, “That’s cool, I didn’t know that that was even a career.” 3) A curious response with a variety of questions like, “How do you find work? How does someone work with you?”
The latter question is what I would like to focus on and to help you learn a little more about. The most efficient answer is simply, just get in touch with me J. Send an email – firstname.lastname@example.org; give me a call (yes, an “old fashioned” telephone call) – 307.421.8817; we can hop on a Zoom call too to talk and to see how I can help you and how we can work together.
Like perhaps some of you, I like “tactile” things (books, handwritten cards, handwritten “to do” lists, and things that I can hold and turn the pages on when reading), so articles and blogs still work great, and as such an article about working with voice actors fits the bill.
You and Your Business:
We’re a cooperative and helpful bunch to work with. The conversation starts with you, yourself, your product/service, your business. Let us know who you are, what your project/service/product/business is about and how we can help.
Your Voiceover Project:
What type of project are you working on? A commercial, and if so what medium(s) will it play in and for how long (more on this later)? A corporate narration (something for a business’s website or their YouTube channel, or perhaps it is to go out to their clients via an email post to introduce your new services or products)? A voiceover for a voice assistant (for use on, for example, a smart speaker)? An eLearning/training module/video? A voiceover for an awards show or recognition? Or maybe your project needs a voiceover to update your company’s phone system? Maybe it’s for a cartoon, animation for a game, or maybe your project is an audiobook? Some people are amazed when I tell them about all of the different genres of voiceover there are (and there are many more in addition to the ones I’ve listed here).
Now back to the commercials. All projects are different and have many different variables. This is especially the case with commercials. The reason for all of the specific questions for you to answer comes down to usage. In effect, potentially how many ears and/or eyes will hear/see your commercial? For example, the voiceover for a TV commercial airing for three months in the Chicago TV market is priced differently than the voiceover for a TV commercial airing for three months in a small TV market in Wyoming.
For other projects, length comes into play especially when it comes to eLearning/training projects.
The project’s details and usage information you provide to voice talent helps us provide you with an accurate quote that is fair to both you and to the voice actor.
Voice talent have traditional paper business cards, but we also have another “audio” business card, which are voiceover demos. I’m happy to send these to you or you can listen to them on my website. https://www.judyfossumvoiceovers.com/
I like to offer to record custom auditions. This give you the chance to hear how my voice will pair with your project, how I may perform the script, and will allow you to hear if I’m the right fit for the your project. Auditions, of course, are done free of change and are a part of a voice actors workday. If you would like a custom audition, simply send a portion of your project’s script to email@example.com, and I’ll promptly record and send you back an audio sample.
Your Project’s Script:
Super, so it looks like we’ll be working together!
I always work from a script. Once I have received your project’s final, approved script, I’ll review it for any questions I may have on pronunciations, numbers, web addresses, acronyms, etc. For example, let’s say there’s a year in your script, 1922, and it’s a part of a url and/or an email address. One question I would have would be, would you like me to say each number individually or would you like me to say nineteen twenty-two? Another example is an acronym. Perhaps there’s a passage in your script that includes something written like this: “the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)”. Would you like me to say the word “or” before saying “NOAA” or instead of saying the word maybe you would prefer that I say each letter individually? These may seem like trivial matters, but they do make a difference in your project.
I’m a stickler for names. In my opinion, mispronouncing someone’s name is not professional whatsoever (really mispronouncing anything I feel is unprofessional). I figure that it is always better to ask these questions up front so I can provide you with the best recording possible. In some cases, especially names in another language, sometimes a quick audio recording of the correct pronunciation is very helpful to me.
More Project Specifics:
The more details you can provide about your project the better. Not only details about pronunciation specifics, but also about how you want your script to be read/performed. Who is your intended audience? Would you like the “tone” of the voiceover to be natural, professional, with some authority, warm, deadpan, with a “smile”, serious, etc.? There are countless ways to work through/read/perform a script, and it’s our job as actors to follow your direction.
In many cases I’ll provide you with two to three different (sometimes subtly different) takes for you to choose from.
Another set of specifics I’ll need from you is how you need the audio saved. Aif, wav, mp3; 44.1 or 48 kHz; 128-, 160-, or 192-kbps; 16-, 24-, or 32-bit?
Would you prefer “raw” or “edited” audio? In both cases I’ll edit out my mistakes and extra takes. For raw audio I’ll leave all of my breaths in. For edited audio I’ll mitigate or silence my breaths and will add a minor amount of processing.
Once completed, I’ll send the audio to you as an email attachment (if small) or through one of various file transfer protocol platforms or through WeTransfer, Dropbox, or Google Drive. The last step will be to send you an invoice. And…voila – project complete!
Questions – Would you Like to Learn More?:
Do you have more questions? No problem. Call, email, connect on LinkedIn, check out my website and click on the “contact” tab, or Zoom, whatever works the best for your to get our conversation started works for me.
Judy Fossum VoiceOvers LLC