We all can understand how important it is to have a voice behind your company’s video that represents you accurately. For example, you wouldn’t want your beautiful, idyllic new video of your senior living center to be narrated by Gilbert Gottfried. Having a voice in your video that works effortlessly with your concept, stands out and blends in when necessary, and presents you truthfully is an absolute must. When choosing talent to use in your voice over video, it’s important to keep a few things in mind about what you’ll need. In this article, Motion Source will let you in on how we go about specifying and finding the right voice over artist for our clients!
Honestly, this is maybe the most important part of picking a voice over artist for your video. When Motion Source starts a search for voice over talent, we always ask our client to clarify the tone of of the voice they’re looking for. This can include a variety of factors-what tone are you looking for? Professional and polished, maybe friendly and relatable? Are you looking for something soothing or something unique? Do you want a young female reading your script, or an older male? Basically, you should have a set of guidelines to use in your casting, and this will give you some direction when you’re going through 20, 40, or even 100 different readings of the same script, and will help you narrow down which one works best for you.
2. Quality of Voice
Sure, your voice actor may fit the tone description you’re looking for, but now it’s time to get more technical. Does your vocal talent have the control over their voice that you need them to have? It’s a good idea to listen closely to see if there’s any sort of abnormality in their vocal quality, such as any breathiness, accents, odd pronunciations-anything that could make your script stand out, and not in a good way.
3. Quality of Equipment
Okay, so you have an actor who fits the tone of your piece, and seems to have a good amount of control over their “instrument,” and who you believe will give you exactly the sound you’re looking for. Great! Now, about getting that sound. Many people who do voiceover work have some degree of home studio system setup for recording auditions and demo reels. The equipment that they’re using makes a big difference in the quality of the voiceover you will receive if you’re choosing to employ someone who will be recording the voiceover remotely, in their own home. (If you’re recording someone yourself, well aren’t you fancy? Skip this step.) When listening to the auditions you receive, take note of the clarity of the sound-does it sound very far away? Does it sound like it was recorded inside a tin can? If so, you may want to consider someone else, or see if they have access to better equipment. The quality of the audition will mostly likely be what you’ll receive for your finished product, so if you want that actor, but you’re unhappy with how that audition sounds…..speak up!
4. Custom Audition
A common task for our employees at Motion Source is listening to voice over auditions, sometimes even up to 50 at one time. One of the very first things we look for is whether or not the actor took the time to record a custom audition that we requested, or if we were given a part of their general demo reel instead. If I don’t hear our custom audition, I move right along. How can I know you’d be good for our corporate law office video based on your commercial work for Flintstones Vitamin Gummy Bears? (Actors, take note! Take the time to give the custom audition, it pays off in the end.)
5. Price Range
Many voice over artists, especially if they have been in the business for a while, have prices established for the different jobs they’ve been asked to do. Some will have very specific numbers for amounts of time, words spoken, etc...and some might have a broader spectrum. But, it’s Business 101 to be sure that you’re staying on-budget for your project, and that includes knowing how much you’re willing to spend on your voice over talent. If you’re going to spend less money, realize that you may be getting a lesser quality of equipment, or someone without as much experience, for the job. Weigh your options carefully!
Go back and talk to any of this former acting major’s teachers-whether or not someone can act is very subjective. But, it’s essential that, when you’re picking a voice over actor, they have the chops to get your script across in the way you envisioned it. Sure, they may not have played Hamlet three times at the Globe, but if they can pull off the tone you’re looking for, they might be perfect for your job. An experienced voice actor should be able to take direction you give them graciously, and actually make the changes you’re asking for. It may be a good idea to look on the resume of the voice actor you’re choosing, to see what kind of experience and what kind of training they’ve received in the past. This could give you a good indication of what kind of actor they will be to work with. But, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if they’ve trained at Juilliard or in the great acoustics of their shower-if their sound and their acting hits you the right way, then they might be the best fit for your project.
When making a video with Motion Source, we help find and pick out several voice over actors that could be perfect for your video, making your search much easier! If you you’d like to have us help create a video with a voice over artist for you, give us a call or shoot us an email today!
Check out some voice over artists we’ve chosen in the past for our videos, and why they worked so well!
Illinois Network of Charter Schools
We loved this voice over artist because she sounded knowledgeable and confident, but also friendly and comfortable, as if you were talking to the parent of one of your child’s friends from school. She sounds familiar and casual, but presents the information concisely.
This voice over artist was successful because of his confident, business-like tone, but he still was still relatable to listen to, like a coworker who you enjoy talking to, but who you know will get things done.
We chose this woman’s voice because of its calming and caring nature. She comes across as knowledgeable, but also extremely compassionate. For a senior living center, we wanted a voice that made the listener feel comfortable and engaged, and she does a wonderful job with that.