Tuesday, 25 September 2018

How to look after your voice as we head into autumn

Ah once again it is that time of year again. Back to school, the summer holidays a memory and it might almost be time to turn up the heating thermosat. Here at the Big Fish Media Towers we are busy preparing the decks for the autumn business and ensuring that our voices are in tip top condition.

With over 2000 voices on our books and the approaching cooler weather here in the UK we felt a run down of how to look after your voice would be a good plan. In summer, the heat and light is a rather welcome blessing after the cooler spring months. However now as we head into autumn, what should you do to ensure your voice stays in tip top condition?

1. Drink warm but not hot drinks - warm/tepid/lukewarm drinks such as lemon and ginger tea, throat coat

2. Vocal exercises - ensure you keep exercising your vocal cords and mouth with articulation exercises

3. Layers - many studios will be cool to start a session but as you are in a small room exhaling hot air while narrating then its likely to get warm to toasty. So scarves, layers, jumpers, shirts etc are your firm friends.

Keep well ahead of the autumn and when you want to book our warmed up voices then please get in touch.


Thursday, 20 September 2018

What is the best way to improve your voice skills?



Being a professional voiceover artist is a talent, gift and a skilled profession. Here at Big Fish Media we are proud to represent and work with highly skilled and talented voice over actors on a daily basis. Many have trained through an acting or presenting background while others have worked in radio for decades. However the main thing is that all of our voices love what they do and enjoy working.

Some of our voices have been on our books for years and are solid bookers, working daily. Others are new and fresh to the voice over industry. Many are in between. What they all have in common is that they take voice work very seriously and many train or retrain year after year. What are the best options to improve your voice skills?


The main skills necessary for being a professional voice over artist include;

  1. Sight reading – reading copy and understanding the context is key and with scripts changing up to and including in a session, sight reading is a really valuable skill to have. Practice, practice and practice.
  2. Vocal exercise – like any other job that requires physicality ensure your muscles are in good working order. Train and understand and appreciate your working voice box and how to warm up, work and cool down. Become a guru of voice exercise.
  3. Listen – yes while talking is the job, actually a fair part of it if not more is listening. Do you listen and hear your own voice and what it can do? Do you listen and understand and then act on what the director says? If not, then get working on this. Listening and opening your eyes and ears and not just your mouth will really help your vocal skills.
  
All our voices are used to understanding context and working on upskilling themselves every day. Please get in touch to work with our talented aquarium of voices.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

How to become a Voiceover Actor?


Simples – its simply speaking isn’t it? Actually it is as simple and as complicated as that. At the Big Fish Media Aquarium our 2000 + voices are skilled in all manners of speaking and in many languages as well.

But how did they become voiceover actors and be on our books? Yes speaking and speaking with confidence is part of it but we have a list of skills you need if you want to be a voiceover artist. These are essential in our field of work.


Sight Read – learning to read copy that you are given at the last minute and to read it fluently and conversationally is a real skill. Practice this daily, read social media posts, news headlines, newspaper stories out loud every day.

Listen - Taking direction is a huge part of being a voiceover talent. Accepting and understanding that the voice is part of the creative process is crucial. By listening, pausing to interpret the direction and then speaking is a true mark of a voiceover professional. 

Understand your voice - Where do you fit in the voice world? Know thyself and your path will be clear to discuss what your voice can and can't do with producers and casting directors. 

Patience - Be very patient, adverts, IVRs, audiobooks, video animations etc  need a voice. One day it will be yours. Also in a session things can take time, software and cables are involved and many directors as well so having a place where you can practice patience is important.


Be Nice - People work with people and they work with people they can go down to the pub with at the end of a session. So please be sweet and nice, you'll probably be back for a repeat session. 

All our voices at Big Fish Media are chosen to join the big ocean of voices. Each has talent, experience, professionalism, a great voice and are great people. Contact us here to book your next voice. 




Monday, 13 August 2018

How can I look after my voice?


All of us here at Big Fish HQ love nothing more than tackling a script bringing the words to life. Some days are long and after narrating thousands of words, it can be like a marathon. And that takes time, dedication and patience to get to that level.


Voiceovers are athletes, vocal athletes and like all athletes they take care of themselves holistically ensuring their physical and emotional well being are in tip top condition. Many voiceover jobs are long and even the short ones can become long if take after take is required. To meet the highest standards of narration all of our voices ensure several areas are covered.

Drink water – plenty of water, speaking is very drying to the vocal folds, voice box and mouth in general. By drinking at least two litres of water a day ensures the mouth is lubricated and avoids dry and sticky mouth sounds. When its hot as it has been recently then drink more and keep cool.

Learn to breathe – In and out, in and out and I bet you didn’t even notice that you are doing that all day, everyday. But voiceover talent know how important it is to actually breathe for the sentence, phrase or paragraph they need to record. Learning to breathe will ensure the voice will pause appropriately making a cleaner and also easier to edit read.

Articulation exercises – practise these daily, in the warm steamy shower first thing. The exercises will ensure that your tongue, vocal cords and mouth are stress free and ready to wrap themselves around word shapes easily without straining or stressing you. Releasing the tension in your tongue ensures a more fluid read.

Look out for your eyes – ensure you go to regular eye appointments. Reading long form narration in studios in dark or even bright light can make them tired and sore. Takes eye breaks and get some sleep to ensure they rest fully.

Check your ears – yes they are also connected to your breathing and vocal elements so keep them clean and watch out for them as well. If you can’t hear direction properly the director won’t be pleased.

When you need some professional voices then please contact us. 



Monday, 30 July 2018

How do I write a Voiceover Script?


Despite it being hotter than Hades out there and in here currently, Big Fish Media, The UK’s premier Voiceover Agency, has been busy working on some very fun audio projects.

The team have been schooled in copywriting over the years and over the past few months we have been working with clients old and new on refreshing and reworking their content.


With over 2000 voiceovers on our books we have worked on all sorts of audio projects. All of our voices are hand picked and put through their paces. They are experienced, professional and able to take direction. This month we took on some new clients who loved our voices and how conversational they are.


We’ve been busy writing scripts as well as tweaking clients copy. Does your script for your video animation need to be written? Or does your next TV Commercial need to be voiced and produced? Over the years we have written content and providing the voice actor to that audio production.

We have picked up a few copywriting tricks over the decades working with content. Take a look at the list we have;

  1.        The Rule of three – The holy Trinity of all content. The trio concept always emphasis a point and hammers home facts. 
  2.         Kiss – Keep it short and simple, yes it is that simple. Long and over-complicated sentences cause audiences to turn off and let their minds wander away from your brand, product or service.
  3.        Cut, cut, cut – content always ends up being too long. Less is always more. Be ruthless and understand that the narration is an indication and not a lecture. 
  4.        Audience – who is the content for? It makes a difference to language and words when you need to communicate a brand/product or service to a young audience vs an older audience.
  5.       CTA – Call to Action – Every script needs to have a call to action to bring it all together and ensure that the target audience does exactly that…take action.


Our voice talent have decades of experience reading copy for voiceover recordings. They are highly trained and know how to deliver lines to suit the copy's needs. Please get in touch with us when you need your own voiceover



Monday, 16 July 2018

How do I Record a Voiceover Audition?



We often get asked by various clients if we would provide demos to them. Our voices are speedy and as many of them record voiceover jobs daily morning, noon and night then we are more than happy to supply our clients with demos.


But why do they need a demo? Many clients know about our voices and have heard their reels. The varied voices on our books often have several reels showing off real voice, from corporate and explainer narration to commercials to video games and narration long form.

These voice actors are highly adept at reading a script and recording a few lines. It takes real skill to sight read a few lines with no real idea of the context and only bring content to life. Our 2000 voices are picked because they are experienced and know how to perform and take direction.


When our clients give us copy and ask for a demo we select voices that we know will work well for them. In order to nail the job from a demo audition read on to see what we suggest;

  1. Confirm receipt of the email; often demos take a few hours to days to collate depending on the voice requirements that have been requested. We prefer the voice to confirm they have received our email demo request and preferably send it back by receipt!
  2. Record one clean take; the end client is just listening for your voice and how it fits into their large marketing mix so one take and you are good to go. The clients know that they will do various takes in a session anyway of different emotions so the demo is simply to hear their lines in your voice.
  3. Dropbox or email; ideally the voice pops it into dropbox so that the client can just send the links all together.
  4. To produce or not to produce? Some voices do production and often will do takes with production. If you prefer this as a voice, please do but please always send a raw version as that is what the client is after.
  5. Patience; Choosing a voice client side can take a while due to many circumstances. Our voices are patient and understand that it can take a while for projects to get off the ground.


So, if you need a voiceover and you are after a bespoke demo then please get in touch Our ocean of voices would be happy to help.


Wednesday, 4 July 2018

How do I get the best from a Voiceover Artist?

Today we had a fantastic session with a client and voice actor. Maybe it was the stars being aligned, maybe it was the summer weather or maybe it was a collaboration with all parties completely on board with the objective.


The session was like any other session here at the Big Fish Media HQ. The client had sent the final signed off script over a week before and on checking on the voice actor's availability booked them.

When the time came, the voice-over was in the booth, already prepared with script and annotations in the margins. They had read the copy and understood the emotional position, the pivot point and the aim of the copy.

Being able to lift of all the nuances of the content and convey that to an invisible audience is quite a talent and one that our voices are able to do with ease.

The client was also on hand and understood the copy and what they needed from the voiceover artist. They had written the copy so that it made sense to speak and had directed sessions before.

As with every voice over session, our duty engineer asked the client to go through the aim and objectives of the video production so that the voice would understand the voice over genre.

Despite a technical script both client and voiceover developed an emotional intention that was perfect for this job.


Why was the session such as success ensuring both voice and client were happy with the results?

1. Timely and Signed off Scripts : In this way the client can be sure that they have the final version which is necessary for the voice to practice with. Too many changes late on mean that everyone gets confused and mark ups can lead to more confusion.
2. Voice actor talent : Quick to inform of their availability and as they are both talented and professional, they know how to prepare for a session, with breathing exercises as well as sight reading skills.
3. Client communication : The client understood how sessions work and what words and emotional stances the voice needed to hear to place their voice in that role.



The result? A great session with all the takes the client was after in the time they needed. The voice over was happy as they were able to add in their years of experience of this technical subject and know how to elevate the copy from just reading to story telling.

If you would like to have one of our voiceovers to engage your target audience with your brand, product or service then please contact us - we would be happy to help!