Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Pop Shields

Pop shields are an essential piece of kit in the world of voiceovers. You can buy a pop shield from about £20, but if you are worried about money, you can make you own using a wire coat hanger and a pair of tights.  







Before






                                                            After


Without a pop shield, plosives (hard consonant sounds at the beginning of words, e.g. P's in Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers) are exaggerated and are likely to ruin the recording.  The pop shield softens the harshness of the sound.   

A professional pop shield will come with a clamp to attach to the mic stand or booth.  It is important that you do not connect it directly to the microphone, as any vibrations will be transferred to the mic.


                                                                                                 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Should I put client logos on my website?

Many voiceover artists like to add the logos of their high-profile clients on their websites. And who can blame them?

It looks better than just a list of clients. And it's much more visual too. We can take in the information much quicker. But is it worth the grief?

We are sure that many logos are used without obtaining permission. And that's a risk you can take and you can just remove them if the relevant company complains. Unless they want to sue you for breach of copyright of course. But anyway you now have a contact at that company to ask permission for future use.


Some companies will refuse permission for any other website to use their logo. At all. For others you will need their permission. Often getting hold of the right department let alone the right person can be a trial.

And you will need to have worked directly for that end client rather than an agent or production company. If you haven't the "middle-man" can also refuse to let you use the logos as it was their client not yours!

Oh and if you do get permission to use their logo because you recorded voiceovers for them, you will need to renew it every year.


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

What is RP?

All industries have their own acronyms - and the voiceover industry is no exception. For phrases you use a lot, it's unavoidable among people in that industry but of course it excludes non-industry people.

I used the word "cans" the other day in front of a client and got such a bemused look. And that's fair enough.... (it's industry speak for headphones.)  I know it's not an acronym but he principle is the same.

RP or Received Pronunciation is what all old-style BBC TV and Radio Announcers were required to speak to be allowed to broadcast - until the 1970s. Many took elocution lessons to lose their regional accents.



                           Simon (pictured) does a great Heightened RP

Today RP can be perceived as just that - old-fashioned BBC style - but for voiceovers it just means a neutral voice (from the south of England) with no discernible accent.

If a client wants a 1930's-style voice we refer to that as "Heightened RP".

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Get social as a voiceover artist!


The explosion of social media in recent years means that you can't afford to not be online.

Promoting yourself and your talents in a multi-platform world is now vitally important.

Twitter, You Tube, Vimeo and LinkedIn are just a few areas to consider, along with a website to host your CV and audio for past work. Ads on Twitter and Facebook and Podcasts are also possibilities.

Remember with Twitter, write in lively, engaging and concise language - the quirkier the better - and include links and a picture!
BigFish Media's "Aquarium" of some of our voiceovers and staff.

Try "Googling" yourself to see who you are and, if you have the courage, what others may think of you! You might be surprised. If good, maybe use their statements as testimonials!

Marketing is key to getting your voice heard ... literally. So a good strategy of choosing the right agency (like ours at BigFish Media) is important to maybe securing future work.

Check out the competition to see what other voiceovers are doing. Up your game by upgrading your website with relevant content, better-written and regular tweets or have a snappier voiceover showreel.

Remember, most clients will sum up your voiceover talents in just five seconds! If you have to fake showreel content, don't mention real names or use commercial music.

Social media is a public platform and you run the risk of being charged for using them.

Branding yourself is crucial for your voice to stand out from the crowd. Have a unique selling point and be flexible and adapt to change in this ever-moving media world.

Above all, be authentic. Being yourself is the best business card in the business!