Wednesday, 23 May 2018

What do Voiceover Directors do?


Our 2000 voiceovers have heard all sorts of direction in our countless voice over recording sessions over the years. In order to cover all of the clients bases our voiceovers deliver fast, slow and in between reads in any emotional style they may be asked to deliver.

We hear all sorts of notes from directors and clients. Notes are there mostly because a few reads may be necessary for commercials to fit the images.

They may also be given as the director or client may have a different cadence or pace in their head. At times it could just be that they have an hour or two in the session and want as many options as they can get for any “just in case” scenario.

Here are some of our favourites and how to approach them.


1.  Read fast but make it slow

This usually happens because the copy is a little too long. In a 30 second advert situation it means that the read comes in at 34 or 36 seconds with a good pacey read. What can be done? Speed everything up? Taking out breaths? In reality it depends.

In post-production, yes breaths and pauses and other spaces can be taken out and edited but for a good read maybe some parts. And maybe some script trimming so the voice over works.

2.      Make it more conversational

Ah this old chestnut. In many cases the director is after a fluent, non announcer type read and wants the deliver to be very human. An announcer read is the over the top radio style read that was popular back in the day.

For those that recall, this read was all the rage from the 70’s onwards and peaking around the 90’s. It can be hard as professional voices will often have an announcer voice in their vocal tool kit and bring that out when the mic goes live.

However the best voices are the ones who know the conversational read, which is simply being authentic and real and deliver it when the director says to bring it on.

3.      Give me two different reads

Many voices question why two very different reads are needed in a session. Simply comes down to choice. It might be that one delivery is fine but 99.9% of the time the end client will ask, oh do you have a version in a different delivery. And that is when the client can pull out another version. Two different reads, covers all the bases just in case.


4.      Could you sound more taller/smaller/older/younger?

This is an interesting piece of direction. What does it actually mean? In many cases, they are just after another read, something similar but different. As many of our voiceovers are actors or used to working with characters, this can be a helpful piece of direction to get into a character a bit more.

Maybe your normal voice or cadence is too youthful or old for the market place they are pitching the voiceover for. Some a change is called for. Just mix it up.



5.      Other strange directions include…..

“Could it be more orange please” “Hmmm maybe do it as if you were a vampire” “make it seem as if the world were gently flowing around you as you escape from the vortex” “Read it as if you are Luxury British” – no we aren’t too sure what these mean either.

To listen to our 2000+ voices, head to our website and get in touch for great voiceovers.



Wednesday, 16 May 2018

What do TV Continuity Announcers do?



There you are, at home, just about to start watching your favourite show Murder She Wrote featuring the fabulous Angela Lansbury (well at least we here at Big Fish Media HQ are). However you can’t recall if you have seen this particular episode. Help is on hand with the informative voiceover - the voice of the continuity announcer

A little like the voice of God, the continuity announcer is that voice that informs you of what is coming up, a short breakdown of the episode or programme.

As it does inform you of what is coming up next this is especially helpful to know if you should make dinner or pour out a cup of tea to watch it instead.  


This voiceover role is fun but with a weighty responsibility and a lot of work. The voice will indicate what is coming up next and then close a programme.

Those chosen to take on the mantel of TV continuity are highly skilled and multi-taskers. They have to watch oodles of programmes before they go on air and get creative to sum up episodes without ruining the plotline and fitting it into a short amount of time.


The voices tend to write their own timed scripts, watch for the time they need to open their mic as the programme credits roll, talk and then settle back to wait for their next live mic moment.

It can be very creative to work on a tight time script and continuity announcers are chosen for their ability to work well in a crisis.

There are times when a breaking news story will interrupt programming and announcers have to think quickly but maintain a sense of calm.


Programme schedules will change very quickly and the continuity person will have to ensure they keep up to speed with the changes and work around that. We are lucky to have several of the major broadcasters continuity announcers on our books and they are a joy to work with.

They are time fiends and can easily make long reads fast but sound slow and make slow scripts sound fast. These voiceovers do it day in and day out. If you would like to work with some amazing narrators, then please give us a call. 



Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Who works at BigFish Media?


We are splashing about with delight at the moment here in Woking.  BigFish Media is expanding. 

Our school of voiceovers is ever growing and now over 2000 voices! Now our very own aquarium HQ is going BIG.

In between recording and editing waves of audio projects for our clients this year business has been so good that we have had to expand! Our fish pond has become more of a pool with new staff joining as well as a new office in addition to the main office.

Our two fishy mascots are overjoyed by the expansion to their habitat.


Over the past few months we have been busy interviewing staff that know about the voicing world so that when they deal with clients and voices they understand and are passionate about the best business ever. There really is no business like the voiceover business.

We are lucky to be joined by two new team members, Caroline and Jack. They join us at a very busy time and will be supporting the marketing and editing team weekly. Caroline is a trained actor and voiceover as well as a whizz on the phone and if she were a fish she would be a seahorse. Whoa there girl!  

Jack is in all trades and has experience in acting, presenting, copywriting, Dj-ing and even as a quiz master (good, we love a quiz here at BFM head office). If Jack were a fish, it would be a clownfish. Always a joker is our Jack.

We are delighted to have these fish join our team.

It now means that in our 14th year of business we are seven strong team working hard for our clients and our voices. As all of our team have voice over experience it now means we have a combined work experience of 135 years!

Some of us recall the heady days of cutting tape during edits while others are a whizz on anything to do with any DAW.

Some of us have been booking actors and voices for years while others have been booking models. You name it, between us all we have more than likely done it and stashed away the tech equipment to prove it.  


We have also expanded with an additional office space. New desks and chairs have been delivered and top of the range computers are gearing up to deal with the jobs we have on hand. The pictures below show the before and after images of the new office.


What is next for Big Fish Media?  Our aquarium is steadily growing with talented voices that are professional, engaged and always pitch perfect. We are working together with great clients creating great audio for the likes of Oracle, Sainsburys, Tesco, SAB Miller, BBC, ITV, Korn Ferry and many more.

If you are a voice and would like to join our 2000+ strong voiceover roster then please do read the  website and follow the instructions. If you are a client and would like to know more about how we can help you with your audio projects be them video production, IVR, Commercials or anything else then please get in touch.


Thursday, 3 May 2018

How do I look after my Voice?


Being a voice is the best fun you can have. All of us here 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.

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 voice 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 liters of water a day ensures the mouth is lubricated and avoids dry and sticky mouth sounds.

Learn to breath – sure we all breathe and all the time. 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, 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.



These steps are a good way to keep in good health and ensure voiceovers stay in good health.