Monday 23 December 2019

How do I find a good Voiceover Artist?

What do you normally do when your client comes to you and asks you to find them a Voiceover Artist?

Do you point them towards an agency and let them get on with it?

Perhaps you suggest hiring the voice you hired last time, to save the trouble?

Or maybe you panic about the best way forward, perhaps even by trying to convince them that they don’t need one for their project, and that it’s strong enough to speak for itself?

If any of the above seems familiar then you’re not alone, but it doesn’t have to be quite like that. In the same way that technology has revolutionised the business of making video in the last decade, that same technology has seen a quiet revolution in the world of the Voiceover Artist.

The equipment to produce professional audio doesn’t cost what it once did, and this has meant that more “voices” than ever are working from home studios and marketing themselves either outside, or as well as, traditional artiste/agency relationships. I know because I’m one of them.

Voiceover Artists all over the world now use the internet to find, or attract, work,  whether through their own websites like BigFish Media, or via one of the online casting directories. 

If your client is on a budget, then cutting out both the agency fees, and the time and cost of taking your talent into a production facility with an engineer, could make an attractive difference to the balance sheet. Not only that, but the quality of the finished audio might well surprise you.

Of course you need to do your homework. The lower the bar of entry, the more any profession becomes attractive to those who don’t necessarily possess the skills to do it justice.

But the beauty of the internet is that you and your client can check out what you’re likely to get back before you engage a voiceover talent. You can even ask for a sample as an audition. Most voiceovers will be happy to record a part of your script and deliver it in a format of your choice.

If you get them to do that, then you’ll know exactly the quality of the end product,  including the voiceover artists delivery, technical quality and editing skills.

What should you expect to pay? Well, the price range varies hugely. On some casting sites you might be lucky and pay well under the £250 or so that’s still perceived to be the ballpark hourly rate you’d pay for taking your talent into a studio.

But make sure you do that homework: if you don’t, then that £45 voiceover track that seemed like such a bargain at the time might not turn out to be all it promised.

It’s still true that in voiceovers – as in life – you generally get what you pay for. Buy cheap, buy twice. And if you’re paying £250 for your voiceover artist, but not paying the traditional associated costs on top, that is still a huge saving.

Check that your agreed rate includes things such as preparation time, session fees, studio costs, de-breathing editing and file transfer. BigFish Media will do all these for you.

Check the talent’s policy on re-takes or amendments in case there’s anything that you or your client aren’t happy with. Don’t be afraid to ask for a written quote. And make sure you have agreed any usage fees, if appropriate.

It’s true that not every project needs a voiceover, but the next time that one does, take heart: With a bit of care, and with the help of the internet, Voiceover Artists from all over the world are now well within your reach.

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