Wednesday 8 July 2020

How does a Voiceover Artist deal with difficult scripts?

Scripts, copy, words – whatever you call the information or concepts you are essentially going to narrate or tell a story. Our voiceover artists are such pros when they read copy but even with the best voices in the world some words can be tricky to say out loud.

However, what do you do when you get a difficult script or rather a tricky script to deal with? Firstly, what is tricky? In many cases the scripts are tricky simply because someone who wrote it, wrote it for the visual element i.e. to be read internally rather than to be heard externally. 

In this case, this is tricky because they haven’t appreciated the differences of the written and spoken word and how they differ. Length and timing, grouping words together so they (words and concepts) don’t get bogged down and muddy.  

As a first port of call, ask the client to clarify. They may not have realised and they may appreciate it when you do ask. This is also helpful if you sense that some of the figures or concepts in some texts are incorrect. If in doubt, shout.

Sometimes text is tricky because of the subject. Medical, finance and specialised material can often deal with names and concepts that are involved and convoluted. Again, check with the client especially with pronunciations of words and ideas as well as appreciations and other areas.

At times texts can be filled with a whole list of names and sometimes they can be in other languages. For example, at awards ceremonies you could be the voice of God and so you need to enunciate various names. So again, ask someone and as a VOG you are quite within your rights to ask for either a written or audio guide.

Again, text can simply not make sense and the client signs it off and you read it anyway. If so then go for it, depending on the application of the audio, it may make sense at the end. And if in doubt, offer to record an alternative so they have options later on.

Next time you face a tricky script get on of our voiceovers to record.