I love to voice spots. But I also find equal if not more pleasure in producing and imaging spots.
For those of you that have been doing this for a while, have you gotten away from producing and imaging, and just voice the spots, or do you try to do it all?
Or do you split it? By that I mean, do you voice for some people, and image/produce for others? What's your choice?
Hey WF Ed,
I always prefer to just do the voice and be suprised by the ear candy added by the studios...but I do occasionally do the full production....and the writing too!
I attached a demo of written and produced by me spots.....I couldn't do it without vocal help from stellar talents in the Voiceover Universe Stephanie Riggio and Janet Ault. Connect with your fellow VO Univ folks....this is more fun as a team sport.
I write, produce and voice spots. Writing and voicing are my favorite things. I find that if the copy is written well, the less production it needs to hold it up. A well written spot also makes voicing it a pleasure. FUN in fact!
I also know that my voice isn't right for everything... And so I try to share the wealth with other voice talent, who might better serve the script and my client.
Of course, voicing is the most fun because the script is already written (hey, I love to write, but that blank piece of paper still stresses me out from time to time) and I just get to play act! It's important to follow directions well, but in the end it's a dream gig and you get treated like a star. While it is strange to leave the final mix in somebody elses hands, I'm more than happy to let somebody else do that job.
In addition to being fun (I especially love doing character voices), I can voice more things in a day than I could ever write, produce and voice. I do a fair amount of freelance doing it all, but the ideal would be to mostly do voice work.
I still enjoy producing, but the best projects for me are when I'm just creating for creations sake. Maybe I have a song idea, or a topical bit. Something entertaining that I may not make any money off of.
Okay, that's a lot of words. I'm going to shut up now!
Producing is a fun thing "if" you know "how" to produce. In the real world of voiceover$, we are asked NOT to produce and to stay in our own lanes. Most of the time the client wants the talent to focus on being just that "talent," but individuals with smaller budgets would looove for you to give them a fully produced spot:)
Like Dan, I love to write and voice. But I love to produce it as well. With some of the club spots I've done in the past, I often had to redo the spots because I didn't like the way the producer used my voice.
That was in the radio days. But now, as I try and transition over to voice acting, I have to get my producing fix elsewhere, hopefully in imaing for future clients!
I end up doing all three since I'm wearing multiple hats. Writing, producing and voicing in my radio day job, voicing and producing for most of my car ad clients and then voicing alone for the rest of my clients.
While i'd love to be just doing VO, I know that writing and producing bring in business, plus I'd miss the creative outlet if I didn' have it.
I do both too. But, the reality for me is that for the last 25 or so years. Well, let's not lie,
since I was fired the last time from a afternoon radio job in 1976, I haven't had a regular
paycheck. But, I'm doing ok. With that said, I do more than just announce or Image produce to make a living. And yes, I'm a hard case when it comes to doing VO's.
You see, I have one voice, I can make it loud or soft, yell or speak normally. I don't do, can't do, am not good at sounding like a cartoon character, or trick voices, or dialects, etc. The last Audition I ever went to was 1983. My last agent at the time, (I represent myself ever since then.) told me, they are looking for an announcer. Imagine my surprise when the "local Yokal" producer said, 'can you sound more like
Gene Hackman?". I said, "hey pal, if you want Gene Hackman, call him". At the time he was getting $1,000,000/yr for United Airlines alone. But you can have "the Voice of Publix Supermarkets" (me) for 350/spot. So, I do other stuff too. Complete audio/video/technical what ever it takes. And now, I can pick and choose what I want to do. As an example, I just "produced" a location video for an Engine manufacturer last week and shot hi def stills for Geezer Palooza 2008 in FLa. (goto www.appleson.com for a look - NO, I'm a "Junior Geezer") , the week before that I installed a FM Radio transmitter for a guy in the islands. All the while juggling VO assignments.
Yesterday, I played catch up. Nine car dealers. I hope I'm giving you some back ground on me, because I get dissed for giving my feelings about the "industry". And it's hard to type stuff like this. So much easier to listen to my inflection and inuendo. To learn how I really feel. That's all lost in emails, you know?
I don't believe I've ever produced an "Image" promo. They all sound the same to me.
A guy with a whiskey rasp voice or Sandy Thomas (forgive me my friend) putting the mike in his mouth and speaking as low as he can for 20 seconds before he has to breath again. Then, over dub the buzz saw guitars and run Sandy's voice thru an Eventide set for pitch up then take that and run it thru again, this time set to Max Head Room. Mix it with lots of compression, eq, backward edits and or what ever box or the latest plug in a magazine editor told you to buy. I don't get it. I just drove back from FL to Charlotte, all the stations sound the same. Same music bed (TM), if it's a rock station, any flavor, or my gosh, a country station. You can't tell them apart. But, now i'm digressing into programming. Look, if you've got the gig and stomach for it. DO IT.
Make a buck, be happy. I'm asking myself, why am I writing this? My answer is, I don't hear any creativity in the image promo dept. They all copy each other. So, I guess this is why I really love Broadcasting, because I'm blessed with the ability to do so many other things. I started as a DeeJay, but wanted to actually know what happens when you turn the knob.
Well I hope I haven't gotten too many folks steamed over this. It's time for
ps.... nothing happens BEFORE the sale.......
& the sale doesn't start till the prospect says no.........
Rick mentions "staying in our own lanes", and he's absolutely correct... do the part that the client wants, then get out of the way. But there's nothing stopping you from having different lanes of clients. For example, I have a number of clients I produce radio imaging for. One lane over, I have a couple that I write and produce and occasionally voice for. In the next lane are the commerical clients that I voice and produce for, followed by the commercial, industrial, and narration clients that I simply provide dry-voice for.
There's nothing at all wrong with wanting to be involved in different aspects of the creation of content. And having strength in producing can open doors to v-o opportunities that you may otherwise not have access to.
That said, when I approach new clients, I only approach them as a voice talent. That's the part of my business that I'm trying to grow and focus on, and I'd rather have them think of me first and foremost as a voice talent. But the production aspect definitely helps pay the bills for now.
I try to do it all, of course this depends on the client. Many clients request just the dry vocal, but I do have a few that I fully produce the spot, promo, or imaging. I am a bit old school (I've been doing this a while), so I am trying to listen and learn what others are doing to try and stay current. That's the toughest part. I also haven't invested the thousands of dollars necessary to build a huge library of imaging sounds and loops like the big guys. Some productions are easy and the script quickly dictates how it should sound, while others I will struggle literally hours trying to get right. There's soooo much to it, and the real pro's make it look easy.
I practice a lot, read and learn whenever I can, so that when the client wants something from me I can hopefully give them exactly what their looking for and needing. Happy customers equals pay checks I was always told :)
I prefer to just voice the spots, but for one of my clients (I've been their spokes for almost 10 years!) I am OFTEN put in the situation where I am in the booth and the copywriter is still doing his thing. In that situation I will contribute my ideas toward the creative side and they are often accepted. Regards y'all!