When you are working with sound in any capacity, there is one thing that we can all agree on: finding the right voice matters. This will mean finding and working with a voiceover artist in most cases, and you will need to know how to best choose an artist and get your work into their hands and perfected. Today, we’ll be covering some great tips from expert Guy Michaels to help you make your project’s goals a reality.
(access Guy’s full guide here or see the videos below!)
The first thing to keep in mind is that not all artists will be able to provide the same quality. Having worked in the industry for a while, Guy has worked with all kinds of quality levels and has learned how to find the best artists. When sourcing a voiceover artist, you want to think of them as a part of the team and not just a temp-hire. While you may not go through the full interview process, you do want to ensure that you’re hiring someone that will fit with your crew. When looking for your artist, you have options: freelance, voiceover directories (like Voiceover Index), agencies, or direct hiring. As Guy mentions, “For any of these routes, there are a number of risks that need to be considered when booking a voice-over artist that you have never used or worked with before.” Be sure to thoroughly vet your artist to the best of your ability before booking.
This will come before you make up the contract, as this stage is when you will cover the artist’s availability to get the work turned around to you, the scope of the project that you will be working on together, and rates and terms. The scope of the project will determine the turnaround time and rate, and the type of project will determine the terms of the contract.
This is the step that will include finishing up the script and getting it to your artist in advance, along with what you’re trying to convey as far as intention. You may need to give guidance on things like pronunciation. This will also be when you and the artist decide to do the sessions. Are you going to let them run solo or sit in with them for the first session? This will depend on the location of each of you, but also how much you trust your artist.
Pre-recording, you’ll want to make sure you’ve formed a good rapport with your artist. This will help when it comes to directing during or between sessions. Guy says to make sure you have given them what you want them to “think, feel and do” while recording. During the recording process, make sure you only have ONE person acting as director. There is such a thing as too many cooks in the kitchen. Encourage your artist to play and have fun with the material. Lastly, keep it simple and make the most of your time in the recording booth.
The biggest takeaway we want you to have from this is it’s a collaborative effort, and you need to make sure everyone is happy with the product. We hope this has helped you get an idea of the process and how to work with voiceover artists and create your perfect recording.
INTRO to working with a voiceover artist
SOURCING a voiceover artist
NEGOTIATING with a voiceover artist
PREPARING for a voiceover recording session
RECORDING with your chosen voiceover artist
SIGNING-OFF on your voiceover project