Here are our suggestions for hiring, directing and interacting with long-distance voice-over talents:
Choose the Right Professional for Your Job
This business is highly subjective. Two hundred voice-over talents can describe their voice as "warm" but only you can say which voice is the right temperature for your project. When casting, you may consider asking for a short custom demo using excerpts from your script. That way, you can hear the talent reading your script, as opposed to just hearing a general sample of their other work.
Ask about the voice actor's background and experience. Make sure the talent you hire is able to do what you need them to.
Script and Directing Tips
Describe Your Audience
Start by providing a brief description of who will be listening to the finished recording. This helps the talent form a mental picture of the audience they are speaking to.
Provide Descriptive Words
You should strive to be as descriptive as possible when conveying how you want the finished product to sound. To get the perfect voice, use lots of descriptive words like: animated, classy, believable, corporate.
Try using a one-to-five scale or an example to convey the level of emotion you want the voice to have. Or, tell the talent you want them to sound like a role: a story-teller, corporate professional or mom-next-door.
Provide Specific Examples
Provide a sound clip of the voice you are seeking. Some voice actors can mimic voices, and if they hear an example of what you want, they can do what is possible for their range.
Provide an Easy-to-Read Script
Voice actors will appreciate a neat script in a 12-point font. Make it very clear what part you want recorded for the job.
Most voice-over talents will charge extra if they are asked to re-record due to script changes (revisions). Changes include copy errors, so always proofread your script.
Spell Out Numbers and Pronunciations
Your script could say "1300 Broadway." Do you want to hear "thirteen hundred," "one hundred, three thousand," or "one three zero zero"? Always spell out the pronunciation next to the numeral. The same is helpful for proper names, especially regional pronunciations.
Match Timing to Word Count
Depending on the talent's pace, a 30 second script can be anywhere from 80 to 110 words. Try reading your script aloud and timing it before sending it to the voice-over talent. Editing the script before recording saves a lot of wasted time. Most importantly, giving the voice-over talent a few extra seconds can make all the difference in getting the sound you want.
Some producers want the voice talent to record all the lines in a script, even if they know it will go over time. They like to hear and then edit sentences. If this is how you work, tell the voice-over talent that it's acceptable to go over time.
Be Clear about Post-Production Expectations
These post production instructions are in regard to 'dry reads'. If you want to hire full production from the voice-talent, make sure they can provide those services.
Let the voice actor know what you are willing to do in post-production and communicate your expectations to the voice talent.
Negotiate Pricing and Payment
Voice123 talents offer a wide variety of payments methods. Be sure to agree to pricing and payment structures before the talent begins recording. Some talents may only ask you to pay after the recording has been delivered. Others may ask you to submit a partial or full payment up front. If you are submitting payments in advance, we encourage you to use PayPal.