28 September 2015
Voiceover as an art
Are voiceovers an art or a job?
To those who have faced the need for voiceovers or narration, it can seem that the task of recording a voiceover is simple enough to do. But to those who have been in the voiceover recording work for many years, the task is little more complicated. The voiceover artist should know which tone to use, which emotions and pacing are suitable, in which form to deliver the voice. And these are only the basic skills.
A professional voiceover talent possesses not only these basic skills, but also a wide range of techniques and methods that are acquired during years of practice.
To do a successful voiceover, a voice artist should:
1) Find the right tone of voice and interpret the text.
2) Be articulate and dictate clearly.
A voiceover talent should be aware of how they speak, if they have an accent or how clear they pronounce words.
3) Think about how to deliver emotion and choose the style.
Depending on the script, a voiceover artist may need to sound sad or happy, excited or informative.
4) Use verbal tools when conveying the message.
A specialist should know how to use highness and lowness of their voice and which parts of a sentence are important to stress.
5) Use appropriate pace.
Different projects require different paces. For example, in a commercial for a film dedicated to sports racing, it is better to be energetic and fast. In contrast, when delivering a corporate message, a moderate pace is required.
With lots of practice, the skills mentioned above can be achieved. But what about unusual practices that voice over artist may face? For example, when they have to voice a character from a cartoon? No matter how experienced a voiceover artist is, without the talent to deliver the speech of a cartoon character, it is impossible. Just imagine if you were told to voice a bee? How do you think you would approach such a voiceover? But Antonio Banderas did the job excellently in the commercial for Nasonex! So did Zach Braff when he voiced a puppy in a toilet paper commercial.
A case study: Not so long ago our company dealt with a voiceover project. The task was to voice a cartoon character of a 12 year old boy. Who do you think undertook the task, and in an outstanding manner? One our female voice talent! She can change her voice in a way that it is unrecognizable.
Professional voiceovers not only have a great deal of practice, but they should also be artists with unique talents.