Film and Video: Voice-over & Voice Acting
Studying digital arts and acting can provide you with a wide variety of professional opportunities. Breaking into the industry as a voice actor or voice artist can be a way to make a name for yourself. The problem is that it is not always clear what opportunities exist for voice talent. Further, it is not always clear what gives the talent the best chance at landing the job.
At Branded Bridge Line, the art of the voiceover is a key ingredient to our success. Indeed we give every client a professional voiceover when they become a customer. We’ve put together some introductory material on voiceovers for those interested in pursuing the art. Maybe you can even record greetings for us some day.
A narrator is the voice, sometimes representing a character, other times simply a non-character meant to move the story along, who tells the audience certain elements of a story. For some stories, particular plot points are best relayed through the voice of a narrator, and this narrator can be qualified for the part for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, the actor’s voice needs to fit in with what the storyteller (usually the director) envisions for the story. If you are a male with a deep voice but the character the narrator’s voice is supposed to represent is that of a teenage boy, it will be difficult to get the role no matter how talented a voice-over artist you are. For the best chance at landing the gig, be realistic about which roles you will be considered for. Also, take into account the entirety of the story, the complete experience of your character, before walking into the audition.
The use of voice-over in commercials has taken place since the first advertisements on the radio. While in the early days of voice-overs, even small commercial recordings were relatively large productions, today, things are different. There are still large productions to be sure, but there are more options today than ever. Today, you can, for a relatively small amount of money, set up your own recording studio and advertise your talents in a wide variety of ways, entirely cutting out the middleman of production companies. You can scale the size of productions dependent on your capabilities, your resources, and the needs of the project.
An often overlooked opportunity for students of digital arts and voice performance is in the field of translation. Translation opportunities are plentiful, though they require an added level of expertise to your voice-over skills. Being a competent, talented voice-over artist is important, but equally important is being a clear, fluent speaker of a second language. There are many opportunities within translation, including foreign films, commercials, etc. By taking time during your studies of digital arts and voice acting to learn a second (or even third) language, you are investing in your career, so looking into those courses now might land you a job in the future.
- Translator Statistics: Here are some statistics on what you can expect regarding the job market for translators from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some of the most coveted jobs in voice acting are characters for movies and radio. Sometimes, the character is in an animated movie, though this is not always the case. You might be surprised to hear that there are many opportunities for voice work in live-action performances as well. Think of all of the time there is an off-screen voice in a live-action movie, like the captain on an airplane, a phone operator, or a police dispatcher during a high-speed chase. There are plenty of opportunities for character voices, and they do not all revolve around animated works.
One of the more obvious but demanding opportunities in voice acting is the audiobook. While the opportunities in nonfiction are demanding in their own right, being hired to do a piece of fiction is another beast altogether. Not only do you have to be eloquent and able to communicate well with the producers of the recording, but you have to be able to do different voices to represent different characters. It’s more than simply being able to do different voices; this talent is in nearly every voice actor’s repertoire. In order to perform a piece of fiction, the voice actor is also expected to keep the voices straight and to be consistent as they switch between the voices.