DanSheldon

A Critical Starting Point When Talking to a Client about Voiceover

This week, I'm reminded of one of the most critical elements of voice acting: Time.

I have to manage my time carefully. I could spend all day auditioning and lose ground in my marketing and client management goals.

That's one aspect of time in this business. The other is more specific to the job itself. Always making sure I know how much time I have to squeeze my voice into the message being asked of me.

It's nailed me twice this week on the opposite ends of the spectrum.

The first one was a passing reference from a client that they'd like to keep the voiceover under two minutes. I took that as gospel and, lo and behold, a revision was asked of me a couple days later because it sounded rushed, without enough intonation and storytelling.

On the other end of the spectrum this week, I had a narration that came in at 2 minutes and 20 seconds. The client came back and said they needed it capped at two minutes. Neither he nor I had talked about those expectations ahead of time.

Which means everyone ends up wasting it (time) and money in the end.

It was a healthy reminder to always go into a project with certainty over the duration. In the first case, had I asked how important the two minute expectation was, I could have given the performance a greater chance to breathe.

In the second case, I should have brought it up to begin with, even if the client had not.

Of course, if I know I'm voicing a commercial for broadcast, time is discussed explicitly and you know you have a hard 5, 10, 15, 30, or 60 seconds to get the job done.

Every other medium brings with it greater flexibility, but that's still no excuse.  I must always remember to factor in the time.

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