Thinking about FaffCon 2

Just about 2-weeks now before FaffCon 2 – this time tagged with Electric Boogaloo – so I am trying to find appropriate clothes and platform boots. I do have a pair of macrame earrings from the 70’s so those are going into the suitcase.

The trip to Atlanta will be a double treat because prior to the weekend conference, I will be able to spend some time with a friend who moved there several years ago. Hope that it warms up a bit there over the next week or so!

No doubt, FaffCon 2 will have a completly different vibe* than the groundbreaking first unconference for working voiceover pros, but I am sure that information exchanged will be equally valuable – perhaps even greater in value because of the lessons learned. Prior attendees may be more prepared to lead and/or contribute to the posted sessions – and will be able to jump right into […]

Fafftermath

I didn’t coin this – fafftermath – but it is what is happening to at least some of the people who attended the first ever FaffCon in Portland OR, September 11 and 12, 2010.

One of the things Amy, the organizer did near the end of the last day, was force everyone in the general session to answer some questions and write down some action items. This was so that we didn’t get back home and let life take over without capitalizing on the information that was shared and the energy that was exchanged and enhanced.

I managed to walk off without my notebook and my notes – and all my remaining business cards, but I did remember at least one of my action items (or if it isn’t on the list when I finally do see it again, it is now!)…get in contact with old clients.

So I have make it a […]

2017-04-20T20:45:58+00:00 September 21st, 2010|Categories: Business, Techniques, Technology|

The Audiobook Journey

Well, this is a bit after the fact, but I had the opportunity to take a journey with Pat Fraley and Scott Brick this past weekend here in San Diego – a journey to discover my potential recording audiobooks.

I’ve been keeping my eye on Pat’s workshops for a while, but just wasn’t able to carve out the time to spend the weekend in LA, so when they were looking for participants for a workshop in my neck of the woods, I jumped – as did 11 others from around the country – including Hawaii.

My focus was Fiction – looking for the right kind of pieces for my voice and brain. Long form non-fiction is something I do on a regular basis, but Fiction has been on the back burner. So getting a chance to work with two pros on several excerpts and ending up with a good marketable fiction demo was worth the money. (And being […]

2017-04-20T20:45:59+00:00 August 30th, 2010|Categories: Musings, Recording, Techniques|

Video of the Vocal Cords

I subscribe to the Voiceovers group on the Yahoo newsgroups and this link came during a discussion on care for the voice. If you have never seen your vocal folds in action, then you might want to check this page out. While it is aimed at singers, voiceover folk use the same equipment.

http://web.me.com/bdietzler1701/Mr._Dietzlers_MusicPage/VocalCords.html

And then scroll down the page a bit and see how the diaphragm works.

2010-08-26T14:34:20+00:00 August 26th, 2010|Categories: Techniques|

Quality Assurance Meets Absurd Quantity

We all need differentiators to help set us apart from the growing army of voiceoverists* so that we end up with our fair share of the sacks of money* waiting to be spent on voiceovers.

(*Inside joke from the VO-BB.com)

One of the things I “sell” is my quality assurance. I spend time making sure that the files I send are as close to perfection as possible. This is fairly easy to do if you have a standard :30 or :60 spot. Couple of minutes to record a couple of takes. A quick couple of minutes to listen and clean up any little blups and boom, the file is out and you are 100% sure that it is ready for your client to drop into their production timeline. Make mistakes with this simple kind of work and you won’t stay in business long.

But much of my work includes vast numbers of […]

Censored!

I would like to share the g-rated moments that I gleaned from Nancy Wolfson’s VOICE 2010 session on Friday, June 4. Her session was definitely pushing my comfort zone at first, but, hey, if Bob Souer can do it, then by gosh, I can try it too!

First of all some basic f*!#g tips.

  • Active hush – I may need someone to post a response explaning what this actually means, but I think it relates to the next bullet…
  • Avoid Volume and Cheerfulness – instead to add energy use vocal tension
  • Watch the smile (the Joanie Gerber “psychotic” smile may be old-school?)
  • Keep the copy higher than your eyes
  • Keep your body loose – ready to pounce

The x-rated portion of the session was all about using your natural instincts and doing three takes.

  • The Admit take – this is the gut take – no extra words
  • Then “throw down the “f” word” before the key words in the copy. […]
2010-06-09T17:15:15+00:00 June 9th, 2010|Categories: Auditioning, Techniques|Tags: , , , |

Sense of Direction

I remember a session very early on in my career where I was just NOT producing what the director wanted. It was a horrible experience – and I was dismissed knowing that I had not been able to understand and deliver. I knew this because I heard the producer on the phone with my agent asking if she had to pay for me. Really horrible experience.

 A few years later, I was in a session with 6 producers – each offering different bits of “advice” for the read – and was able to find the “right” read that satisfied them all. Was it simply my added years of experience? Are there any standard words of advice that veteran voice talent can offer a director to help the session run more smoothly with successful results when all is said and done?

My friend and fellow VO talent Peter O’Connell sent a link […]

Technical Specs for Audio/Video Scripts

It is usually a team effort to create an audio/visual presentation. And if the people you are working with don’t “see/hear” the end product the way you do, you may not get the “right” results.

This extends to the voiceover part of the presentation. You may have the entire presentation visualized in your head, but unless there is something on the script that helps the narrator see it (hear it) the way you do, you both will be working a lot harder than you need to.

Be sure to let the talent have as much information as possible about what you are hearing in the way of pacing and attitude and energy. This may mean taking a few minutes ahead of the session to discuss it with the talent. Believe me, for most projects, it is well worth the time. If a rough cut exists, consider sending a file with the interview clips. […]

2017-04-20T20:46:02+00:00 April 19th, 2010|Categories: Techniques|Tags: , , |

Tasked with an impossible name?

One of the things I do every month is record the names, addresses and phone numbers of eye doctors, dentists and lawyers for a couple of large IVR systems for Allstate. Lots of the names are foreign and appear impossible to pronounce at first glance. Finding a source to help with these names with origins from around the world would be great.

I’m checking out the VOA (Voice of America) pronunciation website – http://names.voa.gov/index.cfm

Mike Cain from the Yahoo Voiceover Message board passed this along.

2010-04-07T11:59:06+00:00 April 7th, 2010|Categories: Techniques|Tags: , |

Getting the Right Results from a Voiceover Session

(Updated June 24, 2015)

Professional video and multimedia producers know there is a lot more involved in a successful voiceover than simply recording the voice and slapping it into a time line. You need to connect and communicate with the audience.

Picking the right “talent”
The process starts with the initial selection of the voice talent for a particular project.

Start early and try not to scrimp on the budget for the talent. You want a voice that will be able to get the “right” read in the shortest amount of time. If you have questions about what to budget for talent for a particular project, make a few phone calls (to another producer, to talent you respect or best yet, a talent agent) and see what the going rate should be. You can usually find someone to do the job for practically nothing, but very often what you end up paying in extra studio time to […]