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Observations, musings and rubbish from the mind of an IVO (International Voice Over)

February 4, 2015 1:54 am

Being a Voice-Over…

Sometimes, I have no idea how I do what I do for a living.

And I’ve been at it for over 30 years.

What’s it like?

It’s not easy trying to describe in one blog-post because, essentially, I still don’t know!

What I do know is that I am constantly amazed at the intricacies of earning a crust by simply opening and closing my mouth.

The act of doing so is occasionally accompanied by facial, arm and sometimes rest-of-body gestures as I go about reading words which don’t always make sense and are often not in the order they need to be, deal with sentences and paragraphs which are frequently badly punctuated, including mis-spelllings, words (heck, whole lines) which are in bold when they shouldn’t be and, generally speaking, endeavouring to bring scripts to life which invariably involve a lot of unnecessary !!!!!!!!!! marks!

Writers don’t always “write” with the voice-over in mind.

This isn’t a criticism, merely a truthful observation and, after all, they’re at the mercy of the client – sometimes several clients – giving an often convoluted brief which includes an insistence that the name of the company is jammed into the script 4 or 5 times, along with the ‘phone number, email and website addresses, leaving all of 15 seconds for the actual message over the course of a 30 second commercial.

It’s largely been that way since commercial advertising began.

And it’s what I do for a living everyday.

I’m actually grateful that things carry on this way because it sure keeps life as a voice-over artist interesting – and more often than not involves me in the process of creating the commercial or whatever it is I’m voicing as opposed to being the unnoticeable dancing-voice-monkey-in-a-box (more on this in a future post).

I completely empathise with the many thousands of writers trying to create something new, exciting, different, ground-breaking and unique (often what the client has asked for), when they’ve then been told to cram in as much “direction to the showroom” as possible.

Man, I love what I do…

Next time: Movie-Trailer versus “gravitas”…