Vacuums don’t make for good recording sessions. When a producer gives the voice talent a script and says, “Go” without giving direction, they’re asking them to perform in a vacuum. As producers we often think the script is just your run-of-the-mill announcer copy and any VO talent worth their salt can make it sound good. True. But it’s amazing how just a little bit of information and direction can make an ordinary read extraordinary. Here’s a list of items you might want to share with the talent in your next recording session:
1. Why – Tell them briefly why you’re doing this project, and why it’s important to the client.
2. Who – Tell them who the end user is, and why it matters to him/her. You can hear what a difference this makes when you listen to Clay Covert’s commercial demo.
3. Point of View – What is their point of view? How do they relate to the material? (For instance, are they the voice of the owner, the inventor, an employee, a regular user, an authority on the subject, etc?)
4. Attitude – How do they feel? (For more on this, see our blog, The Most Effective Way to Direct Talent)
5. Changes – Where are the changes in the script? (Such as a new thought, change of energy, direct appeal, new feeling, etc.)
6. Music – If you’ve selected a music bed, let them hear it, so they can match their read to the qualities of the music.
7. Timing – Script timings (length of script or sections of the script) should ideally be marked on the script. VO talent develop an innate feeling for timing and can often nail the time in the first take, if they know it. You may be thinking, why waste the time in a recording session on this stuff? Well, you could share it with the talent ahead of time so they can really take some time to prepare it, if you’d like. Or you could just know that the 5 – 10 minutes it takes to give them this info and begin a collaborative process with them will be well worth it. Want to know more?