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What Do To When Artistic Direction Is Lacking in a Voice Over Script

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

December 18, 2008

Comments (11)

Hand holding a magnifying glassWhen you are auditioning online, it's nice to see some kind of artistic direction as to what type of voice and delivery style is required, but what happens when that information is not as specific as it could be?

Find out how you can turn what seems to be a lack of information into your own personal creative platform in this helpful article at VOX Daily.

Details, Details!

When clients post jobs at Voices.com, they receive additional guidance from the job posting form and are shown through examples how to describe and communicate their needs to potential applicants in order to get the best responses possible.

One tip is particular to artistic direction including an example using adjectives, giving the client an opportunity to outline their requirements on a deeper, more creative level.

While having that kind of information can be useful, it isn't always provided, in which case you'll need to rely on your instincts, experience and ability to self-direct given the script provided and the demographic it is reaching.

What Can You Do? Look For Clues!

Consider the following:

1. Who is meant to hear this message?
2. What does it mean?
3. Why is it relevant to the people hearing the message?
4. Who would the person on the receiving end want to hear from?
5. How can I best communicate the message?

After you've done a very quick analysis of what you see, you're ready to record and audition with more than just an educated guess, proving that a little thought goes a long way.

Keep in mind that not everyone who uses the site knows exactly what they are looking for and are usually open to hearing all kinds of voices and interpretations. If the customer had a preference or knew what kind of voice and attributes they wanted to cast ahead of time, they would have indicated that in their script.

Do you have any tips to share about interpretation and self-direction?

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/blackred

Related Topics: artistic direction, creative, details, how to, Interpretation, self-direction


Comments


    I love it when direction is lacking in a script. That's when you can shine as an artist. Granted, it's helpful to know the demographic and psychographic of the audience you're talking to, but if the script is well written, you don't need the client telling you who to "imitate" or the sound they want. "Feel what you're saying," and you will present the message they intended!

    Julie

    Posted by:

      Stephanie,

      Glad you brought this up. I think it's a big reason to lose out on an audition. A little like pin the tail on the donkey; the person who comes closest to what the client really wanted gets the job... more by luck than perhaps any other avenue.

      MLF

      Posted by:
      • Mike Forrester
      • December 19, 2008 11:36 AM

        If the script is all-around awful, I pass, but if it has potential to be a satisfying job and is missing only a few clues, I'll go online and use a search engine. Often, you can piece together a mental picture of who you'll be talking to and the company's approach in other media in as little as a minute or two. If you get it right, you may wind up with a repeat customer.

        Posted by:

          I liked Paul's advice to use a search engine to check out the company's approach. Thanks!

          Posted by:

            Good topic. There are quite a few job postings out there that don't give you much to go on in the way of direction. In the book "Word of Mouth" Susan Blu talks about "The Basic Process" which is a way to prepare yourself to read the copy by asking questions like; Who are you reading to? Who is Speaking? Why are you doing this? It's a great way to get creative and come up with your own take on the copy. Also I too like the idea of searching the web to get a feel for what the company is all about. Great suggestion.

            Paul Hernandez

            Posted by:

              Great comments.

              A favorite frustration of mine is the client who declares, "I don't know what I want, but I'll know it when I hear it." That's when I strap in for a long, long ride.
              Bill

              Posted by:
              • Bill Sharp
              • December 22, 2008 10:18 AM

                Like Julie said, when a script is well written, it seems to direct itself. Call it an actor's intuition, or in this case a voice actor's intuition, that develops over time. (And it's a wonderful gift.)
                If your instinct isn't developed yet, my advice would be to imagine hearing the copy in its environment and then play the part of the actor who is reading it. Does that make sense?
                My best advice for anyone who is new in the field is to listen and pay close attention to every voiceover you come across (and there are hundreds in a day). That way, you'll have a frame of reference for how a particular script needs to be read.
                And best of luck to you!!
                -Cindy Clifford

                Posted by:

                  I try to advise the client on what styles would work best, where emphasis would work, pauses for breath etc. I do a straight read first with no direction, because you never know that's what they might want, then speak to the client and say 'hey, you know it would sound good if I did this etc,' and the majority of them appreciate the feedback, and are happy for us to work together.

                  Posted by:
                  • Ian Pinnell
                  • May 30, 2011 8:33 PM

                    Stop and Think. Read the script 2 or 3 times there is always a feel to the script the writing will tell you this. It there is no direction usually the client is looking to see what you interpret. So again Stop... think re-read a number of times and sense the feeling of the script then proceed with your gut feeling.

                    Posted by:
                    • Nick Montague
                    • May 30, 2011 8:33 PM

                      I totally agree with Nick. The client is hiring a pro because a pro knows what to do with copy. If you're a novice - take Nick's advice to heart.

                      Posted by:
                      • Tess Morgan
                      • May 30, 2011 8:34 PM

                        I do several different takes in different styles. If it sounds good I keep it. If not I get rid of it. In the end I'm left with 3 to 5 to choose from then I rank them and number 1 gets sent in.

                        Posted by:

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