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Voice Casting at the Speed of Sound

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

July 20, 2009

Comments (3)

Business man holding a clockWhy are most voice over casting calls opened and closed within a matter of hours?

I received a comment on an article I wrote a while ago that posed a similar question and thought that now would be a good time to address how the industry works with regard to time frames for auditioning talent.

Why are deadlines for auditioning so short?

Why Are Deadlines So Short?

Earlier today I received this question:

"Can you tell me why the time window from post to deadline is frequently only 24 to 48 hours? It's awfully difficult to produce an audition in that time frame."

I am happy to answer this question, both for the person who asked it, and also for anyone else who may be wondering.

There are a number of reasons for why shorter deadlines have become the norm in the voice over industry with regard to auditions, and I'll outline three of them below:

1. Technological Efficiency
2. Global Marketplace
3. Money

1. Technological Efficiency

Aside from the obvious (namely the Internet), one of the reasons why most job postings are only open for a couple of days is because the majority of talent auditioning for any given job have home recording studios and are able to audition at their convenience throughout the day.

That's one of the greatest benefits of having a professional-grade recording studio in your home.

If you are treating voice over as a business, then auditions become priority, and to facilitate those auditions, a home studio is a must if not a necessity and business requirement.

Also, as talent are able to audition efficiently, the clients cast more quickly and fulfill their project requirements with speed and efficiency.

Technology has streamlined this process to such a degree that deadlines for casting are presently a matter of days (if not hours) when it used to take weeks in the past.

To give you a different perspective, casting directors in prominent centers for voice over work such as NYC only take half a day to hear auditions for a voice over, mainly because decisions can be made quickly and on the client's schedule.

2. Global Marketplace

Something else to consider is that this is a global marketplace and clients are posting jobs from all over the world, meaning that time zones other than your own also dictate when a job is being closed.

For instance, if you are an American on Eastern standard time and a client in Asia or Australia is casting, they may do so in your sleep!

Likewise, if you are a talent living in Great Britain and a job has been posted by someone living on the west coast of North America on Pacific standard time, you'll note that there is significant time difference, too.

3. Time Means Money

Have you ever heard that time means money? It's true!

Everyone who is auditioning and hiring talent has a "pain" or a "need" that you, the voice talent, can alleviate for them. Usually, people who need voice overs have an immediate need, and the faster they can look after that need, the better. Each day, perhaps every hour, without a voice over means money down the drain. Why spend more time finding a solution to your problem than necessary? This is true of any client from the biggest corporations all the way down to a fledgling startup.

If a client is working with a casting director, they may not allocate much time (or money) to the casting process, hence the shorter time frames for auditioning talent.

Conclusion

The talent who audition, meet the posted requirements, and who are the most accessible to the client will get the job.

Perhaps this reason more than any of the others is responsible for the brief deadlines.

I hope this response has given you more perspective!

Best wishes,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/Pathathai Chungyam

Related Topics: industry, recording studios


Comments


    I , too, have noticed the shrinking window of audition time on some projects and it does seem to be most important to establish your own home studio. I've found in the past that whenever a client needs a quick revision, edit or script change, I can do it immediately...which helps when dealing with the time zones. It can also free you up creatively in that you don't have to just jot a note of creative gold and then wait until morning...you can act (or record) when the juices are flowing and that always makes for a better voice over experience for talent and customer.

    Posted by:

      Simple.

      Any top service provider brings two key factors to the marketplace game: FASTER & BETTER.

      Consider this scenario (with regard to the talent agency model of how talent is sought and procured):

      An ad agency is looking for a voice talent via the voicebank.net pipeline.
      Scripts are sent from ad agency to a multitude of talent agents. Those agents get all the info they need on the project and then send that audition out to their talent pools with "return your mp3 to us" deadline dates baked into the audition template.

      As someone who sits at the intersection of many of these situations, on more occasions than I can count, I have witnessed the ad agency acting to hire the VO talent submitted by "early bird gets the worm" talent agencies several DAYS before some of the other agents even finished culling auditions.

      The early bird gets that worm.

      But the long term "wins" come from "early bird" talent agencies who get auditions in faster but also provide buyers with auditions that are superior in quality to what is being submitted by the competition.

      The seasoned bird who flies stronger through inclement weather, knows where to hunt and is better at yanking that worm out of the hole more swiftly than others gets early worms and more worms over time.

      A well staffed talent agency with ears refined enough to know where to find the best talent, which scripts to send on to whom and how to hone the roster as well as how to streamline the process becomes the best service provider to the talent seeker.

      Not every talent is qualified to be with the "fast bird" or "better bird" agencies for a variety of reasons, not every early bird agency is delivering the best reads, some of the best agencies can exhale and not play the speed game because they have high end talent that they know the ad agency will wait to hear.
      There are many permutations of the scenario, many factors at play...

      People who invest in personalized advice that betters their skills and gives them the inside info to counsel them on which agencies are right for them will find the right "birds" to rep them at the appropriate junctures as their careers are developed.

      Meanwhile... thanks to the direct access talent can procure via Voices.com, VO folks who invest in becoming excellent at their game can, in the B2B pipeline of their business models, be their OWN "faster" and "better" birds!

      Posted by:

        Leave it to Nancy Wolfson to come up with an elaborate metaphor for every situation!

        Posted by:

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