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David Goldberg’s notes on the GET-A-BUZZ, GET-AN-EDGE CONTEST


David Goldberg’s notes on the

GET-A-BUZZ, GET-AN-EDGE CONTEST

Here’s who won, who lost, and why.

-- David Goldberg, CEO (Chief Edge Officer) of Edge Studio voice recording studios

* * * * * * * * *

Yippeee!!! VOBuzzWeekly and Edge Studio put on a script reading contest during December, 2013:

Director's Notes:

This is a simulated audition for Intel. The company is producing a national commercial to promote the latest version of their core processor. They are looking for a male or female voice over artist with a natural, easy-going delivery, not a hard sell. This read should convey warmth and intelligence, with a hint of excitement.

Script:

Intel Core i7 - Visibly Smart

The fourth generation of Intel Core Processors.

Stunning visuals.

Intelligent performance.

Visibly smart.

The most amazing thing you ever saw.

Intel Core i7.

154 voice actors entered and competed for a $2,000 prize!

I was fortunate enough to select the winner. And there were some amazing entries! It wasn’t super-easy to select the winner.

While listening to the entries, I observed a lot of ways that entrants could easily improve.

So I noted various performance patterns and avoidable errors, and intended to write a helpful little article. That article grew and grew. And here it is.

* * * * * * * * *

Over time, a voice actor becomes a “working pro,” someone who knows the ropes. They can literally mail auditions in and almost do it in their sleep!

And that’s a problem. Because eventually many pros DO mail it in, going into an autopilot mode that stealthily puts their career to sleep. They fall into habits. These habits may work for their current clients, but won’t impress new ones, and may not translate to new genres.

Who chooses a voice over artist?


The creative director and/or creative team does. This could be the producer, the copywriter, the client…anyone who is in charge of the production.

The creative team maintains a library of voice over demos. When they need to hire a voice over artist, they search their library to find the appropriate voice. It‘s advantageous for them to have a large library, as this allows them to be more specific when choosing a voice over artist.

Often, the creative team will give a third party the responsibility of choosing the voice over artist. The third party could be a casting director, talent agency, recording studio, or anyone else who maintains a voice over library.

In this case, the creative team will furnish the third party a list of required voice characteristics. The third party will then search through their library of demos, find a few voices that closely fit the description, and give those demos to the creative team to make the final choice.

Once a good rapport is established between the creative team and third party, the creative team may allow the third party to choose the final voice.

It is estimated that creative teams will play a voice over artist‘s demo 20 times for each time that it is chosen. The voice over artist is unaware when their demo is being played.

Casting Tips for Talent


Happy New Year, Fabulous Talent!

You’ve worked hard in 2012 to build your voice over brand and secure new clients, and you likely want to take your hard work one step further in 2013. What to do? Where to spend your valuable marketing time? Have no fear! Edge Studio’s Production Department is here! In the first and second quarters of the new year, new budgets are generated, new projects are approved, and client’s will be looking for new voices to brand their 2013 initiatives. This means Casting Directors, Agencies, and Production Houses will be looking for new talent to round out their rosters. Make a good first impression with these valuable folks, and your new year of Voice Over recording will be off to a solid start.

Everyone in the business wants to get their foot in the door with a voice over casting director. You want the people who cast you to know your name and to be familiar with your work. But there is a right way to do this and a wrong way to do this. Do it the right way, and you can create a great relationship that can generate a lot of work from that Casting Director, and provide recommendations to other networking opportunities as well.

Where to begin? Here are 3 tips for securing positive relationships:

1. Be Current. Be Modern. Be in the Cloud.

It all starts with the voice over demo. We’ve preached to the high heavens about the importance of having a glorious demo, and hopefully you’ve listened. So how do you present that work of audio art that is your demo?

How to Prepare for a Voice Over Audition; A Few Dos and Don’ts


1. DO: Be Timely

a. Okay, so someone has contacted you for a voice over audition. Horray! Congratulations! How’d you find out? Did they send an email? Did they leave a voicemail? Either way, respond as soon as you get the message. (Side note – you should check your email and voicemail at least once a day so voice over auditions and other important life stuff don’t slip by!) Please don’t leave the casting director hanging for days. Not only may you lose that opportunity, but it can reflect poorly on your organizational skills and your commitment, making the casting director think twice before approaching you again for a voice over job.

b. If this is an in-studio voice over audition, make sure you arrive on time. Scratch that. Make sure you arrive early. Often, studios will have tightly scheduled auditions and showing up late will throw off the rest of their day. This will not ingratiate you towards the people you are trying to be hired by. If you can’t show up on time to the voice over audition, what’s to say you’ll show up on time to the voice over recording? Seriously, being timely is one of the most important things you can do for your voice over career.

2. DON’T: Be Rude To Anyone At The Studio

a. Whether it is the receptionist, the engineer, the mailman, or the casting director herself, never be rude to someone during a voice over audition. This should be common sense, but often nerves take over and you may snarl without meaning to. Being gracious will get you a long way at a voice over audition, not to mention in life.

3. DO: Go Over The Script Prior To The Voice Over Audition

Are You Prepared for that Voice Over Job? Don't Risk Losing Clients!


Written Edge Studio Production Staff, after Hurricane Sandy.

Severe weather tends to shake things up in more ways than one. While thankfully our NYC, CT, and DC studios were not damaged, we went through an internal audio hurricane of sorts here at Edge, and in the interest of educating all you voice over hopefuls, I’d like to share my tale from the front lines.

We had a large-scale (high-profile client), long-form (11 hours of final audio), RUSH project, in the works before Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. Even before the storm, there were several red flags that signaled rough seas ahead for this recording. First, the voice over talent, chosen by the client, was completely new to voice over. (As in, “may never have stepped in a recording studio before” new.) Second, we had 4 days to record the voice over to stay on schedule. Third, I was busy cranking on other projects, as were the rest of our go-to voice over engineers, so we had to add another “new” body into the mix, in the form of a pleasant (yet largely untested) recording engineer. Fourth, because of the tight production schedule and the good fortune of being a busy NYC voice over studio, we didn’t have the physical space available in-house to edit the audio, so we arranged for one of our partner studios to handle the post-production. The hope that the voice over would be completed efficiently and on-time hung by a thread thinner than the amount of musical talent possessed by Bono.

Pretty “high risk,” eh?

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