Website video advice – The Key to Casting the Perfect Artist
Finding the right voice for your business’ corporate video or website video is essential. All the creative effort you’ve gone to in producing great footage and images can be wasted if the voiceover or narration doesn’t connect with your viewer.
Tone & Style
So, taking the time to identify the right candidate and voice will prove beneficial and create a website video that suits your tone and style and also allows the viewer to identify with your brand.
The first step should be to establish how the voiceover should be delivered, i.e. should it have some pace to it, should it be dramatic, gentle, reassuring etc. This will provide not only a good casting guide but also direction notes for the voiceover artist when they are recording the vocal.
Secondly, an additional set of notes should be devised to summarise the nature of the brand or product featured. These notes are the starting points for establishing what character the voiceover should have, i.e. young, old, male, female, age etc.
Finally, some notes on the target audience for your website video should be added. These should reflect the target demographic and the most suitable tone to communicate with them.
By now you should have a very clear picture of the sort of voiceover artist you need and how their voice should sound and feel.
So how do you go about casting them?
Well, there are two distinctly different options when selecting a voiceover artist. The first route is to approach a respected voiceover agency, a wide selection of which can be found easily online. The key advantage of using an agency is that they will be able to instantly send you a range of casting options (in the form of MP3 showreels or samples) that suit you brief. You can then select your artist from the casting shortlist and the agency will then arrange the recording studio and sound engineer to record the script.
Your director can attend the recording to provide direction or sometimes you can listen into the recording by Skype or other means. The recording quality of the script will be top notch and the file delivered back to you for editing the same day. Here’s the drawback: this kind of service doesn’t come without a cost and although the agency route provides ease, choice and quality, it’s not the most cost effective option.
Freelance Voiceover Artist
The second route you can go down when casting a voiceover for your website video is to use an independent or freelance voiceover artist. They usually have their own recording facility, which although not as high-end as the ones used by the agencies, still gives you high enough quality sound for online material.
There are lots of them across the country and you should be able to find the exact voice you’re looking for at a much lower cost than an agency artist.
The great thing about freelancers is that they will often record you a few lines of your script so you can see exactly how they will sound when representing your brand (you wont get this nice little bonus free of charge from an agency).
However the main drawback is obviously time. You need to spend a fair bit of it finding and getting hold of multiple independent artists if you need a good range to choose from, which means contacting them all individually.
In practice we use both routes depending on our needs and clients budgets. We’ve found that after a while, our contact list of independents offers a wide enough range for some of our clients and the obvious cost benefits they provide are always welcome.