Realtime Casting interviews Jim Kennelly, founder of Lotas Productions
What and where is Lotas Productions?
Founded by audio expert Jim Kennelly in New York City 29 years ago, Jim also serves as General Manager of Realtime Casting and is a Union paymaster. Given Realtime Casting only posts SAG-AFTRA work, Lotas Productions is often seen posting voice-over work on Realtime, while using Lotas Productions to do recording sessions.
Jim is a busy man, but this week he took the time to answer some questions for people in the voice-over industry. Please see the interview below:
RTC: What is the first thing you do when you arrive to work in the morning at Lotas Productions?
Jim: I greet the staff, Marion and Dylan, and check my email. But, I start checking my emails when I first wake up at 6:30 am. I have to because we have global clients, especially in Dubai, so they are casting and looking for voices at the end of their business day, which is the start of ours in NYC. Often, we’re producing in the next 15 minutes after I walk in. I look at the copy, speak to the talents to make certain they are comfortable and the day just takes off.
RTC: Fill in this statement:
“Before a session starts, Jim Kennelly hopes more than anything that 1.[insert] happens. Then during a session that 2.[insert] happens. When the session is done, Jim is overjoyed when 3.[insert] happens”.
1. The talent feels good about their performance
2. The client gets the variety of quality reads that will help their project be successful
3. We help the client and talent find their voice.
RTC: What would you say is the best part of having a recording studio in the Flatiron District?
Jim: The best part of having a studio in the Flatiron District is it’s easy for the talents to get over here to audition or record a session. It is a beautiful area filled with actors, voice talents, models, restaurants, the absolutely killer Madison Square Park with Shake Shack, and fancy bars like Maysville or top hotels like the NoMad.
RTC: What is the least favorite part of having a recording studio in NYC?
Jim: I have no least favorite. I have been here for more than 25 years. I love it.
RTC: Any tips on those “unwritten rules” of the voice-over industry that people always want to know?
Jim: Unwritten rules?
1. Voice-over work is work. When you are hired and at your session, you are there to work. You are not there to do as little as possible and get paid as much as you possibly can.
2. Do full reads, do a lot of them.
3. Take direction by listening to the producer.
4. Do complete line reads, do multiple takes, do whatever you are asked.
5. It’s a job, not a hobby. Professional voice talents are not lazy. The top voice talents ask questions about the project, work very hard, concentrate and make certain their clients are pleased before the session ends.
6. Just because you make money doing voice-overs, doesn’t mean you are necessarily very good at doing all types of voice-over work.
RTC: If you were a voice talent being recorded by yourself, what would you do as a voice talent to make the recording engineer happy to work with you?
Jim: Talk to the engineer. Listen to his suggestions. Ask questions about the project. Read into your pick up lines. Do multiple takes on pick ups. Vary your three in a row reads to help the editor.
Do you have any questions for Jim Kennelly? Please ask away!