What is the future of our voiceover industry?

Realtime Casting founder, Andrew Peters, poses the question, “What will our industry look like in the coming years?”

future voiceover

Excitement means questions, and that’s ok
With the new Realtime Casting website design about to be launched, I thought it would be a good time to pose the question:

“What will our industry look like in the coming years?”.

In the past couple of years, as a company, we have been talking about “the future of our industry” or “how to be part of the future”. We have been working tirelessly to make that dream a reality.

I can tell you now we are about to change the way we all do business as the concerns of a voiceover industry are addressed and applied to our new design. We have seen for many years that the producers in the non-union arena have been used to fast turnarounds, and like most websites, they are asked to “take a chance” on the quality they receive.

But we are about to deliver the Union voiceover industry to the online environment in a way that is neither intimidating nor does it sacrifice quality. We will offer something that is fast, easy to use, and deliver amazing quality voiceover talent. It will take our industry beyond what is happening online now, which many call a “race to the bottom”.

Making imagination a reality

Voice talent: Can you imagine our voiceover agents being able to receive a script from a producer and run their own audition online within 15 minutes?

Agents: Can you imagine agents not having to email dozens of talents, download ZIP files, or explaining to voice talent how to name files, while keeping tracking of elongated email threads?

Producers: Can you imagine hearing from “those voice actors”? We are talking about the voice actors you heard on television, movies, and radio, that inspired you to think, “I need that for my project!”. You will be the best producer because you knew where to find “that voice” you heard in a hilarious Super Bowl ad, for example.

Realtime Casting will make that happen, make it easier, and faster without the headaches. It has to happen because other websites have put such a large emphasis on “speed” and “low cost”, and you never know what you are going to get. These websites represent a market that many professional voice actors have either avoided, or for lack of a better word, “graduated” from.

The future of the voiceover industry
This is the future as it works now: You have businesses that offer people looking to get started, or professionally work on to build a personal client list for themselves; a client list that may or may not be “established”.

The future of the voiceover industry will be established members of the voiceover industry seeking quality on sites like Realtime Casting.

Other markets are plugged in and will provide what they do, but when a producer wants to work in the Realtime, Union, voiceover industry, the very voiceover jobs that inspired thousands to “get started”, they will now have that website in Realtime Casting.

Speed is ok, BUT ONLY if the quality is truly professional
Jim Kennelly recently wrote about how quickly he cast a voiceover job, booked and recorded it. It was ALL done within an 8-hour work day, from start to finish. But here is the important part:

a. The job paid Union rates
b. A Union voice actor was hired
c. The talent worked with a professional producer
d. The job was cast through an online casting website
e. The Union voice actor still worked with his agent

Was it fast? Yes.

Was there an invite to pay the talent less? No.

Was the experience positive for every working professional in the voiceover industry? Yes.

This is the future of our industry. Speed is ok, as long as it does not infringe upon the voiceover careers of established businesses. Fast turnaround, high quality, and no borders, are requirements as well. The future of the voiceover industry means bringing every professional into the mix, and adapting to changing trends in web technology, just as long as people are not asked to be paid less.

Casting from abroad into the USA
Another example is when Realtime Casting received a request from Australia. The client called me and asked if I could help cast a US voice talent for a job he was doing in Melbourne (my hometown).

I said, “Sure send me a script and brief!”

Once I received the script it was posted within a short time, and we had a full playlist of amazing auditions and selected Jeff Rechner. Within a few hours the session took place between Jeff at his home in his studio in Los Angeles. Jim Kennelly helped with the recording with a phone patch in NYC with the client in Melbourne.

The client was blown away by the quality and speed.

Musings of a Talent & Business Owner
For people like myself, voice talent who got into the business before mobile phones, computers, even fax machines, all the changes in technology looks like one big celebration of Star Trek.

What I have come to realize: The truth is we have all this amazing technology, studios at home, connectivity like never before and opportunities to expand and grow our business. But some years back I could see the inequality in the industry, all the innovation was mainly non-union, and they had nothing to lose. The fact is, at a time when we should have been adapting to changing technology, we “opted out”. We stuck to our beliefs for better or worse.

The truth is agents need professional well-paying jobs. The truth is voice talent can work with or without agents, yet their careers reach a new level when they start working with voiceover agents. The truth is voice talent and agents need a website they can trust to look out for them when they are not looking; the pure definition of “quality”.

There is a popular brain-washed online belief that producers love having the ability to squeeze voice talent out of every dollar, but that is not true either. One thing to remember is producers at ad agencies have clients they have to please, and the client always wants quality for his/her brand. Most of the time the belief that a producer has negative intentions is born of the absence of a necessary communication method on a website. The absence of reassurance always leads to negative thoughts.

Producers also pay attention to their bottom line, and they often examine cheaper ways to find the right voice quickly. Yet after years of trawling through thousands of auditions from “getting started” types, they are starting to manage their “energy” as much as their “finances”. It just pays to work with the “tribes” you are used to working with. This is not a statement of arrogance. It is a statement that people work with different people at different stages in their career.

Our team has put much on the line to make Realtime Casting the future of our industry, a tool to help talent be seen and heard, and get paid properly. Realtime Casting helps producers audition talent quickly without compromising quality. Realtime Casting WILL help agents audition their own talent on an auditioning platform to help them satisfy their clients with speed and accuracy.

I believe times have changed once again. I believe it is now time for a smarter voiceover industry to step up to the plate, and support the real voiceover industry online; the voiceover industry they love and remember.

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