Voiceover casting online often leads to a false belief that “speed” is better than “quality”. Steven Lowell of Realtime Casting explains why that is not the case
“There are only two types of voice talent…the quick and the unemployable”
…And if you believe that, I have a bridge in NYC to sell you. Note: I will explain where and why “speed” matters at the end of this.
3 Reasons Why Producers Prefer Quality Voices Over Speed
3. There is almost no such thing as a fast, perfect recording the first time, that is high quality for final production.
If someone told you there is such a thing, they may be pulling your leg or protecting your feelings. There are reasons “fast products” are not seen as “quality”, from food to voiceovers to clothes and motion pictures.
More so, do you have someone in your life, who just seem to disagree with you about everything? It is almost like they challenge everything you believe is perfect, all of the time. Well, in any artistic field it happens all the time. The creative process is imperfect and it forever will be. You almost have to allow yourself to have your artistic beliefs challenged, until you know, “Ok. I like this. I am done.” If you think that can be achieved in one take and one recording, chances are the jobs you are going after carry very little accountability on the part of the producer. (ie. The job was not that important and no producer is losing his/her job over it.)
It is well-known that the most successful creative projects involved a creative group that allowed for each other to be challenged and argue about it. The vision that a recording should be “fast, perfect and high quality, the first time and always” is unrealistic. (Unless of course you are a dictator who believes his/her creative opinion sets the standard for “perfect”, and therefore everyone else should worship such standards.) You cannot get around it. If you have an artistic opinion on a read, someone else has a counter-opinion.
This video touches on how we are really never in control of our own decisions, and why “being in a crowd” can help voice talent.
2. Producers have the time to search because voiceover casting online is much faster than it sometimes needs to be.
I have seen this time and time again while working online: Final production can take months, and the voice talent was found in less than 2 to 4 hours.
Metaphorically speaking, imagine you order a stove on Amazon for your new house to get a great deal. Then, it shows up 30 days before the house is built. Voice casting is funny this way: The voices often show up long before they are needed. I have seen the love for technology also create this belief that “speed kills”, when in fact some businesses just do not call for it. We tend to focus on that ONE TIME when we needed something immediately, but it was not there for us. We react to the emotion,“I will never let that happen to me again!”, and consider ourselves more organized.
In this process, when a producer uses online casting for the first time they quickly find out, “Wow. This is much easier and faster than I realized. Good to know.” In no way does this dictate they want “speed”. It dictates that they trust quality will happen, and they have been taught to understand the time frame for getting “quality”, which may take more than 48-72 hours. Personally, I am a person who takes people’s complaints and needs to heart for running a business. When someone would tell me, “I need it fast”, I would often find out the definition of “speed” was not the definition websites offered in their marketing. Producers wanted “quality” because it cut down on effort, after the quality voice was hired.
1. Finding quality voice talent is…well…really fun for producers.
Imagine for a moment that you run a business and need to hire a voice talent. After posting a job on Realtime Casting, over the course of a couple of days these voices selling your business are being heard through the speakers on your laptop. You immediately start to feel like you have heard the voice before in a well-known commercial (which may be true for Realtime talent), and you get this exciting feeling of, “THAT voice is going to be MY company voice.”
After hiring a voice talent, you work with them and find that they can handle any curve ball direction you give them. They are making your business feel alive. When you come to the realization how easy it is to find amazing talent, you start to have fun with the process. You are speaking with voice talent and they can bounce creative ideas off your vision. It is simply fun to do. Many times, it becomes so addictive I have seen producers who have hired talent turn around and ask, “How do they do that? I would like to try.”
The fact is: Getting professional voice talent to read in different ways with different ideas is fun. It is also not a fast process.
Oh…Where speed comes into play…
1. There are certain jobs that require very fast turn-around. There always have been those, “Can you do this…like…NOW!” type jobs, and there are websites that serve such a purpose. Is it status quo for the online (or offline) business? Not at all.
2. When auditioning, like it or not, how fast you submit an “audition” can assist you. I always wondered about this years ago when I first started submitting auditions online. Why? Most online websites order the auditions received, in the order in which they were uploaded to the website. (Kind of like: First to submit, first on the list) “Being first on the list” really only offers a guarantee that one will be “seen” when that producer first opens the webpage. But still, what you submit as a quality talent can either teach producers on a website the following:
a. “First is always worst because they sound rushed.”
b. “That person who always shows up first should be overlooked.”
Point here being….You wont learn how to submit quality voiceover auditions by focusing on a “need for speed”. Quality comes first, then speed at providing it, if you even need to…not the opposite.
And always have fun doing it! People can hear “uncertainty” in a voiceover audition.
by Steven Lowell, Business Development at Realtime Casting