If someone had said 20 years ago what a day in the life of a voice actor would look like we would have said “No way!”
The fact is technology has reshaped not just the hardware but also the way we do things and the expectations put upon us.
In 1995 you may have had a mobile phone but most likely a pager, your demo was probably on a cassette and your agent would have given you a days notice to be at a studio somewhere.
If you were lucky enough to have a home studio you most likely connected via ISDN and delivered a DAT or CD via overnight courier.
Fast forward to 2015.
6.30am. Check emails to see what has come in overnight.
7.00am. Record scripts that came in overnight, edit and send.
9.00am. Clients will start sending scripts.
There could be radio spots, TV promos, Radio promos, narrations, eLearning, on hold, in fact you will likely jump from one to another.
This is the new world of voice over.
Some of us have overseas clients working from different time zones, this means you may work into the evening or very early in the morning and some of these clients you may never meet and in some cases never talk to!
This is voice over in 2015 and it will only get faster as young producers take over and expectations for speed become the norm.
What’s more important, a car or home studio?
The days of sitting in a car for hours driving from one studio to another are almost gone. Now clients want to dial in via phone patch, Skype, ISDN, Source Connect and ipDTL. Some will just send the script and ask for a few variations on the read.
Now we can also work to pictures remotely which basically closes the circle as far as home studios are concerned.
Don LaFontaine once said, “Never take a holiday”.
Once upon a time the only thing you wouldn’t leave home without was your American Express Card, now it’s your road case.
You can guarantee that the moment you leave the house an urgent script will come through and if you can’t turn it around you can kiss that job or audition goodbye.
Questions and requests you would never have been asked 20 years ago.
Imagine transporting a voice actor from 1995 and putting them in a home studio, would they have any idea what is expected of them? I doubt it.
Everything is different even the language we now use.
Here are some things that are common to our ears now but were alien to voice actors then.
- Can you Drop box or Hightail?
- Can you send a WAV at 48k 24b
- Have you a pro studio?
- Do you have Source Connect or ipDTL?
- Just record the audition on your phone.
- Can I direct you on Skype?
- Whisper Room
- Porta Booth
- Mic Port
- USB mic
Recently when talking to an advertising creative he talked about the role drones will play in advertising and the platforms that will be used to deliver messages.
It was agreed that the voice will continue to be a major part of communicating but where the voice will be used in the future, how it will be delivered and how it will be cast is still a question we can’t answer.
Will it be a brave new world or will it be a world for the brave?
There are many things that will change, technology will continue to evolve and the people in positions of power and influence will leave their mark.
There may be a time when agents work from home and producers, audio engineers and creatives also work remotely.
What are the positives and negatives and what role will the union play in this evolution?
There are many things to be considered and plans to be made because without future thinking we could make simple errors that will have a major impact on our futures.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this so we can all be involved in the decisions that will affect us all.