Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Where will I have heard your Voice-overs?

One of the questions which I am asked most often - apart from "Why can't you read the Radio 2 news from your voice-over booth?" (and how do you maintain your youthful good looks!) is where will I have heard your voiceovers?

Normally I just say that you probably won't have heard me. As I haven't recorded voiceovers for any national TV advertising campaigns, it is unlikely I will have been heard by most people. However I am the voice of on-hold for e2save and the various insurance groups owned by Hastings Direct.

There is also my regular on-hold voiceover work which you can hear if you phone up companies like Mercedez Benz, Kwikfit,Vodafone, Parceline or the Carphone Warehouse. While you are on-hold you will hear me reading news, weather sport etc while you wait for a real live person to speak to you.

Recently I recorded my first ADR session in a Soho studio - again as a Newsreader (not being typecast by anyone am I?) and you will be able to hear me on Channel 4's new teen comedy drama "Fresh Meat" which is showing at 10pm on Wednesdays. I am featured in Episode 5 which is due to be shown on Wednesday 19th October.

So at last - after ten years in the business - I will be able to say that yes you will probably have heard me on TV.   


Saturday, 17 September 2011

How not to get a Voiceover recorded

Here at BigFish Media Towers we received this - no doubt well-meant - enquiry about voiceovers this week:

Hi my name is **** I need a voice over for a similar to Rooney (Scouser)impression. If you can do a good impression then perhaps we can meet up or send me file over internet I am from Rossendale (Lancashire). I have a budget of around £60, 50% deposit up front and the rest on completion it shouldn't take longer than 20-30 Minutes in total very short 1 or 2 line sentences, less than 35 lines. I will need a receipt with your signature by you. Please contact me on ******** or email me to ring you on your number and leave your contact details. If you decide yes then I just want a one or two line tester over the phone thanks. Please contact me either way.

So my first thought: Scouser voiceover - sure. We have lots of talented voiceover artists who could do a good Liverpudlian accent. No problem.

perhaps we can meet up.  Sorry? Why? How far can you drive on £60 of petrol? It's not even a tank-full these days and certainly wouldn't get one of our Voiceover Artists to Lancashire.

Budget of £60. Ah. We really have a problem. I need a new PC but I only have a budget of £100. Will the computer shop say ok go on then?

Half now, half later. No. If we agreed to this it would be 100 per cent up front from an individual (as opposed to a Ltd Company) on an untraceable gmail/hotmail account.

it shouldn't take longer than 20-30 Minutes in total. How would he know? Is he the Voiceover Expert? That's just what I do when I phone a plumber isnt it? I know how long it will take them to fix my shower. And I tell them what I want to pay them.

I just want a one or two line tester over the phone thanks And he wants an audition too! Isn't that what voiceover showreels on the website are for?
Sometimes I despair. Anyway we are moving on to more sensible clients now...


Saturday, 10 September 2011

Voiceover man in defence of BT. Sort of.

On Monday this week our ISDN line - used a lot for recording voiceover artists - failed. As that day was just another of our 12 hour working days, I let it be. The day after I got cosy under one of the office desks and checked all the wires; we had just laid carpet and I thought a cable might have come loose. Anyway, all seemed fine, so I reported it to BT.

BT did all their checks on the line and confirmed that there was a fault on the line and they would investigate and have the line working by the end of Wednesday.

Well on Wednesday afternoon I had to go into London to to a Voice of God voiceover session for the Baking Industry Awards with Richard Madeley (how showbiz!) He told some good jokes (and some bad ones) with an especially funny one about his time working for the TV station Watch, where no one did.

Anyway I digress.

On my way to this voiceover gig I missed BT's call as I was on the tube. When I surfaced I got a message saying that BT would call me back at 4.30pm. Unfortunately this was due to be in the middle of rehearsals so I tried to call them back but couldn't find a number that would work from my mobile. Frustrating!

So half-way through the voiceover rehearsals, my phone went and I had to apologise to a room full of people that I really, really REALLY had to take this call. We booked an appointment for Thursday morning as woman-on-phone said the fault was very close to the ISDN socket and could be inside.(What a joy as I got home at 1am).

Bleary-eyed I opened the door in my pyjamas (old joke!) and cheery BT man greeted me with a "oh well if I had known I would have come later". Arrgh. But when you are dealing with these people on the phone, you only get the option of morning or afternoon. Maybe it was his idea of a joke.

After  BT man fiddled about a bit under the desk, he declared the fault was not inside and was - in fact - some distance away; probably at or near the exchange.

While I am very grateful to BT for fixing the fault very quickly, they are extremely frustrating to deal with. And it was the last thing I needed during a whole week of 12 or 14 hour working days trying to run my voice-over business.

Next week will be easier. But then I have said that before.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Voiceover News for August 2011

In August we managed to escape for ten days to Greece to try to relax and get nicely bronzed. Unfortunately the blackberry was working overtime!

Following the upgrading of the voiceover booth, the BigFish Media office extension was also completed. Now we just need to re-furbish it and train up our Assistant to run the office when I am away.

We recorded voiceovers by Child Voicevers Ella and Max for an animation for the Cartoon Forum in Poland later this month.

Natalie recorded another voice-over for the IbidItrade website, James K recorded voiceovers for another five videos on golfingbreaks.com, Steffan voiced a video for Donnington Park and Malcolm recorded a voice-over for Tork.

Barbara recorded a Spanish voice-over for Reflex Instore Radio, Sue recorded a voice-overs for the Sealed Air Corporation, Drew voiced for Alton Towers and Ricky recorded voiceovers for Digital Hive, IBM's Smart Cloud video and an occupational health video for the Alder Hey NHS Foundation Trust.

We welcome Japanese Voiceover Artist Masashi, Polish Voiceover Artist Aneta and young Voiceover Artist Katharine.

Kiko Hernandez joined our Voice-over Directory and we made a Voiceover Showreel for BBC Radio Solent's Richard Latto.