Cornwall Robin (photo taken by myself)
I’ve invested a lot of time lately learning a bit more about voice over marketing by reading articles/blogs from admired peeps such as Philip Banks, J.S. Gilbert and Susan Berkeley.
The word for the rest of 2008 and into 2009… market more specifically; market locally; and do my homework and target my market — I’ll work smarter, not harder! To get the local marketing ball rolling, just left something at my dentist’s office the other day. Sent holiday greetings to past and current clients as well. I seem to be getting lots of encouraging emails re upcoming projects, so let’s hold the energy that they’ll come through — whilst investigating other projects. Feeling optomistic, confident and positive!
Tuesday, 16 December, 2008 was the 60th Birthday of the Scrabble game.
There’s an interesting and inspirational back story here! The creator, Alfred Mosher Butts, painstakingly worked to develop his game — Criss Crosswords –bit by bit from 1931. By 1938 he’d revised it and then offered it to each of the established games manufactuers — it was turned down by all!
Maybe that should have been the end of the story, but a colleague, James Brunot, came across one of Butts’ hand lettered home made sets; made some changes; & called it Scrabble – copyrighted in 1948. After more trials and tribulations Scrabble finally hit the big time in 1952 when the department store, Macy’s, placed an order. By 1953 Scrabble was licensed to one of the big manufacturers who had previously turned it down. It’s now the world’s biggest selling game.
It looks like sometimes we just have to perservere, strive to improve our product (our voice technique, way of marketing, etc.), learn more about our field, network like crazy, and hold down a good part-time alternate source of income till the dream becomes reality!
Attention all narration voice over artists!
According to the Independent (15-12-08) newspaper, current affairs programmes are having an unexpected renaissance.
This includes traditional current affairs programming and immersion television (encouraging the viewer to make their own conclusion about the facts presented on the programme).
Better polish up those narrative demos and get them out on the market!
The following is an article reprinted from Ayd’s newsletter– very topical for voice over peeps and Clanger fans!
The Genius of Oliver Postgate
Oliver Postage died this month. His voice, instantly recognisable to millions of British children, harks back to a fairer, more generous, more innocent time. A time of wonder, of looking up to the nights sky and wondering about life on a small blue planet in space and the strange whistling knitted creatures that live there. His animated stories of ‘The Clangers’ gave us a sense of politeness and calm. A world of soup dragons and copper trees, of magic froglets and music that grew on trees that you could use to power a flying boat (or to eat). “It’s nice to have visitors” said Oliver’s narration, “but sometimes it’s even nicer to see them go”.
‘Ivor the Engine’ told us the stories of a Welsh steam engine who sang in the choir. The stillness and warmth of the tales gave children a sense of peace and friendship not found in modern television storytelling with its crashes, bangs and rushing around. My three year old son loves Ivor. He has a tiny toy train and imagines his own adventures, making the sound, “Sher-ta-coo, sher-ta-coo” as his plays.
The same alternative energy was found in the most loved children’s programme of all time, ‘Bagpuss’. The story of the most important, the most beautiful, the most magical, saggy old cloth cat in the whole wide world. He lived in the window of a junk shop who came to life with all his friends, to mend whatever item Emily brought to the shop.
As you may remember, the Clangers spoke only in whistles. This is what Oliver Postgate said about that challenge:
“They spoke a language of very articulate whistling squeak, which needed to be translated from its natural medium of nuclear magnetic resonance (there being no air to carry sound) into audible terms. The nearest I could get to that was to write out the script in full and then persuade Stephen Sylvester to help me record the dialogue…by reading it, or rather playing the inflections of it, on a selection of Swannee whistles. In this way I was hoping to make a sort of wild-life film in which, by listening carefully, the viewer would be able to understand what was being said and work out what was going on … I made a separate voice-over tape, a sort of intermittent running-commentary on what was going on. It worked quite well but I have always wondered how the films would go in their original form.
I did try it once, I took an episode of The Clangers to the 1984 E.B.U. conference in Germany and showed it to the participants without my voice-over. Afterwards I asked them whether they had been able to understand what the Clangers were saying. ‘But of course.’ they replied. “They are speaking perfect German.’ ‘But no.’ said Gerd, ‘That is not so. They spoke only Swedish.’”
See the remarkable and creative story of the making of the films at this URL:
This information originally appeared in ‘Ding!’, the free ezine produced by Ayd Instone, available at http://www.aydinstone.com”;
HAPPY HOLIDAYS to everybody and BLESS…
will be back in January….