2010 is off to a good start, as I hope it is for everyone else. Marketing plan is in place as well as listings in several new directories. I also plan to take advantage of new ideas garnered from one of the voiceover groups on LinkedIn, and as bit and pieces are picked up along the way in this new year.
2009 ended with a commission to do the voiceover for a corporate type audiobook to accompany a client’s website. We went away for a few days and as you can see from the piccie above, it was Netbook and voiceover-to-go.
This being my first major audiobook project, I’m learning a lot of things as I go along. The first being, like my colleague, Julie Williams, wrote about in her The VoiceOver Insider Magazine – I underestimated both the time it takes and the proper bidding amount. Never mind, the client gave me an extension.
In the meantime, Lesson 1, I’m using the handy “Jobs” app on my IpodTouch to record all the time spent on the project at a proper rate, to be ready to bid more accurately the next time round. Still, I’m happy for the project… Thanks to all my mates at the vo-bb who shared their experience and knowledge with me. My colleague Jeffrey Kafer also advised to farm out the job of editing the recording, for accuracy and time-saving. Brilliant advice, it takes forever!
A few more tips I’ve come up with to share:
Continue drinking water throughout the project, brush teeth before every new session to limit mouth noise. Using Burt’s Bees – beeswax lip balm (or something similar) is a good idea as well. [Thanks to my colleague Bobbin Beam - see Bobbin's blog link under my Voiceover list - for that tip. I read about it a while ago in one of her blogs, and finally found a source for the product over here in England.]
Enunciate and make the recording as clean as poss – it really saves time in the editing process. If you get tired, don’t press on. Stop. I came across one chapter where there was a lot of editing to be done, and I think it was maybe because I was tired and started slurring my words.
Slow down on difficult phrases for clarity of diction & to prevent stumbling over the words, resulting in re-takes. You can always edit out (or have whoever’s doing the editing) the air between words later.
A couple of my vo-bb buds also advised me to record a chapter, then edit it before starting the next one. This gives our vocal chords and minds a rest by switching between tasks. Unfortunately – knowing I was going away from the studio – I did the entire recording first so as to be free to edit on the road. In future though, I’ll definitely alternate the two tasks.
Practicing with a bit of cork in my mouth as part of my warm up is helpful too for diction, and loosening up the mouth muscles. I also found some great exercises, a while ago on a speech therapy website, that I use for loosening up before recording. I feel like there’s a definite difference between when I do the warm ups first, and when I think I’m too busy – and just jump into the project with only a minor warmup.
Keeping the mouth and throat soothed while recording, with something like Entertainer’s Secret is also a handy idea. If you live in London, there’s a sweet shop in Barnet called Hopscotch Essential Treats.
They have a wonderful product called Voice Tablets. They are so soothing. The shopkeeper said a lot of peeps who worked with their voice used them. I sucked on them frequently between recordings. (They also sell really tasty chocolate covered raisins – but that has absolutely nothing to do with voiceover! Ha, ha!)
All for now….