You’ll notice, flicking through these pages of professional Voiceover Profiles® that it’s difficult to see the face of the voice. This is very purposeful. Not that we are attempting to hide them but as voiceover artists, we are working in ‘an audio world’. When deciding upon what voice to use for your project, ‘the face’ should not be an influencing factor.
The original idea for Voiceover Profiles® began in 2011 but it never happened because of a number of reasons, mainly technological limitations (mine) so I put it way on the back burner and then revived it around 18 months ago. I looked at similar offerings, at pay2play sites and voiceover agents, always in the shoes of the potential client. I often found it a confusing experience. I wondered why I was seeing hundreds of headshots – photos of the faces of the voices. I opened up one site and was welcomed with 11000 voices and even though there was a search and filtering system I didn’t know where to begin. In many cases it seemed that they had decided upon a search and filter system, perhaps copied from another site and then they were of course locked into it – it would be very difficult to overhaul the entire database. I wondered what the difference was between certain adjectives used to describe voices. I also heard so much utter rubbish in terms of performance and recording quality.
At one point I remember looking at a voiceover agent’s site (and it wasn’t really that unusual) but the interface was an entire screen of beaming smiling glamorous headshots.
Think about this for a moment. Imagine that for a print project you needed to book a model. You go to the modeling portfolio site and instead of photos, you were faced with a page of audio clips, of the voicereels of the models……you then work through those voicereels to decide upon whether you want to look at the model and then potentially book them for a photo session. It’s the same thing – why would a potential voiceover client want to sift through headshots to find voices – or be influenced by what someone looks like? Their vocal age and style or even accent are likely to be nothing like their face! It is ridiculous and yet 90% of profile sites and agencies work in this way.
1 – Voiceover Profiles® is VOICE FIRST
2 – Secondly and at the risk of doing myself out of work – the first thing the client will be exposed to will be a simple natural recording – not a professionally produced voiceover demo. Although, as the client, I want to hear your pro demo, I NEED to hear your natural, relaxed, conversational non-performance voice.
3 – Each voice must be able to deliver what they promise in their introduction. The recording quality must be very high and consistent. These are Professional Voiceover Profiles only.
SEARCHING AND FILTERING
The first filter on most sites is gender….well we are not going to have a gender filter. Why? Because although there are still times when a specific male or female voice might seem more suitable for a project – things are changing. More and more we are hearing female voices on what were traditionally ‘male products or services’ and vice versa.
Instead, the first filter or search criteria is ‘WHAT IS YOUR PROJECT?’
This will bring up a number of professional voiceover profiles who are tagged as experienced in that area. Commercial, Business, Narration etc.
As the client, ‘what is my project?’ – I’m creating an internet advert or perhaps I want my book turned into an audiobook. As the client that is my first and main concern – the project. The voice is chosen to support the project and I don’t care what they look like.
Guy Michaels – June 2020