Why Your Video Needs Professional VO

(Dan Fishman, above, is a member of our roster of professional voice actors.)

When we’re making a video with voice-over narration, our clients sometimes neglect the spoken words in favor of the visuals. “Why pay for a professional when I can just record on my iPhone?” they think. Well, like any professional, a pro voice actor brings a level of skill, experience and resources to a project that most amateurs don’t even know they’re missing.  Voice-over actors are specifically trained to illustrate a client’s specific story using the inflection in their voice. They train themselves to be able to accommodate the max running time, and overall tone of the project. They have professional-level microphones, studio spaces and audio software. Quality VO actors can make or break a product, no matter how high the rest of the production value. So, why do you need a professional voice actor? For the same reason you hired a professional video production company.

In case you need a refresher on what a voiceover is, here is an example from one of the world’s most famous (voice-over) actors:

In this entertaining clip from The Late Late Show with James Cordon, Morgan Freeman demonstrates what a voice-over is, but maybe not how useful it can be. Using the same talented man as an example, here is a clip from Shawshank Redemption in which Freeman’s voice is essentially the only dialogue to move the story forward. The first clip is from the movie (spoiler alert) and the second clip is just the audio (the voice-over) from the movie:

(just the voice-over)

As fantastic as the visuals are in the first clip, Freeman’s voice is just as compelling. With the correct actor reading your copy, your commercial production can turn from just another video into an inspiring, compelling work of art…or it’ll at least hit home with your target market.

Other than the production value of your work being raised significantly, there are other positive, noteworthy aspects to bringing on a professional voice-over actor. For example, many professional VO actors have their own recording studio where they can record. These studios have high quality microphones and are soundproofed in order to prevent background noise and echo. No matter how high the caliber of phones today, they can’t hold a candle to the quality of a professional microphone in a studio environment. And because pro voice actors can work remotely, you’re not limited to using only those actors in your immediate area. You have access to a world of talent. A voice actor with a home studio also saves you the money you’d have to pay to rent a recording studio.

Voice actors train themselves to manipulate their voice, and are good at interpreting direction in order to make it sound the way that the client wants. They are coached in the art of intricate enunciation and can make difficult words or sentences sound seamless and, more importantly, clear to the viewer. Professional voice actors are also skilled at fitting a script into a specific time without sounding rushed or breathless. If your video needs to be under 3 minutes for budget reasons but your script is running to 3:30, many times a skilled voice actor can get all the words in under time.

At Hidden Woods, we’ve successfully used voice-overs in many of our projects to help tell our clients’ stories. We are proud to say that we work consistently with Dan Fishman (pictured above), a very experienced voice-over actor who has worked with the likes of HP, American Family Insurance and the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. Dan makes our job easier by being a very amicable, talented, direct-able actor. He has his own studio with high-quality microphones, works remotely and knows how to get a project in on-time and under-budget.

More information about Dan can be found on his website.

By David Stewart