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The importance of picking a good voiceover

brittToday we introduce Britt, an Assistant Producer at Groundbreak Productions which is a film production company in the UK.

One of her top skills is writing engaging blog posts so we were delighted to have her as a guest author at Matinée. So let’s find out the chat on her side of the industry.

Since working for Groundbreak, I have lost all ability to listen to a radio or TV advert, or a narrated documentary without having an opinion on which voiceover has been selected. In my role, I am forever having to pick out voiceovers for our projects and it is one thing I absolutely love.

The voice of an advert can change the whole feel or message of a video whether it be powerful, friendly, emotive or just down right dreamy. It really is amazing what these voiceover artists can do with their voices to get that preferred messages across to the correct audience.

How do we go about choosing the right voiceover? It’s quite a subjective thing anyway, like picking a piece of music, so I don’t necessarily think there’s always a ‘right’ answer but there are some factors that do help you decide what works best.

Some of these factors would be audience, genre, length, style, gender and accent that help to narrow down the search for the perfect voice for your project.

A great example of where a voiceover is imperative to the concept of a video is from an animation we did for Brother International Europe, showcasing their new PDS scanner range. After coming up with the concept, storyboarding the animation and designing the assets and graphics, the whole thing needed tying together with a GLaDOS type voiceover.

The guys over at AudioScores managed to put their expertise to work and make a perfectly ordinary female voiceover sound computerised and unlike a human person, which was exactly the sound we were going for.

It’s always a tricky one to decide whether a voice should be male or female – we have spent many debates in the office trying to decide over which gender a voice should be. Sometimes the client will request a certain one, which does make our job a little bit easier but this isn’t always the case, a lot are open to either.

For most of our corporate videos we do, it’s quite often the male voice that wins over a female voice. I think it might be the depth of the male voice that perhaps sounds slightly more authoritative but sometimes it’s good to play with the gender to make people sit up and listen to what is being said.

Now, we all have a certain accent that when we listen to makes us go weak at the knees. For some projects it’s ideal to pick an accent that would make people swoon over to show your product or service in the best light. There’s the good old chocolate, perfume and ice cream brands or even snazzy sports cars that adopt this way of voicing their products and personally I could listen to them all day (whilst stuffing my face with the said luxurious chocolate pieces).

Also, if there’s a need for a specific accent because of the content in the video, it is good to be able to use a voice over agency like Matinee Multilingual who have a whole library of national and international voices at their fingertips!

I don’t know about you but some voices can sound really annoying, I mean so annoying that it makes you remember and talk about that ‘annoying advert’? Clever hey!

I personally would never choose a voice that I didn’t think people would enjoy listening to but I do understand why clients would pick a garish or unusual voice to make their advert more memorable. However, this wouldn’t be the best idea to pick an irritating voice for an hour long documentary – people might not make it through the first 10 minutes…