Business Booms for Voice-Over Talent
In the independent film "In a World," Hollywood's reigning king of movie voice-overs dies and a number of oddball characters vie for the coveted position in what could only be called a Hollywood comedy of errors.
That movie, which is making the rounds at select independent film festivals, has reportedly spawned a surge of inquiries and jobs in the voice-over industry, according to Robert James, marketing manager for voice-over services Web site The Voice Realm. "Since the movie has become so popular, over the past few months we have been inundated with enquiries about breaking into the voice-over industry," he said in a statement
Voice-over bookings at The Voice Realm have increased by 356 percent in the past three months. Enquiries from aspiring voice actors increased by 2,571 percent.
But, James points out that there's a lot more to providing voice-overs than just having a unique or pleasant voice. "It's about taking directions from clients. You can get a crazy amount of directions from the client, and you need to tune into that," he says. "You really need to be able to follow directions."
James also notes that many people are quickly deflated when they realize that competition for roles is tough. Voice-over actors could audition for hundreds of roles before landing just one.
But the big money comes from landing a plum role in a national radio and television commercial. James says that's like hitting the jackpot. "If you have the exact sound that the client is looking for and they hire you for a big campaign for a high-profile company like McDonald's or Coca-Cola, you could be looking at $40,000 to $60,000."
Previously only actors in big cities would have had the chance to audition. But now with castings moving online almost anyone can send their audio sample to the client. "A lot of the industry is moving online," James says. "Anything that can be done in a studio can now be done over the Web."
James expects the industry to continue to grow into 2014 as more applications, such as smartphone games, turn to professional voice talent. Other big uses of voice actors include eLearning and language training courses, corporate presentations, interactive voice response systems, answering machines, transit systems announcements, and even wedding video narrations.