When you're creating a corporate video or working with an external video production company, you'll have a lot of choice when it comes to format. You could go live-action, animated, unscripted, scripted and more. One thing you should consider, however, is using voice-over.
Voice-over is the process of recording spoken words separate from the video and the reason we're a big fan of using it at BiteSite is that it is a relatively low-cost, low-logistics way of getting professional, high-quality videos.
Let's explore this a bit deeper.
The benefits of using voice-over
The biggest benefit to using voice-over is that it is a low-risk way to get professional quality results. When you're recording video, there is a lot that can go wrong. The lighting might be off because the sun is in the wrong place. The weather might not corporate. Your on-screen subjects might not behave the way you want them too. The location might not be ideal. There is a lot to consider. However, one thing that has a lot less risk and that almost always go well is recording voice-over.
With the right talent, voice-over can be as easy as providing a script and some direction. With as little as that, you'll end up with something that rivals broadcast television commercials.
Not too mention, if voice-over and music is all that you envision in your final video, a lot of technical logistics are removed because you don't have to record any location audio.
So for these reasons, we're huge fans of this format.
Prepping for the voice-over
At BiteSite, there are a few steps we take to prepare a voice-over. The first is writing the script. We could write a whole article on this, but obviously you need to put together a script that contains the important messages you're trying to communicate.
Next, we time the script. Reading the script in your head or just picturing how long the script will be can be dangerous in that you might be way off in terms of how long you think it'll be. What's best is to grab a timer and actually read the script aloud in the tone of voice and speed you anticipate the final product to feature.
With those two things out of the way, the script is ready.
Book your talent
Although there are many sites out there that offer voice-over work, we've dealt with two: www.voxtalent.com and www.voicebunny.com. Most of our dealings have been with VoxTalent so for the rest of this article we will speak to that. However, VoiceBunny is still a good alternative to explore.
With VoxTalent, you should start by browsing their rates. For a typical corporate video, you're looking at spending between $250.00 and $400.00 CAD. Once you're familiar with the rates, you can then browse their actors and actresses. You'll have to option of dealing with actors/actresses who can attend a recording session in person, or have them record at home. Again because of the ease of logistics, we typically pick the latter.
You'll be able to listen to their demo reels and check their availability so you can get right person for the job.
After you're happy with a candidate, it's just a matter of filling out a form and dealing with the VoxTalent agents to book your talent.
Prepare Director's Notes
After your actor or actress is booked, you'll be sending a script but also director's notes if you choose to have them record the voice-over at home. Director's notes help your talent nail the tone and style you're going for and clarify any questions they may have.
You can download a director's notes template from our downloads page https://www.bitesite.ca/download.
Here is a brief breakdown of what we include:
Project - The name of the project.
Non-disclosure - Any non-disclosure notes if you are working on a project that has not yet been announced to the public.
Type - Whether it's animated or live-action.
Talent - Name of the actor or actress selected.
Ideal Length - The final length of the voice-over (e.g. 1:10, 1 minute and 10 seconds).
Narration Tone - Notes about the tone of the voice-over (e.g. 'Serious with authority, but calm')
References - Sections of the talent's demo, or YouTube videos that are similar to the tone you are going for.
Music Inspiration - Links to samples of music that might help convey the tone.
Pronunciation Notes - Pronunciation of words that are not obvious including company names, regional words.
Wrapping it all up
After you've booked your talent, and sent them the script and director's notes, you'll play the waiting game. VoxTalent has been very responsive and in some cases had a 24 hour turn-around. However, it does vary from case to case as the actors and actresses may be booked up.
When they are finished, they'll send you an audio file that you can easily throw into your timeline of your edit and then you're all done.
Consider using Voice-over on your next project
As mentioned, video production can have a lot go wrong and if things are not executed properly, you might lose out on some of that gloss or shine that other videos have. Voice-over is a low-risk way to ensure you're video will sound professional.
Every actor and actress that we've worked with to date has delivered incredible work that has taken our videos to the next level.
If you're producing a corporate video yourself or working with a video production company, you should highly consider incorporating professional voice-over into your video.