This question came to mind this evening as I was reading Brian Haymond’s blog, and in particular this post. His comments center around two of the key online voiceover casting services, Voices.com and Voice123.com. Brian quotes some sample lines from emailed leads from these services.
“Best price gets first consideration”…”Budget is $50″…”Small budget but lots of volume”…”2 hours of finished audio, budget $150″…the list goes on and on and on!
And as Brian notes there are misconcpetions about what a voiceover is worth.
$100 a minute is more than a doctor makes
But, the central point of Brian’s post is that professional voiceover services are just that, professional.
This work can’t be performed by just anyone. [snip] you wouldn’t check with your friend who is a vet and ask if he can cut you a deal on removing your bad tooth.
The main problem is that real professionals make voiceover work sound like it’s nothing more than talking. Just like professional actors make their performances seem completely transparent. So, anyone even remotely interested in voiceover work is lulled into thinking anyone can do it. Hey, after all, everybody knows how to talk, right?
Yes, but not everybody knows how to speak well. I have a dear friend who still doesn’t know how to to use “seen” and “saw” correctly. Wonderful person. Just not that great with some aspects of grammar. And that’s at least part of the point here. Professional voiceover work should be invisible. And people who are really good at getting out of the way and letting the story tell itself, they get paid well for their work.
So, if you’re just looking for a cheap voice, you’re welcome to stay and read as much as you like. Write comments if you like. But, I’m not the cheapest voice you’re going to find. My solution to the emails that Brian quoted above? I hit the delete button and move on.
It doesn’t really trouble me that people audition for and take jobs with low budgets. Because this isn’t competition. It’s about giving clients the opportunity to choose the right voice and the right talent for their job.
There will continue to be lots of work at that low budget level and the folks interested in it will get that work, but I will continue not to worry about it because I’m deleting those projects and concentrating on the opportunities coming from people looking for real professionals.
Eventually people with serious money on the line will learn that you can’t get professional work from someone who charges that kind of rate and will adjust their budgets accordingly. And when they do, I (and Brian, a host of other talented folks, some of whom are linked here on the left) will be here ready to deliver the goods.