Everything changes. Count on it. Even – and especially – in the world of VoiceOver. If you want to get addicted to anything – get addicted to change.
America’s most fascinating city – New Orleans – is only now beginning to return to ‘normal’ after the developments of the past weeks.
Thrust begrudgingly into the spotlight of national and international news by (1) eccentric millionaire Texas fugitive Robert Durst – picked up downtown in our Marriott (packing a gun, mask, fake ID, and 5 ounces of pot, medicinal I’m sure) on the lam from the law… and HBO, and (2) this weekend’s machete-wielding miscreant (God rest his troubled soul) who decided Friday night to whup-up on some unsuspecting TSA agents out at Louis Armstrong … we’re only now beginning to catch our breath.
But as I type these words, yet another parade, the annual Irish-Italian parade is marching one block from the Airlift Studios, tossing cabbages & other assorted goodies to the eager, jubilant crowds. Oh, and passing out a kiss or two.
You see – everything changes. And the beat … goes on.
When I began my radio and VoiceOver career, the voice artist (we used to just call them announcers) Demo was distributed via the archaic audio cassette and reel-to-reel recording tape. Then, in the early 80s, it evolved to compact disc. Today it just has to be available via a digital file, wave or mp3, and easily downloadable to someone’s phone, tablet, computer, or digital device.
Only problem is, from what I can gather surfing the web and various voice artist sites, many Voice dudes and dudesses are still employing Flash files on their sites to play their voice demos. Not good.
The Flash format is simply ignored by many devices, including many iOS Apple devices, like the ever-present iPad! So the quest began for a more cross-platform compatible approach that would make the voice demo playable most anywhere and on most anything in 2015.
Ah-hah! Necessity being the mother of invention, the solution seems to be – to make Videos out of our audio. The VoiceOver audition demo, sampled, stored and uploaded as a video plays on the iPad, a Mac computer, Android phone & tablet, and, of course, on all Windows PCs. True cross-platform compatibility! For now.
Case in point, I spent the better part of yesterday in the Airlift Studios toying around with Window’s ‘Movie Maker’, available free on most all PCs or as a free download.
OK, so maybe I got a little carried away, a little too artsy-fartsy with it, as I took jpegs from the studio, art work, even a shot from the banks of the MS River, to punch-up every read. As I alternated from serious to light, dramatic to frivolous.
This same video-from-audio approach can also be as simple as displaying a gif image (bouncing analog or digital vu meters, for example) as ‘eye-candy’ while your demo rolls before their ears.
In any event, you’ve got to love the ‘StarWars-ish’ scroll at the top as an attention-grabber, plus the ‘credits’ at the tail, which gives the listener/viewer the opportunity – the Call-to-Action – to get you by phone right then should they choose. Try doing that with an audio-only file.
This approach also gives the VoiceOver talent an opportunity to ‘display the goods’ via YouTube, Vimeo, or a Facebook page near you. Not bad, huh?
Yeah, we used to snail mail our cassettes, reel-to-reel tapes, digital tapes & CDs to chase voice work with UPS & Fed Ex as the middlemen. In 2015, not so much.
Like I said, everything changes. Even the nature of change.
Best of Luck from NOLA as you chase that VO dream.