Category Archives: Voice Over Info

Steamboat Willie and Beyond!

Steamboat WillieCartoon Voices Have Character

When you think of a cartoon voice over, one of the very first things you’ll note is that cartoon voices belong to cartoon characters, and at the root of that is character which requires acting.

Steamboat Willie Makes Voice Over History

The very first cartoon voice over was featured in a cartoon movie by Disney called “Steamboat Willie” in 1928 at the Colonial Theatre in New York. It was the first time the world heard the voice of Mickey Mouse as provided by Walt Disney himself and was a great breakthrough in technology and entertainment.

Nowadays there are literally thousands of cartoons, especially in the realm of children’s programming, that require the voice talents of voice over professionals.

Oh, Saturday Mornings!

Think back to Saturday morning cartoons and the joy they brought you when growing up. Those same cartoons, and many of the same voice talent you’ve heard over the decades, are still at work on new projects and can also be enjoyed via reruns and releases on DVD.

Feeling Nostalgic?

Some of these cartoons are even making it to the silver screen, including last summer’s Transformers. Some of the original voice cast, including Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime, returned to reprise their roles more than 20 years later to the delight of their now grown up fans.

The Smurfs, another 1980s favorite, may even be made into a movie with plans for release in 2010. Look out, world!

What are your favorite cartoon character voices?

Cartoon Voice Talent and Product Demos with Live Announcers

Have you ever strolled down an aisle at a trade show and perked up your ears to hear the melodious voice of a real person, pitching a new product or service?

That most likely was the voice of a live announcer or professional actor, hired to speak on behalf of a company and lead a product demo, engaging audiences in an intimate and friendly manner with the goal of bringing in sales for their vendor.

I think a strong cartoon voice talent is an excellent tool to steer the emotions of the viewing audience. People expect a cartoon to be significantly more animated than a real life character. This expectation carries over to the animation of the voice itself. A voice actor is allowed to put more emotion and feeling into a particular line then a live person and as such can put extra emphasis on the humor or drama of a given scene.

Often in movies, the voice talent behind a cartoon character is permitted to explore a wider emotional range because the strong emotions can be blended with the artificial reality of the cartoon better than same scene done with real life actors. Another feature of a good voice talent is that one actor can portray several characters. The versatility of the actors can save money or time in the production of a movie or television episode.

Further, since the actor is portraying more than one character, when emphasis is put into one line said to the second character, the subtleties of the meaning transfers to the response of the second character. For those voice talents who are well known it also is fun for the audience to try and figure out how many characters or which characters a particular talent is portraying. Take, for example, well known programs such as “The Simpsons” or “South Park”.

Many of the voice talents do multiple voices and it is interesting to learn that the characters you picture to be distinct are really being be created by one individual. Another feature of a voice talent is their movements are necessarily ported to the animated character. In some instances the movements of the actors can be put into the characters themselves in order to add an aspect of real human non-verbal communication.

However, in other instances, the actor may deliver the line in any way that helps them emphasis their voice in the right way but the producer or director may animate the physical movements in a substantially different way. This means the actor and move the way that helps him/her best, and the producer or director can move the character in the way they feel best without restraining their actor.

If you want to try something different, that is, contrary to using a pre-recorded voice-over at your booth, consider hiring a voice actor to announce and perform live presentations on the hour or even more frequently than that, depending on the length of the script and product demonstration.

What are the benefits of hiring a live announcer to promote your product at trade shows?

* Your booth will attract visitors immediately, increasing the brainshare that you have access to because of the live announcer.
* Your exhibit will touch people on several levels: a live, interactive performance does more to move your product than any powerpoint could.
* Word of mouth will spread rapidly amongst the attendees, sending people your way to see the demonstrations first hand and your popular currency as a vendor will increase.
* The human voice is one of the most persuasive marketing tools, period.
* Of the five senses, hearing is most prized in marketing circles because of our distinct ability to retain audio messages long after they are originally heard. Jingles, slogans, songs, prose… marketing pitches!

There are many on-camera talent who have excellent voices and make their careers in broadcast television or live speaking engagements as corporate spokespersons. There is an announcer for every script, and a talent for every company.

Tell Your Stories With Voice Overs!

When producing a presentation, cartoons, animation video, web video, podcast, or webisode, one of the most important aspects of the production is found in the copy writing and voice over.

That being said, what kind of voice over would be best suited for your project?

People have been telling stories since the dawn of time, drawing upon their voice to convey their messages to others in their circle of influence.

Over the centuries, the art of communicating with other people about a given purpose and the transmission of the spoken word, the most powerful, persuasive, and distinctly human tool in any marketers arsenal, has evolved to the degree that you don’t have to be in the same room to get a message across, even the same country for that matter.

Geographic locations and time zones afford little to no obstacle for communicating with others in a meaningful and cohesive way.

With all of the advantages this new world and new media bestows, it is very important that a message received is a message that is understood, believed and acted upon.

Much of this depends on the copy writing and voice over skills of the messengers, which brings us to five different characters if you will that will help you get your message across in a direct and effective way.

When producing a presentation, cartoons, animation video, web video, podcast, or webisode:

1. Instructor (formal, didactic voice over)
2. Real Person (informal voice over)
3. Spokesperson (advocate, authoritative voice over)
4. Narrator (omniscient storyteller)
5. Announcer (sets the stage and calls for action)

Let’s explore these types of character roles in detail.

1. Instructor

When teaching someone on what to do, for example, a corporate training video or children’s game, the voice over best suited for this kind of project is a straightforward, didactic and educated voice. The role of this particular voice talent is to instruct or provide information to fulfill a specific goal or purpose.

2. Real Person

Projects requiring a more casual approach often benefit from relatable, genuine voice overs. These voice overs are referred to as “Real Person” voice overs, commonly known as the “regular guy” or the “girl next door”. The character is homegrown, sensible, and friendly with a touch of familiarity and provides a more intimate interpretation that instills trust.

3. Spokesperson

A spokesperson can be on camera or off camera depending on the medium you are using. The role of a spokesperson is generally played by a confident, charismatic person able to promote a cause, product, or service with ease and authority. A voice over of this nature needs to be driven, optimistic and assured.

4. Narrator

Storytelling is where the narrator is most at home. Omniscient, courteous and honest, a narrator’s job is to provide an audio landscape for a listener, briefing them on background information, posing questions, and providing solutions as they guide their audience through a program or documentary. Narrators can be male or female, and the most important factors are that they can communicate clearly and engagingly.

5. Announcer

The announcer, often heard live at events, on commercials, promos or introducing segments for podcasts, is a product of the broadcast age, most celebrated at its height in the Golden Era of Radio and early television broadcasts. Announcers can introduce an idea and assertively make a call for action at the conclusion of a commercial advertisement or short video. One common misconception is that an announcer has to sound like an announcer from decades ago, however modern announcers act more like narrators, and in many cases, adopt the Real Person approach.

Now that you’ve met the different kinds of people or characters that can help to make your production a success, the next question is where do you find voice talents?

If you are reading this article, you are already on your way to locating a voice talent to record for your project.

Using the Internet to find a voice will streamline all of your efforts, saving you a significant amount of time and financial expense.

Over 50,000 people have discovered just how easy it is to find the perfect voice for their project at Voices.com, the voice marketplace.

At Voices.com, you can search for, listen to and hire professional voice talents to record your voice over within your budget range. Posting a job to find the appropriate candidate to record for your project is not only convenient, it is also a desirable option, providing you with the opportunity to choose the voice that will best represent your company and deliver on your vision.

The professionals at Voices.com can take your script from concept to completion and quickly become an integral part of your creative production team. Breathing life into the written word is what they do for a living, so you can rest assured that your project is in a good hands with a Voices.com voice talent.