Documentary Voiceover Proven Success Tips and Strategies

Useful Tips in Documentary Voiceover Work Success

Documentaries are one of the most effective means to tell a story through moving visual images. An essential part of documentary production, in addition to its featured topic, filmmaking style, location, and script, is its voiceover component.

If you are looking for an exciting opportunity in voice acting, a documentary voiceover project may be a good breakthrough for you.

Important Things to Remember for Documentary Voiceover Projects 

Many voice actors often find a documentary voiceover work highly challenging for the first time.

After all, it won’t be surprising for you to work with a film director who demands the highest standards when it comes to voiceover results. If you are used to commercial or radio drama voice acting, where voice emotion is allowed, making the switch to documentary-based voice acting can be daunting.

Nonetheless, there are important skills you can master to become effective in documentary voiceover or narration.

One of these is to understand the context of the documentary story and to find the appropriate voice acting style. Many documentary films tend to be informative, delivering historical, scientific, or biographical information along with moving pictures or film shots. However, this doesn’t mean that there is a one-style-fits-all formula for your voice acting performance. Certainly, a documentary about the life of Kim Kardashian will demand a narration technique that is different from a documentary voiceover on the behavior of iguanas and snakes in the wild.

Another skill is on timing. The voiceover actor should be able to match the story being narrated to the moving shots on film. This is also where a voice acting professional is expected to show “coolness under pressure”. The final voice recording sound should be natural but also well-suited to the topic or feature of the documentary.  

Collaboration and Creativity for Documentary Voiceover Success 

Documentaries are not the sole responsibility of a film director or cinematographer. It is important for you as the voiceover actor to be able to collaborate with the director and/or film producers as well.

Other than being able to read the script, you have to know what the voice acting project demands. In a documentary voiceover, moreover, creativity is also highly prized. As a way to collaborate, you can let the director or producer listen to various readings so you both come up with the best narration style.

As a voiceover narrator, you should work on both your strengths and mistakes. Through practicing and educating yourself on whichever way possible, your documentary voiceover success won’t be far behind.


The Benefits of Pro Bono Work on Your Voice Acting Career

When it comes to voiceover work, your voice — as well as your storytelling skills — is the ‘product’ you are trying to sell.

And while it is true that every step you make in your voice acting business should bring in monetary returns, investing in pro bono work is also a good way to polish the brand you are trying to sell.

Pro Bono Efforts as a Good Way to Introduce Your Voice Acting Skills

Although pro bono work is often considered as services rendered for free, it doesn’t necessarily equate to a fruitless endeavor.

In fact, if you are just starting out in the industry, you might want to consider giving voice acting services free of charge to schools, universities, radio stations, and events. This is an effective way to showcase your talent and versatility. Pro bono work also expands your immediate network and introduces you to potential voice over clients.

And yet, it is not only the voice acting newbies who are known to deliver free narration and voiceover performances. Many established voice actors have been giving back to their favorite charities by offering their voice talents for no cost at all. Some of the organizations that have been at the receiving end of pro bono voice over services are Kenya Red Cross, Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, and Fairfield Earth Day, to name a few.

Getting More Than Just Monetary Rewards from Pro Bono Voiceovers

When planning to do pro bono voice over work for the first time, a good suggestion is to search for companies or schools that may be in need of such an initiative.

You can also initiate storytelling activities for school events or deliver voice acting performances for children’s parties held in hospitals and orphanages. Even if the monetary returns from your voice over efforts do not happen at once, what you will have instead is a rewarding and learning experience to take home with you.

Choosing Wisely the Pro Bono Voiceover Work for You

Although many charitable voice acting works are worth your while, you also have to make sure that you don’t feel shortchanged in the process. Choose only the causes that you are passionate about. It also pays to know who the people are behind the pro bono voiceover event.

In the end, a pro bono effort will always benefit your voice acting career, but only if it’s with a project you believe in.

How Acting Ability Helps in Voiceover Work and Ways to Improve It

As a voiceover professional, you know the few essentials when it comes to taking care of your voice. After all, your voice needs deliver and it needs to sell — whether you’re recording for a commercial or doing narration work.

But there’s more to voiceover work than just having an incredible voice. You need to be an actor, too. If you’re having a hard time turning yourself into a character required in a voice recording project, maybe it’s time you try acting classes on the side.

Listed below are some suggestions on where to get acting experience and exposure.

Volunteer at a read-aloud activity 

Whether it’s at your local community or in your child’s classroom, reading aloud can be beneficial to both the speaker and listeners. Given that stories will have different characters, you will be compelled to read the dialogues and vary your voice acting styles according to the personality of the characters. While this is definitely not an acting class, you are essentially practicing your narrative and acting skills through the vicarious experiences provided for by the stories.

Attend poetry readings 

Poems are not crafted solely to be read in silence; they have to be read aloud in front of an audience. A good first step towards improvisation is to listen to poetry readings. Poems are often laden with emotions, and the reader will often vary their speaking styles to convey a specific emotion. Of course, you could always try reading aloud poem or two, too!

Participate in an acting workshop 

The last thing that any voice acting project requires is a flat, unexciting voice. There’s no better way to improve your acting abilities — and gain better confidence in the process — except to immerse yourself in acting workshops.

Acting workshops may be available through your local community theater or acting schools in your area. Your acting teacher may ask you to improvise on a role, read a script aloud, or perform by way of music and dance. These workshops may also include breathing exercises for flexing vocal muscles and improving voice range, tone, and flexibility when acting on stage.

Voiceover work always requires you get into character and convince your audience. This means ‘acting’ through your voice. All the essential emotions and inflections have to be conveyed in your narration, and you cannot do this if you have zero experience at improvisation. As a voice actor, you have to be able to perform. This is why exposure to and experience in actual performances can benefit your voice-acting career in more ways than one!

5 Ways Voiceover Work and Family Influence Each Other

Many voiceover artists do not realize an important connection that could be affecting their work quality – family. Family has a lot to do with how you perform as a voiceover artist. Learning how they affect it can help you control the feelings, emotions, and other factors that come into play as you work.

#1: Happiness Overflows into Voiceover Work

When you are happy with your family, you will feel inspired, motivated, and ready to tackle even the toughest voiceover work. You derive a certain energy from your family when everyone is in a good mood and happy with one another.

#2: Family Problems Can Lead to Voiceover Work Problems

Of course, the opposite is true when a family is having problems. When there is an argument or something traumatic happens, voiceover work can suffer because it can be difficult to focus on it. You may not be able to conjure the emotions needed to alter effectively your voice in the way the client would like you to for the project. You may also not be able to get your work done because you are trying to solve the problems in your family.

#3: Family Support Can Lead to Great Business Growth

If you have ever tried to do something without your family backing you up, you know how hard it can be. Sometimes, you need your family to help you mentally, emotionally, and even physically. They may need to step in and do some things on their own, or they may have to build you up when you’re having a bad day. When your family supports you, growing your voiceover business is much easier.

#4: Family Demands Can Keep You from Work

Your family needs you at times, and it is your responsibility to help them. This may mean you will have to take time away from your voiceover work. This is okay because you are working on something much more important – your family. Always try to keep your head above water as much as possible as far as your business goes, but be sure to give your family the time they need as well.

#5: Family Arguments Can Lead to Client Arguments

Your patience wears thin when you are in disagreements with your family. Since they are so close to you, any disagreement can pull at your heartstrings so much that it can start to overflow to other relationships, such as those with your clients. This can be damaging to your voiceover work, so be sure to take a deep breath before you speak to your client. You want to be able to calm yourself down as much as possible, so none of the feelings you are having for a family member come across to the client.

It is amazing how much of an influence your family has on your voiceover work. Luckily, now that you know some of those influences, you will be able to spot them and either appreciate it or find ways to decrease their effect. With time, you will embrace both your family and voiceover work to bring them together in harmony for maximum success.