I’ve been chatting with a number of voice talent in the VoiceOverTimes forum, working to develop a policy regarding audition submissions, watermarks and talent rights. We’re working on a new policy regarding custom demos, watermarking, and other aspects of the auditioning experience. Be sure to voice your opinion!
Starting from the Ground Up
So far, it is proposed that talent as a whole should not submit clean (or complete) demos, that is to say, a custom demo of the clients script without watermarks or slight script alteration. While that practice may be commonsense, it may take some convincing throughout the voice community. There’s a percentage of talent who have acquired work through auditions where they submitted clean demos and a significant number of aspiring talent who may feel as though they are ‘not following directions’ if they stray from what they assume to be the clients wishes.
While that’s half of the equation…
As this is a two way street, we will also be providing those who post jobs with the knowledge that talent are not required to submit clean or complete demos (demos that do not have watermarks) until an agreement is formalized between the interested party and the voice professional. To say it plainly, whether you submit a custom sample with watermarks or a generic sample that is related but not identical to the clients script, either of those types of submissions should qualify for consideration.
I’m pleased to say that a number of professionals have taken it upon themselves to discourage talent new to the industry from recording and submitting clean demos, reinforcing the fact that it doesn’t pay to do so. The efforts of professional talent to educate others will be an immense help to us when we implement our new policy and other policies in the future.
Why the policy?
It was pointed out that if clients are not paying for job postings, they should not be entitled / expect to receive custom samples of their script. Instead, the submission of custom recordings would be at the discretion of the voice talent, provided appropriately with watermarks. Professionals also wanted to ensure that their time and talent were respected. At times, some people feel like their efforts are in vain, particularly if they submit custom work that is not acknowledged.
What else are we doing to help?
Voices.com has a number of sound effects and music beds that you can use as watermarks to protect your work. We are also building a bank of watermarks from voice talent and audio professionals that will be comprehensive and free to use.
Finally, we’re working on getting more of those vital artistic direction details to you. You may have noticed recently that there has been some very detailed voice direction for a number of jobs posted at Voices.com. You know that we’re passionate about making your experience at Voices.com extraordinary, right?
OK, so that’s what we’ve discussed so far. Now it’s time for you to let us know what you think.
Jump in, the water’s fine!
Stephanie and the Voices.com Team