When you audition or record a voice-over project, do you print your scripts off or do you choose to read them off a screen such as your computer, smartphone or tablet?
There are many different ways that voice talent choose to read their scripts depending on the situation.
Find out more in today’s VOX Daily!
With innovations such as the iPad and Android tablets, there are now fewer and fewer reasons for voice talent to print out scripts. You can make the font bigger and even mark up the script where you want to breathe, which words to emphasize and more.
Jamie Muffett, a British voice talent based in New York, favours screens and considers it horribly wasteful to print. He recommends that if reading off a screen hurts your eyes, one way you can help fix that is to turn down the brightness. Although Jamie prefers using screens when working at home, the commercial studios he works in nearly always print scripts for talent to use during a session. More on that later.
Kendra Hoffman, like many people, has chosen to use screens when auditioning to help cut down on paper and printing. She writes, “For auditions, I usually work off my tablet. I also prefer my tablet for long-form jobs – no paper rustling, and I like seeing the countdown of how many pages are left, so I know when to take a break.”
Voice artist Norbert Thomas exclusively uses screens when recording at home and only uses paper when at a commercial recording studio. At home, Norbert’s computer tower is not located in his recording booth and is completely outside via cables. This arrangement eliminates any noise issues including pesky noise made by a computer’s fan. Norbert is able to make marks on the displayed document with slashes, spaces, paragraphs, highlights, underlines, bold, and so on.
Some talent have gone all out and only read from screens. One such person is Dan Lenard, co-host of the East West Audio Body Shop (EWABS), who hails from Buffalo, NY. Dan says, “Go paperless if you can. I have for over two years. You can mark copy on a screen using various methods.”
Screens aren’t the answer for everyone, especially if you are used to reading off of paper or have developed a unique notation system (marking up your script) that helps you voice. One voice talent, Wolfgang Messer, prefers paper for a number of reasons, one being that paper doesn’t crash 1 minute before the TV news starts!
Others prefer to use paper because they like how it feels in their hands. I can relate to them this way because I have a personal preference for reading books the old fashioned way. There’s nothing quite like sitting down with a good book and a piping hot cup of tea.
Voice talent Paul Hernandez prefers paper but has forced himself to get accustomed to the screen. Paul writes, “It actually saves a little time and obviously on paper and ink.”
Jim Conlan says that he uses paper for short scripts and a screen for long reads. Jim notes, “It’s harder to mark up a screen, but it can be done to an extent. Just don’t use white-out!”
If you’re used to paper, making the transition to screens may be a tad difficult but if you’re willing to learn the ins and outs of how to work with scripts on screens, it can be done.
Working in Commercial Studios
Commercial audio recording studios tend to stick to paper for a host of reasons.
Jamie Muffett relates that he has been in sessions with up to 10 people chipping in from the control room. He cites that in these situations, a pencil and paper is the only way to go as it would be too time consuming to make edits for the back and forth of script changes when in the booth.
Some audio engineers believe that noise bounces off of screens which is why they prefer that paper and paper alone is used in the booth. Keeping screens outside of the recording booth also helps with the fan noise that can result from some electronic devices.
This being the case, just think about how much paper a studio must use. Taking a step toward screens might be scary for them given the concerns mentioned above…that being said, using less paper and using more screens might help them develop and maintain a greener workspace.
I wonder what it would take for studios to go paperless?
What Do You Do?
I’d love to hear how you choose to record your voice-overs. Do you use screens for some things and paper for others? Why or why not?
Looking forward to hearing from you!