Bryan Cox Voices Iron Hide in Transformers, Scott Shurian Makes Headlines, Facebook Voice Actors Explosion, Elie Hirschman talks about SitePal, Adam Fox Interviews Bob Oakman, and last call for the Julie Williams “Proven Voice-Over Techniques” Review Party at Voices.com in London, ON!
Adam Fox, Bob Oakman, Elie Hirschman, Facebook, Julie Williams CD Review Party at Voices.com, Scott Shurian, SitePal, Bryan Cox, Transformers
Transcript of Vox Talk #38
Matt Williams: Episode 38
You’re listening to VOX Talk! The voiceover industry’s number one podcast brought to you by Voices.com. It’s about voice acting, growing your business, and sharing your knowledge. VOX Talk is a show that you can be a part of. Getting involved that’s both fun and rewarding. It’s time for this week’s episode of VOX Talk with your host, Stephanie Ciccarelli.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Hi there, I’m Stephanie and welcome to this episode of VOX Talk. Today, we’re joined by Elie Hirschman, Adam Fox interviewing Bob Oakman, and hopefully we’ll have a surprise and hear from one of our “Transformers”. Are you ready for this?
Matt Williams: The Loop, informing you of news and current voiceover events.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: In entertainment news, Bryan Cox, a voice actor and comedian from Saskatchewan in Canada is the voice of Iron Hide in Michael Bay’s Transformers movie, playing in theaters everywhere. And as hinted at my introduction, I’d like to place some raw audio from Bryan Cox. Bryan uses audio to audition for the character of Iron Hide, Ratchet, and Jazz. Now he says that these are second set of lines processed them and the line that they ended up within the movie was, “You have a rodent infestation. Shall I terminate?” Let’s hear Bryan.
Bryan Cox: This exoskeleton appears suitable for battle.
We come in search of our energy source.
On his lenses, eBay.
You have a rodent infestation. Shall I terminate?
You must help him look.
Why are we hiding?
I can neutralize them.
No, they will feel no pain.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: A friend of Bryan’s has also formed a Facebook group in honor of this great achievement. I’ve joined it myself! If you know Bryan, you should too.
Learn more about where to sign up in the VOX Talk show notes at podcasts.voices.com.
In voice over news, the new online hangout for social networking is none other than Facebook.com! You can join several different groups for voiceover to discuss topics among fellow voice actors and get to know others in the biz. The Voice Acting Hub now has 83 members and is going strong. Come join the fun! Sign up for a free Facebook account by going to Facebook.com.
In closing, voiceover coach, Scott Shurian made headlines in the Salt Lake Tribune this week, a fitting tribute to a voice actor who is not just a master instructor but a veteran, aged 75, who has voiced over 7500 narrations and commercials over his career.
To read the article, search for “Salt Lake Tribune and Scott Shurian” or visit the show notes here at VOX Talk for the link.
â€¨Matt Williams: The Biz, helping you grow your voiceover business.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Today in The Biz, Elie Hirschman talks about his experience voicing an avatar for SitePal!
Elie Hirschman: Hi there. This is Elie Hirschman. I was recently contacted by a friend of mine to do a voiceover job for his new business. The voiceover job was described as an avatar. Now, those of you familiar with online forums and bulletin boards may associate the word avatar with a little picture or cartoon or icon next to your username on the board. And it’s not that far off when it comes to this concept.
The company’s called the GasLimit. You can view their website at gaslimit.com and by this time, they’ve already implemented the avatar that I’ve been talking about. This avatar happens to be an animated talking head and the voice it’s using is mine. The avatar takes you through the site describing the nature of the business, the sign-up process, and your savings plan under their company.
You’ll have to go the site to get more details because I’m not going into it now. But the concept of an avatar with custom voiceover was new to me and actually seemed like a very logical idea. Certainly made sense for me as a voiceover artist, but from the business prospective, you can’t have a live person on there showing you the site. You could have just a recording but, having a face to go with it just makes it that much more user friendly.
The avatar was generated from a site called sitepal.com. There you can design your custom avatar to look however you want it to and in this case, they actually designed it to look pretty much like me surprisingly, poor little guy. Since this concept was so of my ally, I’d recommend that all you guys take a look at sitepal.com and recommend it to any clients that you may have. I suggested to my friend that we do a sort of monthly avatar update on their blog just to keep customers informed of changes in the business, upcoming promotions and savings deals, perhaps ways to maximize their benefits. This way, I get to work with him once a month on some voiceover related concept and the customers feel that their avatar is still guiding them through the process even after sign up.
I think my friend got his money’s worth on the contract with SitePal and it definitely made for good opportunity for me to flex my voiceover muscles. Everybody can check out the two sites I talked about, gaslimit.com and sitepal.com. Let me know what you think and if you’ve come up with any jobs as a result of it. This has been Elie Hirschman.
Matt Williams: Tech Talk, walking you through the technological landscape.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: This week in Tech Talk, Adam Fox interviews friend and voiceover colleague, Bob Oakman.
Bob Oakman: You’re listening to another Defiant Digital Podcast for Voices.com. Here’s your host, Adam Fox.
Adam Fox: Well howdy, folks and welcome to yet another edition of this wonderful podcast. I got something really special for you guys today. I have tracked down, tied down, begged and pleaded to get my good friend, Bob Oakman, one of the busiest guys I know in the business to come in and provide a little bit of his time for us today and he has agreed to do so. I’m going to ask Bob a few questions and see if he can provide us with some insight from a first-hand perspective of how he does what he does and what really got him into this business in the first place, and what his particular thoughts are on the business itself and how he does what he does.
Well this one’s chuck really full of stuff so I want to jump right in but before I do, let’s give you a little sample of what Bob sounds like and what his work is all about.
Bob Oakman: Only 9 days till the biggest tour of the summer. Bon Jovi, the band the New York Times calls a “Rock ‘n Roll Institution”. The Bounce Tour. Live! Bon Jovi!
In the year 2000, the infestation begins. Now, Papa Roach swarms back on the scene with a new album and a new tour.
You’ve heard the new Tommy. Now, experience Tommy. Live! Tommy Lee, never a dull moment to it. The beauty, the power, the outrage!
Adam Fox: See what I’m talking about? I know you guys have heard his voice from time to time. So without any further, let’s get right to Bob. Hey, Bob.
Bob Oakman: Hi, Adam.
Adam Fox: Hey. It’s great to chat with you today.
Bob Oakman: Yeah, man. Great to talk to you too.
Adam Fox: So how long ago did you get your start in the business?
Bob Oakman: I don’t actually remember a date but it was sometime in the late ’80s when I got my first radio job.
Adam Fox: And how exactly did that come about?
Bob Oakman: Long story short, being a guitar player for many years led me into a career in studio work and I also had a job for a concert zone in a lighting company so I got my chops up with the sound equipment basically. So over the years, I became quite proficient at engineering and producing. So when my friend, Frank (Bethra) got a license for 100,000 on FM Station up in Northern Minnesota, we talked to program director, Tom Baldrica and they’re giving me a shot at the DJ gig thing, knew nothing about doing voiceover. I really sucked it first but practice makes perfect. So eventually, I became the production director at the station and with that came lots of experience producing in voice and commercials and station promos, et cetera. Some bad DJ voiceover kind of it’s – came along with it too. So then following that gig, I got a job as production director at KRCQ in Reno, Nevada and then about a year later, back to Minnesota to build a new station for Frank, and then on the KKBQ in Houston.
Adam Fox: So here’s to get one, what was the catalyst for becoming “The Voice” of concert spots in sports promos and monster trucks and all that stuff that you do?
Bob Oakman: You know, the old saying, “It’s good to know somebody or at least know somebody that knows somebody in the business.” Remember Tom Baldrica, my program director? Well, he became a record guy in National. Incidentally, he’s now president of marketing for Sony BMG National. Anyway, he got my demo tape to Dean (Halem) who was program director for KKBQ in Houston. And that landed me the creative director gig there. Big jump from tiny small market to number three market. After a couple of years there, I was heard by the legendary Bill Young and after a short conversation with Bill, he hired me at Bill Young Productions, and that’s where it all started. I tell you, I never forget the first day and my interview with Bill and hearing him say with that voice, “Bob, remember. You’re in the big leagues now.”
Adam Fox: Almost thought it was Bill Young talking to me there. So, tell us more about your years in concert promos. You know, what kind of things did you find successful to help get established and at the same time developed your signature sound?
Bob Oakman: Well, when you work with people everyday in a busy environment like Bill Young Productions, you eventually start mimicking them. So being around people like Bill and Steve Kelly and other folks there really taught me a lot. Not to mention the fact that I had to produce some voice like from 20 to 50 concert or events spots everyday. BYP is basically the boot camp of post-production in voiceover. It may be really fast to producing a high quality product. So after 7 years, though I almost lost my mind, it made me good at that particular genre of voiceover and launched my freelance career in the process.
Adam Fox: So let’s tell the listeners a little more about how that all works.
Bob Oakman: The whole concert promos thing is a unique business. The way it works is, you work with band management to come up with television, radio, print, so and so forth. Approve the templates, so to speak. That can be a difficult process. You see, they want to control the way their ads sound and look in every market and they don’t get paid for that part of it. But once you have an approved spot, all of the promoters in every city on the tour are constrained contractually to come to you to get their advertising. So you have a template, you’re just changing date then you ticket copy that kind of thing and stamping them all, unlike the Henry Ford assembly line of audio and video. So if you do the math, that kind of add to a lot of box.
Adam Fox: Well, Bob. I know you’re busy and I do appreciate you taking the time to sit down with us today. But let’s tell the listeners out there just how busy your days can be and what it takes to keep successful in the voiceover business. I mean, you know, what kind of maintenance is involved in that?
Bob Oakman: I tell you what, I’m thankful to be as busy as I am. I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to go after I left BYP four years ago. My voiceover career has kind of faded into obscurity but car spots, radio liners, monster trucks spots, some of the remaining clients I do through Bill Young Productions keeps me real busy. And I’m back to cranking all the 20 spots a day on average and doing a lot of audio-video post and just about to add video editor to the mix. Success for me, I guess is being able to do the small stuff for cheaper clients real fast money in volume, you know. But I’m not looking forward to doing that forever, I’m keeping that pace up. You know, you always have to grow or you become stale. Summing it up, I guess, meeting deadlines is really important at this time, not so much that I have this fantastic voice or delivery or anything like that.
Adam Fox: Yes. I think we found that conversation a time or two. And finally Bob, where would you like to see yourself in about 5 years?
Bob Oakman: The future. I see myself on a beach in the Caribbean. Yeah, right. Actually, I’d love to do more union work. You know, sit back and pull residual checks out of the mailbox all day long, but unless, it doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Got a lot more to learn, bad habits to break, and business plans to see through to their fruition. I actually did a couple of training days with Don Morrow. That helped a lot. I’m just hoping that things keep progressing in that direction.
Adam Fox: Well, thank you very much Bob. Let’s give Bob Oakman a hand for taking some time with us today. I want to thank you very much, Bob. I know exactly how busy you are because folks, let met tell you. I’m his production partner and I can’t even get maybe 5, 10 minutes on the phone with him on a regular basis. He is just that busy. Thank God for e-mail, that’s a wonderful thing. But just want to thank you, Bob and I hope this was helpful to people out there and it’ll provide some useful insights to those people that are in the business both new and old because we can never stop learning and especially when you get somebody as talented and as experienced as Bob who’s just on everywhere you turn. You turn the radio on or TV on and there he is and to have somebody of his caliber come and provide thoughts and his musings, if you will to the podcast, it’s just really – I’m very thankful that he took the time to speak with us today.
And as always, if you have any questions or comments, you can just drop us an e-mail. You can hit me here at the Voices.com website at adamfox.voices.com or at my website which consequently you can reach Bob at the website too at defiantdigital.com. That’s defiantdigital.com. And again folks, we’ll be back next week with another Tech Talk segment. We’re going to be cranking this out a little more regularly now and I just wanted to thank you all for listening and your support. Your great e-mails, all your audio clips and submissions, just keep them coming because we love to have them. Until then, by for now.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: For those of you who recognized Bob’s voice or thought you’d heard it before on this podcast, you’re right! Bob records the intros for Adam’s Tech Talk segments. A special thank you to Adam and Bob for putting this interesting and entertaining interview together.
Matt Williams: VoxBox, sharing your audio feedback.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: In the VOX Box today, it’s the last call for the Julie Williams “Proven Voice-Over Techniques” workshop hosted at Voices.com this Saturday, July 21st. The workshop takes place between 1-3 p.m. and there will be food, freebies, and a prize as well as a spectacular opportunity to review Julie’s newest release. Take the review CD and chocolates home, they’re yours to keep! There are still some places left at the table, so register on the VOX Daily blog now to reserve your spot or you can email me at Stephanie@voices.com to RSVP.
Well, that’s all for this week! We love hearing from you and thank you very much for staying subscribed to VOX Talk! You can subscribe to this podcast through the iTunes Podcast Directory, by RSS feed or by email on the VOX Talk website at podcasts.voices.com. I’m your host, Stephanie Ciccarelli. Take care and we’ll be seeing you next week!