VOX Talk #39 – Harry Potter Narrator Jim Dale, South African VO, Nancy Cartwright, Betty in Boca, Adam Fox

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    Harry Potter audio book narrator Jim Dale in Bethesda at Borders, South African Audio Favors Male voices, Nancy Cartwright Interview, Betty in Boca on Voice Acting Jargon, Adam Fox Teaches How to Pick Music for Voice Over Recordings and a special 60 Second Pitch episode coming your way this Friday!

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    Adam Fox, Betty in Boca, Nancy Cartwright, South African VO

    Transcript of Vox Talk #39

    Matt Williams: Episode 39
    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 guys, I’m Stephanie and welcome to VOX Talk! Today, we’re joined by Betty in Boca, Amy Taylor and Adam Fox. As they say in the biz, on with the show!
    Matt Williams: The Loop, informing you of news and current voiceover events.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: In audio book news, Washingtonian.com reports that Broadway actor and Harry Potter narrator Jim Dale took time to share his experiences at the Borders bookstore in Bethesda, gaining a whole new audience by giving voice to Harry, Hermione, Severus Snape, Voldemort and more. The 17-disc audio set of the final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is selling almost as quickly as the book.
    Not only was Dale one of the first people to know the fate of Harry and his friends, he was also one of the first to come up with voices for J.K. Rowling’s characters. He even earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for providing the most voices in an audio book thanks to his work on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, in which there were 134 characters.
    To learn more about Jim Dale, Google Jim Dale and Harry Potter or visit Jim’s website jim-dale.com
    In voice over news, it appears that South African advertisers prefer women to be seen and not heard. AllAfrica.com reports that recent studies covering 1650 radio, television, print and billboard advertisements in South Africa, Mauritius, Zambia and Zimbabwe, aimed to establish how women and men are represented and portrayed in advertising, monitored over a period of two weeks last December. Men’s voices dominated in voiceovers, a finding in line with global research. At 24%, South Africa and Zimbabwe had the lowest proportion of female voiceovers in the entire study.
    To learn more about this study and read the full article, go to allafrica.com or visit the VOX Talk show notes.
    In closing, an interview with Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, has been published on OrlandoSentinel.com. One little known fact shared in the interview was that as a child, Nancy Cartwright made her hero the famous voice actor Daws Butler, the voice of Yogi Bear among others, her pen pal!
    To read the interview, go to orlandosentinel.com and search for Nancy Cartwright in their Entertainment section.
    
Matt Williams: The Biz, helping you grow your voiceover business.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Today in The Biz, Betty in Boca is joined by Amy Taylor as they present us with another comical slice of life, this time about voiceover jargon and the Average Joe.
    Betty in Boca: Hi. This is Betty in Boca. Has this ever happened to you? You go to get the mail but you hurry back in because you don’t want another discussion with your neighbor about what you do for a living. No matter how many times you’ve explained to her what you do, she still doesn’t seem to get it.
    Amy Taylor: Yo-ho Betty! Come here, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about your little problem.
    Betty in Boca: What?
    Amy Taylor: All right, I’m just going to come out and say it. You have to get a job. All right, there I said it.
    Betty in Boca: I have a job. I’m an independent contractor.
    Amy Taylor: You know what, Betty, everybody wants that perfect job with the big fancy title but let me give you a clue. You’re not too good for Big Burger. You could get a job there, you know.
    Betty in Boca: It doesn’t make sense for me to work at Big Burger. I have to work there a month to earn what I just got for cutting a few spawns with no editing and just a few pick-ups.
    Amy Taylor: Pick-ups? That’s disgusting. What kind of work is that? And how can you possibly expect to earn steady income doing that at your age?
    Betty in Boca: But I’m actually doing pretty well. I get privates all the time.
    Amy Taylor: This is shocking. You need to get off the phone and get a decent job.
    Betty in Boca: I’m not on the phone. I’m in my bedroom closet.
    Amy Taylor: All right, that does it. I’m calling the police.
    It’s bad enough that we all have friends, relatives, and neighbors who don’t understand what we do for a living. But if you use any of our slang around them, you’re done. So tell me your story. E-mail me at bettyinboca@earthlink.net and thanks to Amy Taylor for supplying the voice of my neighbor. I got to go.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Thank you Betty and Amy. To let Betty know about any experiences you’ve had with people outside of voice acting, send her an email to bettyinboca@earthlink.net
    Matt Williams: Tech Talk, walking you through the technological landscape.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: This week in Tech Talk, Adam Fox shares some great tips for how to pick appropriate music beds to accompany your voiceover recordings.
    Bob Oakman: One name strikes the hearts of post-production talent everywhere with fear. In my intrepidation, I cannot say the name. But his initials are Adam Fox! There, I said it. I’ll deal with the consequences, you just enjoy the show. Here’s Adam Fox with this week’s Voices.com podcast!
    Adam Fox: Well howdy folks! And welcome to another edition of the cast. Great interview last week with Bob. I just wanted to thank him again for taking the time and I know he’s extremely busy but on to today’s topic.
    We’ve talked a lot about how to put a spot together and today, I want to focus on one of those things that we just kind of brushed over when we first took the topic on and then as music production, specifically choosing the right music for the right spot. Now, how you do something like that? Well, it seems like it might be pretty common sense, right? Well, let’s just discuss a couple areas of that. Let’s break it down into two pieces. The first piece is appropriateness. You want to make sure you’re choosing an appropriate piece of music for the project that you’re working on.
    For instance, if you’re doing a spot that’s more emotionally involved and has a rich texture to it, you want to choose something that’s going to be more appropriate and we’ll go along with that. You certainly don’t want to have a, you know, Jamaican party cruise playing in the background when you’re talking about, you know, a loss of a loved one or you know, planning for the future and things like that. You don’t want to have something that’s going to be completely disingenuous. It’s all about honesty here.
    And the second part we want to talk about is, once you have your appropriate piece of music, you want to make sure that it’s actually something that’s going to fit and yeah, it might sound the same as appropriate but not really. You want to find something that’s going to fit the mood both in an appropriate manner and also in a manner that will help the job itself flow better.
    We’ve all heard the spots. Somebody, you know, puts together some cheesy organ music and throws it in the background and they’re talking about a financial business or something that could be, you know, very important that somebody wants to really hear and pay attention to. And all of a sudden they hear this cheesy soundtrack in the background and makes them think, “Oh gosh!” you know that’s a real too bit outlet. Why would I want to take my important decisions to this particular company if they can’t even put a commercial together the right way and make it sound as if it was done by a professional?
    A lot of things to consider, aren’t there? So, let’s talk about appropriateness for a minute here. How do you go about finding an appropriate piece of music? Well you know, believe it or not, every single one of you out there has that within you. We all have those things. It’s – they’re tied to our memories. We know just instinctively as human beings that when you’re on the beach, there’s a certain type of music that plays. And of course we have a variety of different musical taste and certainly that’s not something to be discouraged. I mean, it’s all about that diversity.
    However, you know, there are even within your own musical tastes, there are appropriate things and inappropriate things like you wouldn’t be on the beach and hearing – not to be somber but you wouldn’t hear a death march when you were sitting on the beach. Most people to a common public and certainly there’s always room on the fringes but most people are going to hear beach music. Maybe they took a trip to Jamaica and that’s what they’re hearing, my early reference to the Jamaican beach party or maybe they hear the Beach Boys. Maybe sometime when they were growing up, it was all about the Beach Boys and that’s what they heard and that’s what they remember as being tied to that memory. It’s all about memory, right?
    Well believe it or not, that’s what the advertisers are going for too. Advertisers when they put their pieces of work together are hoping to tie in to that most basic instinct that will trigger us to impulsify or to impulse, decide about something. That’s what advertising is. The basis of it is all about getting you to either buy or use their product or service. So the quicker that they can focus in on that and the quicker that they can get you to make that decision, the better it is for them. And when you do something like that, they’re also hoping that the percentages are going to be up there a little more too for the returns.
    Now, let’s talk about the appropriateness as it relates to helping the job flow more. We have our appropriate piece of music. We – let’s just take our beach scene and we have our beach scene and we have that music that is going to touch the hearts and minds of those that target audience that we’re trying to get. Now, let’s think about how we’re going to put that into the spot. Are we going to perhaps try to contact the artist and license that actual piece of music? Boy, that sure the quickest way to get somebody’s attention, isn’t it? Or are we going to try to find somebody that maybe can play something that’s very similar to that or put something together that’s similar to that and won’t necessarily get tied up in copyright infringement and those kinds of legal issues.
    Boy, I tell you. You can do that either very right or very wrong. There are people that can really get that flavor out of the piece of music that they’re submitting to you and that you’re using in the ad without copyright infringement and all those other legal tie-ups that can be done. Plus, a lot of advertisers, goodness! You know, they don’t have the money that a Pepsi Cola or a Coca Cola has or any of the major companies that are licensing things like automobile licensing the leads up on songs. A lot of advertisers don’t have that kind of cash to put in for something like that. So they go with the next best thing. Well, you know, how do you choose something like that?
    Well, if you’re not the one who’s actually doing the production itself, you know, this is a topic that’s very near and dear to my heart being a musician and having spent so much time as a musician on the road and in studios and you know, also of being a producer of not only audios segments in commercials but you know, music. That’s how I started my time in the producer’s chair was producing albums. So take some time, think these two things through whenever you get any type of project that’s going to involve any kind of music. Think about appropriateness and then break that down into appropriate for the spot as far as the type of music goes, and appropriate as far as your level of professionalism with that music and making sure that it’s going to represent the customer as best as possible.
    And that’s the most important thing because you know, they’re putting their name on this thing. They’re paying you to put the spot together and the best thing you can do is represent them as professionally and as high dollar as possible for the most money that they’re investing into it. It’s all about being able to be productive and turning that around, giving them the bank for the pot. If you do that, they’ll come back, you know. I find that quite often. They’ll come back because they find that you can come to an understanding with them, you have an understanding of what they’re wanting, you have an understanding with how they work and how they do their business and you can also provide the goods and you got the tools to do it. So that’s the best thing you can possibly try to achieve with these spots when you’re doing musical production to do.
    Well folks, I hope that clears up a couple of things. I just wanted to cover those things. I think it’s an important topic and certainly anybody who’s doing full production as opposed to just voicing things over and dry capacity. You can learn something from that. It’s an important topic and a lot of people take it for granted because they just assume if you’re a producer and if you’re putting these full spots together that you’re going to know what you’re doing. And it’s always good to have some more tools and maybe a fresh perspective on things.
    And I want to thank everybody for your cards and letters. Last week’s interview sure gave me a flood of responses. It’s just everybody just really enjoyed it. It’s really a wonderful thing to be able to get perspective from people like that and understand how long some of us have been in the business and just how long we’ve been doing it, and because we all develop our own little different technical tricks and our methodologies for doing things. We’ve all got presets in our software of how we like our mic chain or how we like to loop things or you know, I just found that everywhere I go and I don’t see any signs of that slowing down or stopping.
    So if you’re interested and you’re working and you’d like to do an interview like that, just shoot me an e-mail. You can drop me one here at the Voices.com website at adamfox.voices.com or at my website at defiantdigital.com. Don’t be afraid, don’t be shy. We can do this thing all over the e-mail and I’ll go ahead and put all the pieces together and we’ll get you some exposure out there and I just love chatting with different people. I think it’s a wonderful thing to do and to share with the community. So thanks again for listening folks. Keep those cards, letters, and everything else coming this way. Thanks to Stephanie and the entire cast at Voices.com. They’re really doing a great thing and whether spreading out in the other podcast and the whole (shabang-a-bang) so, we’ll just see thing growing and I’m just glad to be a part of it and thanks for letting me into your homes. Till next time. Bye for now.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Thank you, Adam. As always, you can hit Adam up with your feedback and podmail at Adam@DefiantDigital.com.
    Matt Williams: VoxBox, sharing your audio feedback.
    In the VOX Box today, I’d like to remind everyone that there is going to be a special episode of VOX Talk arriving between episode 39 (that’s this episode) and episode 40. This Friday July 27th, we’ll be airing the 60 Second Pitch awards show via the VOX Talk podcast feed. Stay subscribed to find out who the winners are and to keep receiving VOX Talk!
    Don’t forget to tune in to the 60 Second Pitch awards show this Friday. If you want to go listen to the finalists, you can do so right now by going to Voices.com/60secondpitch/finalists.html. Now, don’t worry about it. That’ll be in the show notes for this episode. At any rate, if you haven’t yet subscribed, go to podcast.voices.com/voxtalk or track us down in the Apple iTunes Podcast Directory by searching for VOX Talk or my name, Stephanie Ciccarelli. Bye for now!

    Links from today’s show:

    Jim Dale Website
    Nancy Cartwright Interview on OrlandoSentinel.com
    Betty in Boca
    Amy Taylor
    Adam Fox

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