Voice Over- making CDs etc

  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    I reckon the voice over thread is getting to huge- here's my query:

    I'm wanting to get a large number of CDs printed with my name etc on that I can still burn the appropriate tracks onto. I also need inlay cards for the CD cases- it needs to look as professional as possible.

    What do other v/o do?

    If you've read Bernard Shaw's books, or indeed spoken to him, you know he firmly beleives in presenting the CD as a product, so I have specific artwork and a feel to give it. I don't really want to print stuff at home, as I think it may look a little ropey, so what doesn't everyone else do for their CDs?

    Sally

    • 27th Jan 2006
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  • User Deleted

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    I agree it needs to look good. With my showreel, i printed at home and brought software. My printer is very good quality and you would not be able to tell it was done on a home printer. Having said that if you do a quick google search you will find companies that will reproduce dvd/cds and will also label and do inlays. Depands how many you are doing as to the price!!

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 1
  • Alastair Whatley

    Actor

    Hi Sally,

    I went and had my v/o tape produced by Bernard- in his little boys den in the bottom of the garden in December! I found it a really useful day, and was really pleased with the stuff produced, although I am having trouble uploading it as it is in a strange format- is it my computer or are you having the same dificulties?

    With regard to the presentation, you really can do it at home, I spent a few weeks over xmas designing the necessary inserts and even though I have the cheapest colour printer out there it manages to pull of really professional standard prints- so if you have even a half decent printer it should be no problem

    You will need to get hold of some glossy 'Jewel case' inserts they cost about £16 from Viking direct- and you can get 100 white mail lite pouches there as well for under £10 i think-

    For the CD's themselves you can get in any Ryman/ PCWORLD/ Whsmith a small pack at about £13 again that makes it really easy-

    or you can get all this stuff from this link www.viking-direct.co.uk/(joerm2evsj1uyzy1ycm3mc55)/vkgSearch.aspx?brmd=consumer&PR=*&No=10&N=6+593

    It does take quite a bit of effort, but once it is set up it is really simple to produce- and saves a huge amount from getting the professionals in-

    Anyway hope this helps, let me know of anything else your having trouble with and i'll see if I can help-

    I would also be interested to hear how you found working with Bernard.

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 2
  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    Thanks for all that!

    Actually I haven't worked with him- I attended one of his (immensely useful) courses at the actors centre.

    At the moment I use pressit labels and theya ren't really cutting it for presentation standards. Hence really wanting printing onto the CD itself...

    Same goes for my printer- I'm thinking I'll pop down to my local copy shop and see what they can do.

    Regarding the file format- what is it? It may not be the file format, but the size of the file. You can get free software called GOLDWAVE (google it) which is sound editing software. You can use it to change the file format and the rate of recording(this reduces the file size) by using the Save As function...

    Hope that helps...

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 3
  • User Deleted

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    I love Bernard - and his assistant Chris!! I also had voice over cd done with him at the end of last year. Unfortunately I have been working every day since so as yet haven't had chance to do the inlays etc. Bernard sends you away with a list of places to buy stationary from (viking etc) and this looks as though it should be easy to produce and still look pro if you have the right inlays. As to the uploading it, sorry not sure I can help as mine did it really easily (and I'm not a whizz at comps!!!)

    My tuppenies worth...... Li xx

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 4
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    Hey - Just reading your thread I wanted to be sneaky and ask everyone who has recently had a demo produced by bernard if it is worth the cost. I can't really afford it but want to get it done so I can try and get any work in any areas possible.

    When it comes to voiceovers I really am a novice so any advice would be appreciated. Is work easier to come by for example?! Right now I just need anything to help my finances and also give me some more credits.

    Again...any advice

    Thanks x

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 5
  • Alastair Whatley

    Actor

    Hi Oli,

    It cost me £300 to get my demo with Bernard done-

    To be honest I've been quite busy since then so have not been quite as industrious in making the calls and sending out the demo. And thus as yet haven't got any work directly from it, but then I only recorded it in mid December.

    However I went away after the day full of confidence, like he says on the info sheet he sends you when you apply, he will teach you most of the basics throughout the day with him.

    If you cannot afford the sessions, and i dont think the £300 as a swift investment opportunity, no instant job offers etc, then maybe read his book- google his name and look at his web site, or attend one of his free workshops at the actors centre.

    However if you can free uo £300 I would definately recommend him, he is very knowledgable and approachable and works you very hard, we did 7 hours without a break. So i think i got my money's worth.

    If in any doubts give him a call-you will probably speak to his lovely assistant Christine and she will advise you much better than I could.

    Hope this is of some help

    Al

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 6
  • Alastair Whatley

    Actor

    - sorry forgot to answer your bit about work being easy to come by-

    I think as with any acting work the simple answer is no, however it is an expanding industry what with v/o for CD roms, documentaries and of course computer games.

    As with anything if you spend the time in presenting yourself well, record a really good demo and get a little lucky then there is lots of work out there, I have friends who make all their money from some lucrative v/o advertising campaigns- but Bernard told me that the Equity rate for a 15 second advert is something like £15- so if you get local advertising work at the local radio for example you wont be expecting to make a fortune.

    As for radio drama- the BBC produce 90% in house and use their radio drama company for most of that, the remaining 10% is produced by independant companies which you can approach more readily.

    So to answer your question, and i'm really only passing on what Bernard told me here, there is a fair amount of work out there, but getting that work is far from easy.

    One final thing- do any CCP members use Voicefinder.biz? I'd be keen to know what you make of it- is it as good as they make out????

    cheers

    al

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 7
  • User Deleted

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    Al - Thanks for your help there! I'm def going to get the demo done. I'm just going to wait a month or so until my finances are in a slightly better condition. Still suffering from christmas over-spenditure syndrome! lol

    Thanks again for your help. Really useful info there.

    Ollie

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 8
  • Helen Belbin

    Actor

    Oliver, you were asking for advice getting V/O work-you may find it useful to look at a previous thread called voice over work in the career development section. It's pretty extensive!

    Good luck.

    H

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 9
  • Helena Martin

    Actor

    You'll find all the companies that print to disk will want a large run to make it cost effective.

    A good idea is to invest in a home printer that prints straight onto the DVD/CD. You can get them in all the recognisable brands and are all generally under £100.

    xxx

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 10
  • Pierre Maubouché

    Actor

    I have a little story to share with you guys. One day I was in the office of a well known agent who is also a very good mate of mine. He was going through his post of the day and there was few CDs, as usual.

    At this stage of the story you've got to know that they all have a cardboard box, a big drawer, or something to store the CDs they receive AND decide to not bin straight away, to listen to them 'one day' when they have the time'. You've got to remember to established agents don't really need new clients - they'd rather find work for their existing ones. So you've got to have a voice they don't already have in their book, be very good at selling yourself or prove them that they can make money with you, by bringing them a regular gig you found yourlself, or proof that you already worked and are in demand (hard without an agent I know, but not impossible).

    going back to my mate, opening the few CD envelops and getting the CDs out, with the CVs. And for each, he looked at me and said "what do you think? Bin or cardboard box?" I think he kept one, for which the artist took the effort of having a jacket designed (I mean well designed and not designed by someone who thought he could design - graphic design is a skill!), a CD with a sticker printed nicely (that was before printable CDs existed, few years back), and funnily enough the demo was professional too.

    A CD is what sells you, and if you don't make the effort to use it as a marketing tool and make it look professional but like a crap, botched job then why the person receiving will assume that what's inside is as unprofessional as what's outside - and most often it's true. After all, if you can't be bothered making even your demo good inside out, then my guess is you won't be bothered giving your best in studio. Not having a dig at anyone, just telling it how it is and what to expect!

    Oliver I started a thread on voiceovers, hope this helps!

    uk.castingcallpro.com/viewtopic.php?topicnum=10040&chain=90

    Alastair what Bernard said was true about Equity, thing is, thankfuly nobody (beside small local radio stations) follows Equity guidance re. fees in voiceovers, beside ADR and BBC work. Truth is, you need to be based in London because most of the VO work that pays real money is done here - or you need a home studio and try to get a share of this fast-expanding market of internet recording (gigging small jobs, small money but they add up fast). There is an enormous amount of work, not easy to get but then again not easy to get work as an actor either, and this doesn't stop us from trying right?

    As for voicefinder.biz, I also do producing and when I need VOs this is where I go for castings as it's efficient and fast as duck to find suitable talent. As I said already I'm on it as a VO artist (www.voicefinder.biz/voice/pierre-maubouche) and I also advertise on it, because it works for me. Having said that, I don't only rely on it for people to call me - I have agents, I'm proactive, I have my link to my page at the bottom of each of my emails, I network, I distribute business cards, in short I self-promote.

    On the other hand, I have actor mates who never did a VO demo and virtually live of ADR (£220/half day) except when they're shooting or on stage of course - but they've been around the blocks few times and got to know the ADR voice providers. But again, they are based in London.

    Good luck to all!

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 11
  • Pierre Maubouché

    Actor

    No spell check, or even sense check... Bad, bad Pierre!

    So,

    "(...) then why the person receiving will assume that what's inside is as unprofessional as what's outside (...)"

    should have read

    "(...) then the person receiving it will assume that what's inside is as unprofessional as what's outside (...)"

    Hope it makes more sense now... Anyway I have an excuse, it's that I'm French, and I stick to it. The excuse. And also to the fact I'm French. Because I am. There.

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 12
  • Rachel Ogilvy

    Actor

    Hi everyone!

    This is my first post - am finding the website very useful indeed - I was updating me voice reel, however, although I bought labels and inserts recently, I had a lot of difficulty actually printing what I wanted, WHERE I wanted it! Very fiddly. Any tips on printing, programmes available or such like? All help gratefully recieved!

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 13
  • Helena Martin

    Actor

    I use Sure Thing CD Labeller:

    www.surething.uk.com

    They have plenty of templates for all the well known brands of labels that you find in the shops. They allow you to print everything from CD labels to DVD insets and booklets.

    I'd highly recommend it.

    xxx

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 14
  • Alastair Whatley

    Actor

    Hi Rachel-

    Are you using any software like Design Pro by Avery or NEATO labelling software?

    If you are then this should be as straight forward as clicking on the correct format and printing it out.

    Where it gets more difficult if you do it all manually and have to input custom label sizes in Microsoft word or some other similiar programme.

    To make life easy it is best to use the manufacturer so for example- AVERY lables with Design pro Avery design- or in my opinion even better- The Neato software with Neato/Fellowes labels.

    It can be really fiddly, as you are experiencing, but as I said it can be done by inputting all the label measurements into custom label tab on M.S word.

    You can download software online but it will cost you- check out www.fellowes.com for further details-

    anyone else know any better designing software??

    hope this helps Rachel- good luck!

    Al

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 15
  • Rachel Ogilvy

    Actor

    Thank you so much for your advice and for taking the time. Cheers!

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 16
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hi,

    I went to see Bernard in November - was probably the most informative day i've spent in a long time!

    As with everyone else - i've not had time to send out CD's to companies yet so i'm not exactly sure what the return will be.

    Bernard is well worth your money - i'm recommending him to my agency as we speak!

    As for the CD labels etc - i'm useless at graphic design so i have got www.wordsandpictures.co.uk to do mine for me - they have a lot of experience in voice over demo's which helped and everyone was really helpful and quick off the mark - i'm waiting my final design now!

    One more thing - if you have a digital copy of your CD inserts etc - then you shouldn't be made to do a big print run of hundreds as it's easy to set up. Words and pictures also do print runs for you if you have the digital copy.

    Hope that helps.

    Lora

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 17