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Documentary Narration

 
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mcm
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Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 2600
Location: w. MA, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 4:07 pm    Post subject: Documentary Narration Reply with quote

I just finished a job narrating a historical documentary. It’s a beautiful film, the director did a great job. What I’m wondering is, is it customary in such projects for the VO talent to rehearse? Somehow a film seems different from a textbook, and definitely different from a corporate video, and it seems nuts to rehearse with the director for those, outside of the recording session itself where you would try a number of different ways to read a line. The recording session for this project was an hour and a half, but the day before the session we met for 3 hours to go through the script and rehearse. It was helpful, because we watched the film and I saw where all the narration would go. It also ended up being a script edit session, with me helping with the edit. There’s a fixed budget and it’s a non-profit client, so I get what I get. I’m not complaining because I was really happy to be a part of this project and it will be a great addition to my narration demo (which I don’t yet have). But I would like to do some thinking about what to charge for such things in the future when I have the opportunity to suggest a fee.



Others have mentioned charging $50-$55 for studio time to edit a recording. Does it make sense to charge the same for script editing? And if you are doing both voicing, as in rehearsing, and editing, would you average the hourly rate for voicing and for editing? For example my hourly rate for non-profit is $125, so if I charged $50/hr to edit the script, would I charge $87.50/hour to do a combination? Or would I charge $175/hour to do both? Help!



Also, it’s likely that I’ll be called back to re-do some of it if the director decides she wants a different sound. I probably won’t get anything else for that. Normally would I charge extra for that? I mean, I can clearly see charging more if the director changes the script and needs new lines recorded. But what if she just decides she doesn’t like what I did?



Any insights would be greatly appreciated. This side of the business is one of the hardest part for me.
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audio'connell
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Joined: 02 Feb 2005
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Location: in a dark studio with a single bulb light...day after day after....

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Documentary Narration Reply with quote

You're about to get answers from everyone here in direct proportion to the number of answers offered...this simply means there is no exact formula.



* What I’m wondering is, is it customary in such projects for the VO talent to rehearse?

That's up to the professionalism and temperment of the producer/director. That said, it makes better sense for all involved to rehearse together. At the evry least, you should try and rehearse in your office or at home before the session



* But I would like to do some thinking about what to charge for such things in the future when I have the opportunity to suggest a fee.

If its major editing, you should advise the client that you will charge as you have specific talents in that area. Not all of us have your editing skills.





*Does it make sense to charge the same for script editing?

Yes



And if you are doing both voicing, as in rehearsing, and editing, would you average the hourly rate for voicing and for editing? For example my hourly rate for non-profit is $125, so if I charged $50/hr to edit the script, would I charge $87.50/hour to do a combination? Or would I charge $175/hour to do both?

After you include the quadratic equation, multiplied 3.14 times the square root of 81 the answer is....figure out what the client will pay and what you can get away with. Theory...right versus wrong...good versus evil none of that matters...you'll never be paid what you're worth in this biz...so make an educated guess. You'll get better at it as you progress







Also, it’s likely that I’ll be called back to re-do some of it if the director decides she wants a different sound. I probably won’t get anything else for that. Normally would I charge extra for that?

Not normally, no. Expect one re-do session for most big projects. If its a total copy change you should be paid...note "should



I mean, I can clearly see charging more if the director changes the script and needs new lines recorded. But what if she just decides she doesn’t like what I did?

If she was at the session, she should have told you. Try and get more money.



Hope that helps.
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audioconnell Voice Over Talent
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 8:55 pm    Post subject: narration! Reply with quote

Hi MCM,



You did not say how long the finished project was or where it would be aired.





For my part, rehearsel has never been a part of the gig but long sessions have been because we have recorded to picture. An hour long Discovery program can take a day to do, in studio, to picture with director and writer behind the glass.



For short form narrations I charge by the finished minute. I have never liked the hourly way of billing.



For the longer form, half hour or more, it is a negotiable factor based on a buy out schedule..unless it's union and that a whole 'nuther story.



THem's my tho'ts.
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