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Promo, Documentary Narration Markets

 
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NYCVO21



Joined: 27 Aug 2020
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:14 am    Post subject: Promo, Documentary Narration Markets Reply with quote

What is the current (and future) demand for work in these markets?

I have an idea- but how well do they pay (NU)?

Considering my demo budget for this year...
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Bob Bergen
Lucky 700


Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 798

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Such a vague question. It's like asking what does managing a restaurant pay? Depends on the restaurant, the location, and the experience you are bringing with you.

To give you some perspective, when I got into the business there were 3 networks. Each network had one promo voice. Some networks shared the same guy. It was hard to impossible to break in.

Today, networks hire different voices for different genres and shows. There are more networks and more programming today than every before in the history of broadcasting. Covid aside, there is more work than ever before, and more women are doing promos than every before.

No one can answer what it pays as it is all different. Because of on demand, we don't have as many tags as we used to.

Most contracted promo gigs are booked and negotiated by agents. And there are only a handful with reputable promo departments.

Because of the sheer number of platforms and content, promo is alive and well and will be for the foreseeable future. But don't pick promo to make money. Pick promo because you love it, you are up to speed on the various networks and platforms, and you are a brilliant promo announcer. And promo, like everything else, is uber conversational.
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NYCVO21



Joined: 27 Aug 2020
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do like promo, and I have been told I "should do it" and have a talent by someone whose opinion I respect and who's considered an authority in this area, but am just considering the cost of investment. (If I had unlimited capital I'd study and make demos in whatever I felt like without much dithering.) I am of course trying to figure out how plentiful and/or well-paid these types of jobs are compared to other genres because I am trying to build my business in the early stages -I'm about 2+ years in - and also branch out. For example, I'm pretty sure I don't want to do animation, audiobooks or video games. I've enjoyed the promos I've had the chance to read (in auditions/workshops/coaching), and I love watching documentary film and TV. With all that clarified, it's an honor indeed for a reply from THE Bob Bergen (no snark here).
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todd ellis
A Zillion


Joined: 02 Jan 2007
Posts: 9838
Location: little egypt

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah - that bob bergen will do that ... he's aces.
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Bob Bergen
Lucky 700


Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 798

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NYCVO21 wrote:
I do like promo, and I have been told I "should do it" and have a talent by someone whose opinion I respect and who's considered an authority in this area, but am just considering the cost of investment. (If I had unlimited capital I'd study and make demos in whatever I felt like without much dithering.) I am of course trying to figure out how plentiful and/or well-paid these types of jobs are compared to other genres because I am trying to build my business in the early stages -I'm about 2+ years in - and also branch out. For example, I'm pretty sure I don't want to do animation, audiobooks or video games. I've enjoyed the promos I've had the chance to read (in auditions/workshops/coaching), and I love watching documentary film and TV. With all that clarified, it's an honor indeed for a reply from THE Bob Bergen (no snark here).


Appreciate the nice note. You should pursue what you love, and never with the end goal to make a buck. This is the antithesis of the e-generation of vo, but I'm telling you that those of us who have been fortunate to make a nice living never went into this for the money nor do we continue to do it for the money. If you love what you do, and you are brilliant at it, your odds of making money are better.

Promo is a very specific animal. It comes with its own training, demos, marketing, and agents. I am willing to bet those who told you you "should" do it were not promo producers, agents, or network execs. It's the old "people tell me what a great voice I have" syndrome. Perhaps it was a coach who wanted you to study with them???

As an animation coach for over 30 years I have never told anyone they "should" do animation. Even if asked if I think they have what it takes to do animation, I have no response. I cannot answer that. And if someone is right for it, they wouldn't ask. They wouldn't care. It's not about anyone else's opinion. You know in your heart if you are right for the arts. And if you are, it isn't a matter of should, it's a matter of must! You must do it! You just know.

I don't do audio books, e-learning, performance capture. Just no desire to, and there's no amount of money that will sway me. And I've been offered some pretty good paydays. But every genres I do I am passionate about. If you are passionate about promo, go for it.
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 10473

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes a speculative call to the right person will work.

In May 2004 I read in one of the trades that a new Europe wide TV station was going to be launched, target market Horror fans. I contacted the Boss pointed him to my demos and outlined my experience. This resulted in an invitation to a London studio for a paid test session in July 2004. Just checked my records and my last session was in February 2015. Nearly 11 years constant work.

FULL DISCLOSURE
Could someone new to promo work get the same results? Possibly, but I should point out that at the time of making that speculative call I was bringing 12 years TV promo experience to the table.

Remember, above all else, they either like you or they don't.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qCNHJolNas
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Dan-O
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 1595

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every genre technique you learn will come into play at some point in another genre. They reference each other as cultural experiences and/or to help move the story along.

For example:

In narration you will eventually have to read as an historical figure.

"In a world" is a pop culture reference that can be used in commercials and promo.

Animated characters may become narrators.

E-Learning narration may contain character acting.

The point I'm trying to make is study it all and push yourself into uncomfortable learning situations. Every storytelling technique learned will only strengthen your performance in any genre. You're an actor. Learn how to take on as many roles as you can.
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