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New Demo Question

 
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dmgood
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:00 am    Post subject: New Demo Question Reply with quote

I understand that the majority of vo work is in the area of narration. I want to be able to do vo full time. I assume the pay to be lower, but that there is a better chance to consistently obtain work. So, I want my demo to target narration clients. However, I do not want to rule out commercial work and would consider that 'icing on the cake', I guess.

I want to have my demo professionally produced, which means $$$. Rather than having to produce two demos (commercial and narration), is it appropriate to market a 'voiceover' demo that has both together? What if the copy was borderline commercial/narration? (i.e., is the audio snippet about the apprehension of having a surgical procedure performed -- a commercial for a hospital surgical center? or part of an instructional video?)

What do you think??
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Jim Barton
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 6:06 am    Post subject: Re: New Demo Question Reply with quote

dmgood wrote:
I understand that the majority of vo work is in the area of narration. I want to be able to do vo full time. I assume the pay to be lower, but that there is a better chance to consistently obtain work. So, I want my demo to target narration clients. However, I do not want to rule out commercial work and would consider that 'icing on the cake', I guess.

I want to have my demo professionally produced, which means $$$. Rather than having to produce two demos (commercial and narration), is it appropriate to market a 'voiceover' demo that has both together? What if the copy was borderline commercial/narration? (i.e., is the audio snippet about the apprehension of having a surgical procedure performed -- a commercial for a hospital surgical center? or part of an instructional video?)

What do you think??


It's my opinion that, at the very least, voiceover talent should market two demos: commercial and narration. The producers you are targeting want to hear voice samples that are appropriate to the kind of production they are working on. It's your job to make it as simple as possible for them to evaluate your voice.

Eventually you will be subdividing your offerings into additional demos: Commercial, Car Commercial, Character Commercial, etc. And Narration, Audiobooks, etc.

To answer your question "What if the copy was borderline commercial/narration?" I feel that would accomplish nothing other than a very grey, fuzzy demo, unsuitable for either commercial or narration.

Jim
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Deirdre
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Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 12933
Location: East Jesus, Maine

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that the folks casting for narration absolutely DO NOT WANT to hear commercial demos.

You will do yourself a favor by biting the bullet and making 2 entirely separate demos.
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brianforrester
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Joined: 30 Jul 2005
Posts: 492
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would add the following to what Jim and DB said.

Don't be in a rush to get 2 demos out to market! If it's narration that you want to focus on, why not cut a narration demo for now, practice, practice, practice, take some classes and then when you hopefully get a few gigs and some practice on mic under your belt, you'll have some money to afford a commercial demo.

Dropping $800 - $1000 (or there abouts) on 2 demos at the very beginning of your career could be a big investment with little short-term return. It takes a long time to get yourself established in v/o, so waiting a year or so before you cut your second demo, really isn't going to make or break you (in my opinion).

Also, the demos that you cut tomorrow, will in all likelihood not be the demos that you'll want to be shopping around in a year because you'll have developed significantly as a performer and they will seem quite unpolished and non-representative of your improved abilities.

Good luck with things.

Cheers,
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mcm
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Joined: 10 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience has been a little different. My VO coach routinely advises his students to start with a commercial demo and use it for everything. This is partly to save money and partly so that they get some experience under their belts before recording longer pieces, since a narration demo by someone new to VO might end up not showing them to their best advantage.

That's what I did. One of the spots on my demo is on the serious side so it stands in for a narration. Exactly one year after recording that demo I still use it and still have only a commercial demo. When I send it out to potential clients I tell them it's a commercial reel and that it is by nature short and peppy and that I would be glad to record a longer piece for them in my studio if they wish. I don't know what proportion of my work is narration but it's pretty high. Eventually I will record a narration demo. If I were going after audio books I would make that happen sooner, since I would not want to offer a commercial demo to book publishers. Producers doing corporate and other "shorter" narrations, including documentaries, at least the ones who have hired me, have not balked at the commercial demo (the ones who haven't hired me may have done!). Getting a character demo done is a much higher priority for me than a narration one right now.

Summary: one can get narration work with a commercial demo. Not sure about the other way 'round.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:48 pm    Post subject: starter set Reply with quote

most of the demos i create are for people just starting out, and they're doing a lot just coming up with money enough for one (and man, am i under-charging based on what i saw in the earlier post!).

mainly for that reason, unless the talent specifically plans to market him/herself as a narration talent, i create a general commercial demo which also includes one or two narration samples and a couple of characters (if applicable) and have the talent label it as "commercial vo/narration/character".

then, as others have mentioned, more targeted demos can be created after some work and experience have come in.
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imaginator
The Thirteenth Floor


Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 1347
Location: raleigh, nc

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:50 pm    Post subject: p.s. Reply with quote

ooops. that was me. 'thought i was logged on. rg
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