When I first started out as a voice over artist, something that really struck a chord with me was how a voice can convey messages and emotions. More specifically, how a voice can do it in any given time frame. Be it a 5 minute narration piece, a 30 second radio spot or a single word.
A voice gives context.
Look at this word: Hello!
Totally innocent. Just a friendly greeting. Unless... it's a zombie standing behind you, slobbering in your ear as it's about to eat your neck.
Yes, I understand historically zombie's can't talk but I liked the picture.
Anyway, this leads me on to a project I really rather enjoyed this week. The original brief was for 7 seconds of voice (later changed to accommodate a call to action at the end).
Some people have a pre-conception that voice overs for commercials should be PIN ME AGAINST THE WALL WITH YOUR WORDS in terms of volume and intensity. But you can do it without that too!
I love to do short reads. Not because it means I can have my lunch sooner (although I do like making time for several lunches), but because it feels more of a challenge to grab the listener and pull their strings.
I best mention that I also did a radio ad this week that was very much "fit all these words in 30 seconds, be big, be bold". I wasn't dissing the pinned against the wall style up there ^^^ by the way - they're extremely fun to let loose on!
A job I found quite interesting was a narration for a restaurant, explaining how it will use paperless menus and ordering systems when they're allowed to open back up. You can look at these things quite negatively, simply because of the situation we find ourselves in - everywhere is shut and losing money; things are going to be so different and I DON'T LIKE CHANGE; and...umm..etc. You get the point.
Or... you can try to find a new viewpoint. Paperless menus means saving paper. Saving paper means saving trees. Saving trees means saving the environment. Saving the environment means SAVING THE WORLD!
It remains to be seen how many things we're now getting used to, remain once we start to see a level of normality, whenever that may be. Will people continue to work from home now they've proved it's completely viable? Will people continue to walk every day instead of going out for a drive?
I certainly hope we learn from this and make lasting changes for the future.