Saturday, 14 May 2011

Nollywood Talent Goes Beyond Just Movies-It Involves Voiceover Talent

Every morning, Wasiu Aromashodun and business partner Emanuel Afolabi arrive at their recording studios in Nigeria's sprawling economic capital, Lagos, south-west Nigeria, where they spend hours listening to English dialogues on international films and translating them into the local Yoruba language.

With the help of a technician, who also doubles up as voice-over artist, they record the translations using an ageing computer and a video camera microphone.

At the end of the day, a dialogue track in Yoruba is recorded, on a disc, to produce a master DVD copy. Aromashodun says that the he sells the masters to pirating syndicates on the outskirts of Lagos for about $200 [N30, 000].

The team translates about three films every month.

Aromashodun, who heads the production unit, said that after he sells the master copy of his Yoruba movie to the recording merchants, he does not have any control over the numbers of copies produced for the market.

In Nigeria, film and music piracy is a multi-million dollar business by powerful syndicates which have made it almost impossible for any creative work to maintain a copyright.

Aromashodun said that as long as he is able to make a bit of money with this business, he does not concern himself with what the buyers does with his master copies.

He added that he saves on the production costs by hiring his friends to be the voice-over artists. Most of them are unemployed and eager to take any work he can offer them.

"My cast is not hard for me to get, because I have some colleagues in my area, and I explain to them what to do and they will bear with me and we do it together," said Aromashodun.

Afolabi, Aromashodun's business partner says he enjoys the work.

"Normally we don't make a lot of money, but thank God the little we get from it we can manage ourselves with," said Afolabi.

Afolabi says that unemployment pushed them into the business, and that he saw nothing wrong with it since much of the creative work on the Nigerian market is pirated.

The most popular films on the market include several action movies starring Jackie Chan and Jet Lee. Other favourites include Rambo, starring Sylvester Stallone and many more. They are easier to translate, said Afolabi, because they are action based.

Aromashodun said they often spice up translations by adding familiar names of locations and people in Yoruba speaking areas of Nigeria in the films.

Gbolahan Swaries is an ardent fan of the Yoruba translated movie releases
; he always buys a copy.

"The translation is making the film to be interesting, one can easily understand most of those actions, unlike when they speak in English," said Swaries.

A DVD copy of the translated films costs less than $1 [N150] but free viewing is also available at outlets where the films are sold.

Article is courtesy

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Voice Over’s Are Extremely Important to International Business Success

Hiring the right voice over is a positive way to create an attention to a business which will always attracts new prospects immediately
In the early years, before effective sound recording and mixing, announcements were produced "live" and at-once in a studio with the entire cast, crew and, usually, an orchestra. Or a corporate sponsor would hire a producer, who hired writers and voice actors to perform comedy or drama. 
However, at present businesses will often use a distinctive voice to help them with brand messaging, often retaining talent to a long term exclusive contract. Companies know that if it wasn’t for voice talent, there would be a lot of silence in places most people are used to hearing something. But sometimes it can be rather surprising to consider the amount of voice talent that is actually out there making our world what it is.

In today’s fast-paced world of internet communication it can be easy to forget about the former success of “old-fashioned” advertising. Today, marketing is driven by e-mail, websites, and blogs; such as, podcasts, vlogging, and multimedia on the web. This means your business needs a marketing strategy that includes voice over, creative photography, and video production.

Before television and the internet, the world tuned into the radio to get their daily news and commercials. The talent of Voice Over’s was in high demand back then since many companies turned to radio to promote and advertise their products. By the time T.V. arrived, people were already used to ‘hearing’ a lot of advertisements; the T.V. took this to the next level with much more sound and images.

The industry has expanded very rapidly with the advent of television in the 1950s and the age of highly produced serial radio shows ended. The ability to record high-quality sound on magnetic tape also created opportunities, as has the proliferation of home computers capable of recording, often using inexpensive (even free) software and a microphone of reasonable quality.
The same effect that the radio had on the masses in the 50’s is returning full swing with internet advertising, video commercials, and podcasts. Voice over actors and actresses now play an important role in delivering your company’s marketing message, slogan, and can even promote your brand.
Although most business may be aware that voice over talent are the ones who make commercials go, they may not be aware just how many times in the course of their day that they hear something done by professional voice talent.

Voice over’s can be used for short commercials, presenting products on a web site, podcasting, or just creating a radio advertisement. If you business is  considering shooting a television commercial, get a voice over talent to manage the narration so that it is appealing and the products or services you offer will get the massive impact you need.

Do’s & Don’ts In Voice Over Techniques do these things

When you do a basic internet search for training techniques for voice over talent you will find a slew of recommendations to deepen your voice, raise your voice, sustain your voice, or change the character of your voice altogether. If you are new to voice acting, it's natural to follow the advice of the voiceover sages who have made it big in the industry.
Voiceover techniques that are safe shouldn't make you feel uncomfortable or strain your physical abilities.

While the pros have great pearls of wisdom to bestow on us all, don't forsake your common sense to enhance your voice and your career! Not all advice out there is worth following, and many pieces of advice can actually hurt you.
·         Drink whiskey and smoke. Duh, right? Maybe not. DJs used to be [and probably still are in many places] advised to drink and smoke on the job to give their voices resonance. The effects of smoking and drinking help them gain resonance, but they lose their range of pitch at the same time. What most people don't know is that this process happens naturally as you get older. Meaning, the person who drinks and smokes frequently loses the "young sound" so that they get the "old sound" when they're young, and when they are older they have no sound.
·         Drink a shot of alcohol to calm your nerves. During the hours before you record, you shouldn't be drinking anything other than water for your vocal cords' sake. If you are actually doing a live recording session with the client, it's definitely a bad idea to drink before you meet them. Even if that one drink let's you relax enough to get a couple good takes, it looks (and smells) unprofessional. You might get through the recording session without a hiccup, but the client will likely call another voice over talent for future gigs. Forget about the mouthwash -- instead, invest in yoga classes or a stress ball.
·         Vocal cord surgery. This one baffles me. There must have been successful operations in the past, otherwise no one would even think about it ... The bottom line is vocal cord surgery is likely to be expensive, and there is no guarantee what your voice will sound like post-op. If you are unhappy with the quality of your voice and want to work in a different niche, consider taking voice over training classes to enhance your technique. Especially because more and more clients are opting for voice actors with good natural speaking voices to market their products, there's simply no reason to mess with what you were born with.
·         "Test" your range to the breaking point. Finding your vocal cords' breaking point will just break your voice! If you aren't able to comfortably work in a low or high range that means you probably shouldn't be doing it. Stressing your vocal cords won't round out your voice, but it will change the sound of your voice. And you probably won't be happy with the result.

The Voice Over Talent industry isn't always as glamorous as it sounds the work is harder than it looks. It's undoubtedly not for everyone, no matter of how good ones natural speaking voice is!

Voice acting, like other professions in the entertainment industry, often requires long hours for not a lot of money or recognition.
There's no quick fix in this industry, and there's no substitute for hard work.

. Are you willing to work more than a 9am - 5pm job? If not, you might have a hard time as a full time voice actor! Some of the most talented and successful voice actors I know are up before dawn and can often be found recording work for clients well into the night. Sure, there are breaks throughout the day, but you should expect periods of feast and famine.

Have you been passionate about voice acting for a long time? Even before you knew what a voice actor was, did you pay attention to how a good orator speaks? Did you tend to analyze how something should be read aloud, even if it's an excerpt from a book, the back of a cereal box, or a newspaper article? I like the wisdom, "The key to life is finding something you love doing, and then finding a way to get paid for it." Essentially, if you weren't paid to do it, would you still want to do it?

Do you require a lot of face-to-face interaction throughout the day? The life of a voice talent can be a lonely one at times! We joke that voice actors are most comfortable in a padded cell, but there is truth behind that. Unlike working in an office setting, you are often only interfacing with clients via phone or email. A funny student of ours once told me, "I don't mind it at all -- I've got all my character voices to keep me company!"

If you can't take a risk. Voice acting takes training, just like "regular" acting! Investing in voice over training is a prudent decision if you are pursuing a professional career as a voice actor. If you aren't willing or able to take both the financial and career risk, then consider a backup plan. The market for voice over jobs is ever growing, so don't let me discourage you. Just remember to treat voice acting with as much respect as any new career -- it takes time to build it up!

Courtesy of

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Whats the Big Deal with Voice Over Talent?


Voices are powerful when you begin to think of it reasonably.   A person who understands just how to use their voice can control another person just by using it properly. This is an astonishing concept the first time you contemplate it, but when you think about some of the most famous voices in the world, you will understand what a true statement that is.
Voice Overs have power. Enunciating is simply speaking clearly, pronouncing the words so that they can be understood, making each word distinct and not running things together.
That’s harder than it sounds, because most people don’t enunciate. We don’t notice it on a day-to-day basis because we’re used to it. We know what all the jumbled-up sounds are, and when we aren’t sure, we can use facial cues or body language.
It’s more difficult to do than it looks, and it is especially difficult to do quickly, which you may be faced with if you have a lot to say in a very limited amount of air time. An audience listening to a commercial can’t ask what you said if you aren’t speaking clearly.  For instance a Continuity Announcer is a link in between radio and television programmes.
The success of your commercial, movie or project must have the correct voice behind it. Even though voice over talent artists often take a backseat in our minds to the way a person looks, without the correct voice, looks mean nothing zero. The voice becomes the most important thing in the world.Everyone may be aware that voice over artists are the ones who make commercials go, they may not be aware just how many times in the course of their day that they hear something done by professional voice talent.
 If it wasn’t for voice talent, there would be a lot of silence in places most people are used to hearing something. But sometimes it can be rather surprising to consider the absolute necessity of voice over artists that make our world what it is. If you have planned an entire project without once considering what a voice-over artist can do for you-STOP right now and reconsider
The fact  that the voice actor has to remember his lines and deal with timing issues, and make it all sound natural while doing it, and you’ve got an incredibly complex skill at work here. Speaking is one thing, but speaking for profit should be left to the professionals.