To Direct or Not to Direct Your VO Talent

The age old talent question at the time of recording.

When it comes to my work, I love to record in my home studio. The studio is my playground where I can bring all words to life. Sometimes a client will request to direct me, but I usually fly solo.

One of the biggest red flags I see is when a client will ask me “Should I direct you?”

In my head I nervously think, “Probably not, if you need to ask.” Of course this is not what I say. Instead I think about how the recording session will go if the client is indecisive during the direction.

I can tell you this does affect the flow of the voice over. Not always pretty my friends.

In no way am I saying that directing a voice over session is bad or that I don’t know how to take direction. I am just saying that there is a right and a wrong way on how to direct talent.

This got me thinking about how to figure out when a client should direct talent versus having the talent wing it on their own. To help navigate your next voice session here are a few tips.

You have a tight budget?
If you are limited on cash for your project it may be best to direct your talent through Skype, Source Connect or on the phone. Typically talent includes a round of edits with their rate, however if there are changes, they will start to incur more payments. Get the product you need at the onset by directing talent.

Talent is a newbie.
When the talent has less than five years of experience they will probably need some form of direction. In this case I believe it is best to either direct talent or at least have a conversation about what you are expecting from the talent. A conversation at the very least will give the talent an idea of what you need.

There is a clear vision.
In some cases you will know exactly what is needed in the voice over that is the perfect time to direct it. This knowledge will allow you to have the confidence in directing and probably make the talent feel confident reassured. Just make sure you know what you are asking for.

Unclear on how to direct.
Do not waste your time, talents time and money when trying to direct with doubt. All you will do is confuse your talent and waste your budget. We all know directing can be hard work. To help all the talent people check out this post. Would love to hear from you! Feel free to give me a shout out about your voice over directing tips. I am just a tweet away.

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