Jason Birmingham – Voice Overs to the world, from Brazil

Jason Bermingham is a journalist and voiceover talent from California, USA, who currently records from a professional studio in São Paulo, Brazil, with his wife and fellow voice artist Simone Kliass.

In this episode, we talk all things voice over with Jason and discuss how he manages to keep so busy considering he’s an English speaking American based in Brazil.



To find out more about Jason check out his website, https://www.jasonbermingham.com/home-english

Don’t forget to like our facebook page and if you have a question of your own you’d like us to answer, post it there and we will answer it as best we can.

You’ll also find us on the web at theproaudiosuite.com

The Pro Audio Suite Podcast copyright George Whittam, Andrew Peters, Robert Marshall & Darren Robertson.
Products or companies we discuss are not paid endorsements. They are not sponsored by, nor do we have any professional or affiliate relationship of any kind with any of the companies or products highlighted in the show…. sadly! It’s just stuff we like, think is cool and may be of interest to you our listeners.
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Andrew Peters voiceover talent based
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now let’s get on with the show
00:48
welcome to another pro audio suite we
00:51
have a special guest who specializes in
00:53
advertising and audio production he
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writes for several publications
00:57
including sound on sound magazine and is
01:00
a consultant and speaker at vo Atlanta
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he’s also a voice talent from his own
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studio which he shares with his wife
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who’s also a voice talent which
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obviously means the baked beans are
01:10
always a menu option originally from
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California he net now lives in San Paulo
01:15
in Brazil good evening Jason Birmingham
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thank you it’s a pleasure to be here
01:19
great to have you now you obviously get
01:23
out and consult and write lots of bits
01:25
and pieces that we mentioned so and I
01:27
also was interested in talking to you
01:29
because Paul strick further took me
01:32
towards you because we were talking
01:34
about the way things are changing and
01:36
the way we should probably be working
01:38
more and more from our home studios but
01:42
then it all depends on whereabouts you
01:43
live in the world whether you need to
01:45
have a home studio so we’ll cover that
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off shortly but I just wanted to find
01:49
out from you how you’ll move south
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affected the way you do business I came
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down here about 20 years ago and I was
01:56
living in San Paolo and working for
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Country Music Television which was
02:00
coming down to Brazil at that time and
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they were building studios in San Paulo
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to actually do some of their shows
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locally and my wife was an on-screen
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talent and we met and she you know she
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did some voiceover on the side and as we
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started dating and got married
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eventually she always told me there’s a
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big market for voice-over talent who
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speak English in Brazil which really
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took me by surprise because I couldn’t
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understand why there would be a big
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market for English speakers in a country
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that speaks Portuguese and using our
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know-how from building the studios at
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CMT we ended up building a really
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professional home studio and this was in
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probably 2010 and the work just I mean
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immediately took off and by 2012 I was
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working full-time just doing voiceovers
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in English and just for sound Paolo well
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so most of you work would obviously be
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remote sessions because it sounds like
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you’re pretty well encamped in your home
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studio yeah you know initially we live
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in a
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neighborhood here in San Paulo where
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there’s probably like 12 or 15
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production houses within walking
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distance so initially I would always
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work at those production houses we would
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record with them because the directors
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like us to be there and direct but I’ve
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seen a trend in the last two or three
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years that even the production houses
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that are right around the corner they
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want us to send our work out from our
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home studio because it’s just faster if
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there’s a pickup they need right away at
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11:00 you know 11:00 p.m. because
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they’re working around the world now we
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can get out of bed and record it and
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send it to them and the quality will be
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just the same it fits right into what
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they have already you know I actually
03:37
miss getting out of the home studio and
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recording more with the studios that are
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here in town this is a common theme
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working at home sorry and that was a
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common theme as far as you know like
03:50
losing that social interaction it’s it’s
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definitely a thing that you know you
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hear again and again that’s pretty
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amazing you guys are all that close
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together and it’s clearly in some sort
04:00
of a studio zone and yet they’re still
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prefer I think it’s still not fast
04:05
enough
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they still want that convenience of the
04:08
immediate turnaround of a home studio
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it’s pretty exactly it were kind of in a
04:13
high part of town and so it was an area
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where there’s lots of antennas which
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means there was lots of TV stations like
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MTV was right around the corner from
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where we live and so the production
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houses the audio production houses were
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serving these television stations and
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they they stayed in business but today
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is just you know they to compete the
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turnaround times I don’t know how it is
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in other countries you know for you guys
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but for us it’s it’s just almost
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immediate whoever can deliver the
04:41
fastest gets the job and so they always
04:44
call their go-to people first but if
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there’s a problem and you it’s gonna
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take you 35 minutes to record that what
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they need right then then often they’ll
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call somebody else that houses a home
04:53
studio and can get it to them in 10
04:55
minutes and it’s you know it just
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becomes like a so competitive for time
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that it’s it’s not even a question of if
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you have a home studios how good is your
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home studio and how fast can you get
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stuff out but they I think the promo
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business is fairly similar
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here in the states it’s also like very
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on demand like now now like so now that
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like the likes of like beau Weaver I
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mean 15 years ago before we had really
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good mobile devices he was carrying a
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zoom recorder recording to a zoom
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recorder in his car
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taking the micro card out sticking it in
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his Blackberry and emailing an mp3 to
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his blackberry client from the side of
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the road you know so that right he could
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get to our house in Ojai and now in a
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half away it was the only way he could
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drive there and not be caught with his
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pants down really you know Cipriano
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doing source connects from the like the
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back of a car just pull over right so
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it’s definitely the same in demand is
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that I mean are you’re doing just Brazil
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and in English or as are there other
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markets that you’ve got other you know
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like they act differently or they’re not
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quite as you know immediate what’s going
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on here in Brazil in são Paulo for
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example is what kind of work would you
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guys imagine I would be doing in English
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TV stuff I guess TV prime eyes TV and
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some radio yeah I would think audiobooks
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perhaps well no but is it is it for the
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Brazilian market so why isn’t it on
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Portuguese and and and I would imagine
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that there’s a lot of you know English
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becomes the common denominator of for a
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lot of countries and so you know even in
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Europe you go around and it’s like oh
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this should all be finished or something
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and there’s signs everywhere in English
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so maybe I assume a lot of media goes
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out in English even though it’s
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predominantly a Portuguese speaking
06:45
country well I’ll give you a hint
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there’s there’s you know there’s
06:49
institutional videos phone stuff you
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know people that need you know they want
06:53
to get there they’re out you know their
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market they want to get into the
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english-speaking market they’re from
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Brazil but that’s like 20% of my work
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I’d say 80% of my work is probably two
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things and it’s two things you wouldn’t
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even think of right away it’s in English
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it’s for advertising agencies and it’s
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stuff I record like four or five a day
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Christ
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these ISM and it pays about the same as
07:22
the corporate video in the states and
07:24
they usually demo demo work I don’t know
07:28
animatics animatics that’s one yeah
07:31
animatics the the animatic market is
07:34
gigantic down here because it’s a it’s
07:37
an industry where you have the big
07:39
players like Budweiser for example I
07:41
record for all the time and they have to
07:43
they have to develop the ideas in Brazil
07:45
it’s going to be for the Brazilian
07:46
market but the headquarters are in the
07:48
USA so they do all of their advertising
07:50
in English just to get approved at the
07:52
headquarters and it never goes to air
07:54
but they pay me as if it we’re gonna you
07:57
know as if it were an internal or
07:59
corporate video and it pays well but it
08:02
never goes to air and it’s all the time
08:04
because there’s changes and then they
08:05
have a new idea and then that you know
08:06
indeed it’s constant work yeah I I’ve
08:09
done a lot of animatic work and
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sometimes actually it’s more work they
08:14
noodle that stuff until it’s dead and
08:17
then I’ve seen it where they finish the
08:19
animatic and then they shoot that
08:21
animatic frame for frame to the point
08:25
where I did a spot where I did all the
08:26
sound design and you I just took my
08:29
audio from the animatic and pasted it
08:31
into the finished shot live video and it
08:35
pretty much just worked so can you guys
08:36
explain for all the layman so there’s
08:39
gonna be a lot of them out there not
08:40
knowing what an animatic is can you
08:41
explain what an animatic is yeah will
08:45
you would you explain its it’s basically
08:50
a demo commercial yeah said I take it to
08:53
the client to show them this is what
08:54
we’re gonna think call it thinking of
08:55
and it’s usually something what it used
08:57
to be years ago it used to be drawings
08:59
so it would be a drawing of the same but
09:02
they have all those different names for
09:03
it so a drawing is a board O Matic and
09:05
then you have like you have Bordeaux
09:07
Maddox animatics which are like sort of
09:09
like there’s some companies out there
09:11
that have a really creepy animation
09:13
where they don’t have to like you know
09:14
like they draw a few frames and it
09:15
somehow makes it look like this person’s
09:17
walking but it looks really robotic so
09:19
Bordeaux Maddox animatics Ripa Maddox
09:21
where they just go find footage and use
09:23
it however they want they’ve got the
09:27
yeah it’s like o matic
09:29
anything you want yeah
09:31
sometimes I do a lot of is in Brazil I
09:32
don’t know what it’s translates to but
09:34
it’s called an aromatic here which is
09:36
basically you just tell people what the
09:38
yes yeah they go on set to the car the
09:40
guy looks at the lady she’s attractive
09:42
he opens the door and I just walk them
09:44
through the commercial but it’s not that
09:45
simple
09:46
because these days I don’t know about
09:48
you Robert but my experience with those
09:49
things is they then go to the audio
09:51
engineer also we need like heaps of
09:54
sound effects in there and can you find
09:55
some music and can you all that becomes
09:58
a massive production yeah and it’s kind
10:00
of weird work in a way because like
10:02
sometimes they’re like give us sound
10:05
design for this thing but it’s a very
10:07
static picture and there’s not much
10:08
going on so you’re it’s like it’s like
10:10
the gray area between radio and actual
10:13
full you know full up production and so
10:15
you’re like theater of the mind with the
10:18
sound design and they definitely like
10:21
they make all kinds of changes you’re
10:23
always like oh my god how do we need to
10:25
show this now it’s like very last minute
10:27
it’s kind of weird it’s an almost more
10:30
work than doing a full spot I was gonna
10:31
say it’s pizza sometimes I recognize
10:33
they spend more money on the animatic
10:35
than they do on actually shooting the
10:37
thing it’s weird but more money on
10:40
shooting it because the shoots are crazy
10:41
expensive putting it together yes you
10:43
spent obviously I’ve seen them to spend
10:45
more money on the animatics for a
10:48
campaign because they’ll develop 10 and
10:52
only one of them will go to production
10:53
and and so but all that money spent on
10:57
animatics in audio i’ve seen it where
10:59
it’s as much or more than the finishing
11:02
of the audio for the one spot that
11:03
finally gets picked
11:04
which is why robert’s draught driving a
11:06
Bentley today the giveaway is always
11:08
like the V you know that the top of the
11:10
script neither keen underwear it has V
11:12
whatever number yeah a man and the funny
11:15
thing is that there is this whole thing
11:16
where one person narrates it usually
11:18
actually it’s the copywriter or someone
11:20
in the agency will just come in and be
11:21
like we’re gonna see a board of three
11:24
people hanging out just an average day
11:26
and blah blah blah and the solution that
11:29
everything is XYZ product like and they
11:31
describe the whole plot and what they’re
11:34
intending the viewer to take in from
11:37
this and then they go something like
11:39
this and then they play the video and
11:41
that’s the animatic
11:42
and they have you know they go through
11:44
the whole thing like casting every
11:46
different character for and a lot of the
11:49
times it’s you know they’re Union
11:50
signatures so that’s all Union work a
11:52
lot of the times yeah and what’s great
11:54
about this market is is that you for me
11:57
for example I I always say this to my
11:59
wife and and it
12:00
she says I’m being humble but I think
12:02
it’s true I don’t think I would be
12:03
working in voiceover if I lived in the
12:05
United States because I just I couldn’t
12:07
compete and what makes me competitive
12:10
here in Brazil isn’t that like if I were
12:12
gonna do a promo voice or you know
12:14
audiobooks or whatever I’d be the best
12:16
at it but I can do the different aspects
12:18
of an animatic well enough where that I
12:21
can probably do one by myself so I can
12:23
do the the narrator and then I can go in
12:26
and do a couple character voices and
12:27
then I can imitate what you know like a
12:29
tag would sound like and it sounds
12:31
different enough where they know it’s
12:33
the same voice over but it sounds
12:34
different enough where they kind of get
12:35
an idea of what the full commercial will
12:37
sound like and they just have to pay one
12:39
town and so it’s kind of being a
12:41
jack-of-all-trades here helps me compete
12:44
were in the United States I would have
12:46
to really focus on one thing and be
12:48
really good at it to to make a living I
12:50
imagine I don’t know and probably Phil’s
12:52
Union even though you like that you’d
12:54
get a separate payment for every
12:56
character you did so it would probably
12:59
not save them money there it is
13:01
interesting because a lot of animatic
13:03
work the workflow is like you you’re
13:07
working on it during the day you submit
13:10
all your audio changes at least this is
13:11
from my perspective his audio and a lot
13:14
of the graphics work is all done like in
13:15
Singapore in Israel and it’s all sort of
13:19
like 24-hour turn time and so then the
13:22
next day but they like to they often
13:24
very much like to do the audio locally
13:26
whereas the picture changes are farmed
13:28
out to what have you market where you
13:31
know like they’re you know basically
13:33
able to either establish a 24-hour turn
13:35
time or they’re you know like they’re
13:38
working with a more affordable you know
13:41
set up essentially as far as editors and
13:45
graphics people I think also it comes
13:48
down to especially in Australia it comes
13:49
down to legals so a lot of the ads and
13:51
copy that comes in if it’s an
13:52
international campaign
13:54
I have to send it off to CAD to get
13:56
approval and half the time the stuff
13:58
doesn’t get approved so then it becomes
14:00
you know a rewrite rewrite rewrite until
14:02
they get approval on the script exactly
14:04
or in the case of an animatic they’re
14:06
just changing their mind internally
14:08
before they even present stuff and I
14:10
love it I love it when the agency are
14:12
getting all these changes and then you
14:14
find out that all those changes aren’t
14:15
even from the client and and you’re like
14:17
that’s all gonna get taken away when
14:20
they present this so now the quiz go
14:25
ahead
14:25
no I was gonna change the subject
14:28
slightly and just move on to the fact
14:30
that you’re working from your studio and
14:32
they’ve certainly varied studios home
14:36
studios
14:36
what sort of set up if you got we have
14:39
well what we do is I love microphones so
14:42
I ended up you know I have a collection
14:43
but what I always try to do is match the
14:46
microphones I know the studio is here
14:48
and some Holly use the most and so it’s
14:50
an 87 you know a tail I’m 103 you know
14:55
we I even have the I’m trying to think
14:58
well I usually use the the t LM 103 the
15:00
most but we a lot of the studios what I
15:03
do is I ask them if they have an AKG or
15:06
what mic are they using and I try to use
15:08
the mic that matches them the most I
15:11
don’t have any two mics though I do have
15:14
an Avalon does sometimes I plug in and
15:16
use but and I have one microphone or a
15:18
preamp and Avalon preamp yeah okay yeah
15:22
so I can I can run it through that if I
15:24
need that kind of tube sound this is the
15:27
41 6a that’s a popular okay yeah any
15:31
ribbons no no not at all but it’s you
15:35
know for us it’s the it’s just it’s the
15:38
question of sounding you know that I
15:41
think for when you when you talk about
15:42
home studios everyone you know
15:44
immediately thinks about the equipment
15:46
that you use but for us the hardest part
15:49
was the acoustics you know getting we
15:51
live in an apartment I’m in a different
15:53
room and I’m not in the studio right now
15:54
so you’re hearing some of the background
15:55
noise coming out the window because I
15:57
like I said it’s really hot cited by a
15:58
window but yeah it was you know we were
16:01
renting so you you you move into a place
16:04
where you your
16:06
setup is there and so you’ve got to work
16:08
with what you’ve got you can’t really
16:09
change the dimensions of the room so you
16:12
got to find the best room in the house
16:13
you’ve got to set it up in a way that in
16:15
Brazil for example we don’t have a lot
16:17
of access to you know we can get online
16:20
and order a great acoustic setup for
16:23
that size room so you kind of improvise
16:24
you read a lot and you get a sound that
16:27
that ends up working for you but the
16:30
that was the hard part for us is to get
16:32
the the acoustics down get the outside
16:34
noise down and from there you know
16:37
whatever good mic you have it was the
16:40
people were happy with what we were
16:41
sending out now what I’ve thought about
16:43
that but all the booth companies are
16:45
really international so you know here
16:48
make a fortune do a booth company in
16:50
Brazil because it’s everyone wants a
16:52
booth and there’s just nothing here
16:53
there’s nothing yeah cuz it’s all
16:54
whisper room vocal booth comm you know
16:57
studio bricks but all that stuff is like
16:59
mega shipping so there it’s got even
17:02
crazier for the shipping yeah yeah and
17:05
in theory you could build a booth you
17:07
know cuz you can get the designs but
17:09
it’s just nobody does it and so you end
17:13
up using whatever space you have in
17:15
trying to make them you know the most of
17:16
them yeah so how did you treat your room
17:18
we ended up going with kind of a
17:20
one-third one-third one-third approach
17:22
with the reflection the diffusion and
17:25
the absorption so we ended up leaving
17:28
some of the like the wall part of the
17:30
walls and covered wheezed a lot of
17:31
shelves on one side to get a little bit
17:33
more diffusion we actually put in some
17:35
diffusers as well we’ve got cloud you
17:39
know the the diffuse in diffusion clouds
17:41
hanging did you make um or did you buy
17:44
those no we could actually there was a
17:46
few people that have the audio
17:48
production studios that we worked at and
17:50
what I would do is I would just kind of
17:52
keep my eyes open for when studios were
17:54
refurbishing and I would say that stuff
17:57
you guys aren’t using anymore can I get
17:58
my hands on that that’s how I got my
17:59
diffusers and and it’s you know they
18:02
they work really well and it works great
18:04
and another trick we’ve learned with the
18:06
home studio is that we you know the
18:09
studio itself looks pretty good but we
18:10
put in a webcam or you know a high
18:12
resolution webcam and we we got one
18:15
corner of the studio that’s got like
18:18
a reflexion filter and we put the enoy
18:20
Minh u87 and we got the nice headphones
18:23
and it looks really really professional
18:25
we put up some studio lighting and then
18:28
when we go with live direction you turn
18:30
that webcam on and to the person looking
18:33
at it from the other side it’s like
18:34
you’re in a professional studio and so
18:37
whatever your webcam sees need to needs
18:39
to look really good because when you’re
18:41
working abroad especially
18:41
internationally it’s all about trust and
18:44
and people want to feel like they’re
18:46
getting they can trust you to deliver a
18:48
good you know product and they you send
18:51
them samples but when they see that
18:52
you’re in a professional studio
18:54
everything looks really you know the
18:56
you’ve got a great mic you’ve got
18:57
everything set up it just kind of puts
18:59
your clients at ease a little more so
19:01
I’ve got the product then may I imagine
19:04
you’ve got like a big wall and you need
19:06
to treat it acoustically so you buy some
19:09
sort of like sixteen by nine panel or
19:12
whatever looks like a nice huge studio
19:14
window and it’s your acoustic you know
19:18
your your 703 or your you know whatever
19:20
you’re using
19:21
but printed on it is the picture of a
19:23
studio window with people on the other
19:25
side
19:29
nice
19:30
I don’t mate it up you just made it off
19:32
now like like to do it right you could
19:35
only take a picture of your studio from
19:36
the same angle that the picture that you
19:39
printed on to your whatever your fake
19:42
window was taken at right it’s funny
19:45
actually at the universal audios NAMM
19:48
booth like one year you got to get a
19:51
photograph instead of in front of a
19:52
vintage broadcast console and then they
19:55
had a couple people in costume like
19:56
Vince like Mad Men style yeah you know
20:00
fifties professional clothing and then
20:04
they would pose with you and then
20:05
through the quote-unquote glass they had
20:07
a video of a control to go like a live
20:11
room with people milling around and so I
20:14
better do it with a projection so it’s
20:16
like stuff going on no idea that I mean
20:22
cuz you you could have a piece of fabric
20:24
printed you know in Brazil you got
20:27
anywhere like you know with with your
20:29
image and then you could just put you
20:31
know it could be a it could be a cross
20:34
patch or could be numerous different
20:37
products behind it you know diffusion
20:41
absorption whatever you want but then
20:42
that screen covers all of it and that
20:45
that’s fun I like that idea
20:47
I’m stealing that you guys talk around
20:50
about the you know the importance of
20:53
what people see but in order you know in
20:55
this in this culture we have right now
20:57
of social media and Instagram and
20:59
everything I’ve noticed that here in
21:01
Brazil Elysee we send a lot more images
21:04
out than I think if we were working in
21:06
the United States and for example one of
21:09
the first things I tell new talent to do
21:11
if they want to work internationally is
21:13
get professional headshots and photos
21:15
because voiceover yeah because people
21:18
usually say oh you got a website don’t
21:20
put your photo up because you don’t want
21:22
people to see what you look like and
21:23
does that mean you do with your voice
21:24
but here it’s different because they
21:25
want to see what they want to know who
21:27
they’re talking to it’s almost like
21:29
showing your ID it’s like okay so this
21:31
is a real guy he lives he’s an American
21:33
he lives in Brazil he does voiceover and
21:36
so you know one of my outside of Brazil
21:38
my biggest client is Italy and so
21:40
whenever I work with Italy I you know
21:42
they get on my side to see what I look
21:44
like and and it just gives them a sense
21:47
of who I am and and that they can that
21:50
I’m a real person and I think that’s
21:52
important you know to show what you look
21:55
like what your studio looks like it
21:57
lends credibility to what you’re doing
21:58
and it makes the clients internationally
22:00
feel more at ease about hiring you
22:02
that’s really good to know like I you
22:05
know I read I usually say that here in
22:06
the States
22:07
you know nobody cares you know they just
22:09
want to hear your voice get the work
22:11
done and move on but yeah with a cross
22:14
cross-cultural international you know
22:17
thing where they’re never ever gonna get
22:18
to meet you in real life probably and
22:20
whatever you can do to build credibility
22:23
or trusts on your studio end is helpful
22:26
and I and I didn’t even realize that in
22:29
that world video is a big deal because
22:31
remember we were talking is Paul strike
22:33
Huerta
22:34
and he was saying I don’t want a camera
22:35
in my boobs I don’t want anybody see me
22:37
it’s voiceover it’s theater than mind I
22:38
don’t want to deal with that but in
22:40
other cultures maybe that’s a big deal
22:42
yeah yeah especially to the younger
22:45
these younger agency you know these guys
22:48
that are coming in they they love it
22:49
they love to get on their their cell
22:51
phone and Skype you and get in and
22:53
direct you were live right at that
22:54
second and they see what you’re doing
22:56
they see what mic you use in it it just
22:57
makes them feel like they’re involved in
22:59
the process and and and they know who
23:00
they’re dealing with yeah I don’t have a
23:03
camera at all in here yeah I have
23:05
cameras in our booths and it’s like in
23:08
fact it’s gone the other way for us
23:10
where we’ve had sessions where someone
23:13
comes into the room late and we’re doing
23:16
a voice record and the person’s like
23:18
whatever they’re a writer and they start
23:19
giving their direction of the person and
23:21
at the end of the session the voice-over
23:23
person goes out of the booth and walks
23:25
into the control room and the person who
23:27
came late to the session was like oh
23:28
you’re here because they didn’t even
23:31
like like like we have a window we don’t
23:33
have the best sight line but still it’s
23:35
like they didn’t even think that the
23:36
person is there they’re not looking
23:37
there and it’s just sort of it’s all
23:40
very headless voice-over stuff it’s
23:43
interesting that how things are
23:44
different geographically and that that’s
23:46
what I was curious about with the way we
23:49
conduct our business and how it’s
23:50
different in different countries like
23:53
you’re saying Robert that you know the
23:55
client didn’t even realize the talent
23:56
was in the booth and didn’t really care
23:58
that much right Jason’s telling us that
24:01
he needs a camera because they they want
24:02
to see him working and and and then
24:05
there’s the travel aspect as well two
24:07
people jumping cars jump on trains or
24:10
whatever so in each country is quite
24:11
different the way we go about our
24:13
business do you talk about that much
24:15
Jason yeah absolutely you know for
24:19
Brazil results a gigantic voice silver
24:21
market and it’s just not an obvious
24:23
market but often all I’ll recommend for
24:27
example I do all of the work in in
24:28
English male voice but often people ask
24:31
do you have a female voice you can
24:32
recommend so I will recommend people I
24:35
know in the States and that I trust and
24:36
I find that even when it’s a question of
24:39
when when the client wants to talk
24:41
directly to the talent and they speak
24:43
English really well a lot of it isn’t
24:45
the language but the culture it’s like
24:47
wood
24:48
but if they say we want an emotional
24:49
read what does that mean to a Brazilian
24:52
what does that mean to an American
24:54
talent all we wanted to sound really
24:55
natural if you make it sound really
24:57
natural to an American the Brazilian guy
25:01
will say well there’s no emotion it’s
25:03
like it’s you’re just reading it but
25:05
they want to they want it to sound
25:07
really emotional and and and and because
25:09
the Portuguese is it’s you know it’s
25:11
filled with these rising intonation and
25:14
falling intonation and everything’s
25:15
really powerful and so their natural
25:17
read sounds like this and then an
25:19
American does it like I’m talking right
25:21
now and it’s just like oh they’re just
25:22
reading and so a lot of the you know the
25:25
way that people will what they want to
25:28
hear when they hire you it what kind of
25:30
demos you’re gonna send them when when
25:32
they ask for a certain genre if if you
25:36
show them a picture how do you approach
25:38
communication we talk about all of that
25:40
because it’s different in Brazil than if
25:42
we were working in Germany if we were
25:44
working in Australia or you know
25:46
whatever country in Asia for example you
25:48
know the markets are all different the
25:50
payments are all different and I’ve just
25:52
focused a lot on Latin America but you
25:54
know I’m always interested in talking to
25:55
people that are working abroad to see
25:58
their take on it well what’s interesting
26:00
to me is like I do a lot of you know
26:03
Hispanic reads or Hispanic versions of
26:06
whatever commercial were working on and
26:08
usually the the instructions or the
26:11
direction for the for the you know the
26:14
domestic the English version is um like
26:18
just no big deal not announcer like
26:20
nothing like that at all and then when
26:22
when we do the Hispanic market version
26:25
it’s usually like way more over-the-top
26:27
and way more animated for whatever
26:29
product it is or like just across the
26:31
board its amped up in comparison and I
26:34
guess you know the thing I was going to
26:36
say is like you know how much of it is
26:37
like you know approaching the the news
26:40
lady for North Korea one day you know
26:43
what I mean like just the amount of
26:44
extra motion when it’s like really so
26:48
it’s an overstated emotion in certain
26:49
cultures it’s it’s more and more you
26:52
sort of turn the knob to the to you know
26:55
full blast and yeah it’s like a
26:57
caricature of it
26:58
yeah in some cultures and that’s what
27:00
wins you the addition because if you
27:02
know that about that culture that their
27:04
natural read is going to be a little
27:05
more amped up and you send them that
27:08
amped up natural read it’ll just stand
27:10
out on on what they’re receiving and
27:12
you’ll probably get the job do you ever
27:14
feel like it’s sort of um you know a lot
27:18
of these things that you’re doing in
27:19
English are so that they can be
27:20
presented to the suits up in like I
27:23
guess New York or wherever and and so do
27:26
you ever feel like you’re doing
27:27
something you’re like well when they
27:29
hear this they’re probably not gonna
27:30
like that you’re thinking that in your
27:32
head but maybe like this is the
27:33
direction that’s being put forth
27:35
obviously you have to do that but is
27:37
there any thought that like maybe it
27:39
misses the audience because really this
27:40
is a translation in a sense yeah
27:44
absolutely that’s a great question
27:45
because I think about that all the time
27:47
and what I’ve noticed and this is
27:49
something that brings in a lot of work
27:50
for me is I’ve noticed that I need to
27:52
tailor my read not to the end person
27:55
that in New York that’s listening to
27:56
this but to the agency that’s sending it
27:59
and that means they not just giving them
28:02
the cultural translation of what they
28:04
want you know that the amped-up natural
28:06
read but often it means reading it in a
28:09
way that’s clear and to a guy in New
28:11
York’s gonna sound like I’m over
28:13
pronouncing I’m an you know it’s like
28:15
almost like I’m a didactic English
28:17
teacher reading the text but the agency
28:20
guys here in Brazil can understand it’s
28:21
like well he speaks really well it’s
28:23
really clear I understand it and if I do
28:25
it really natural
28:26
then he doesn’t understand it and it
28:28
feels like it’s not clicking with him so
28:30
I tailor my reads always to the agency
28:32
here in Brazil and that’s they’re the
28:34
ones paying me and they send it and I
28:37
think the guys in New York probably
28:38
think well they probably did it was a
28:40
local guy and and you know he’s not an
28:42
American talent and they know I’m
28:44
American but it’s not like somebody
28:45
that’s a voice-over artist in yeah or
28:47
they might very well know that it’s just
28:48
the direction you were given you know
28:50
exactly exactly it’s it’s this one of
28:52
those interesting cultural things where
28:54
it’s it’s an internal thing it’s not
28:55
really being put out that way it’s being
28:57
put out properly for the you know and
28:59
when they finish it that’s the right
29:00
thing for their culture because they
29:02
obviously they know best I would think
29:04
that the best thing to do is that they
29:05
hire somebody who’s got the
29:07
decision-making authority who is
29:09
involved in the cut and the cult and the
29:11
call
29:12
and they’re not presenting these things
29:13
who knows how many ideas get killed or
29:15
whatever because the guys in New York
29:17
just don’t get it but it totally works
29:18
in you know in Brazil yeah anyways so
29:24
for some reason they trust you more when
29:27
you’re because these are their ideas and
29:29
you know something I’ve worked in Brazil
29:31
for 15 years now with agencies I’ve
29:33
never signed one NDA in Brazil well
29:36
that’s funny a lot of the animatics
29:39
always come with NDA’s because they’re
29:40
like you know they’re working on the
29:42
releases before they come out sometimes
29:44
I’ll get called for these animatics from
29:45
three different agencies that are
29:47
pitching the same idea that are
29:49
competing and so I know all of their
29:51
ideas and they just trust me not to say
29:53
anything but they don’t ask me to sign a
29:54
contract ah like I’m gonna have a guess
29:57
at your other income source and I’m
29:59
thinking it’s gonna be corporate
30:00
narration or industrials yeah that I do
30:03
I do a lot of that but it’s not the it’s
30:05
not the biggest one it’s my it’s not my
30:06
biggest market how about how about
30:09
animation it’s something I just do for
30:11
agencies and all the time
30:13
okay so just just presentation videos so
30:17
like they’re not pitching a particular
30:19
spot but they’re just doing like sizzle
30:21
reels they call them spectra
30:23
yeah I do that I do that some of those
30:26
as well but it’s well not not like a
30:27
scratch track but like an actual like
30:30
like the the cliche joke sizzle reel is
30:32
the the one where I think a stock
30:36
footage company put it out and like a up
30:39
to YouTube it but it’s really funny
30:40
because the voice-over is basically like
30:43
was this a kid we put in here and we
30:46
have lots of numbers to show that we’re
30:48
really powerful like that’s literally
30:49
the but those videos you know where
30:51
they’re they’re showing whatever like
30:53
you know our agency’s handled this many
30:55
accounts and they’re pitching some other
30:56
new client essentially oh yeah for the
30:59
agency itself yeah yeah I we we call
31:03
them sizzle reels usually yeah yeah they
31:06
do have it they do a lot of those in
31:07
English here as well because of you know
31:09
because they want to get the
31:10
international clients and recorded a lot
31:12
for the agencies but it’s still not the
31:14
one that I infer for example the one I’m
31:16
talking about give you one last clue oh
31:17
this that it okay is I recorded my
31:22
deadline for these is like
31:25
Morrow and so like today I had to record
31:27
like five and there’s a deadline for
31:30
this round and in the next round is
31:32
gonna start like about a month each each
31:34
year there’s a deadline for them
31:36
depending on where in the world they’re
31:38
sending these the Olympics well I don’t
31:42
know each year it’s a different each
31:45
year and it’s a different place
31:48
announcements for conventions of people
31:51
taking stage no can I tell you yeah it’s
32:00
for advertising festivals like can
32:03
advertising the International
32:04
Advertising festivals these agencies are
32:06
desperate to win awards and they have to
32:09
they put together these film cases they
32:11
call them they’re two minutes long and
32:12
they send them to all of the advertising
32:14
festivals around the world and every
32:17
time they have a new campaign they want
32:18
it to enter a festival and they have to
32:20
be in English and so they send me all
32:23
the time scripts to do it and it’s just
32:24
like a corporate read it’s like okay
32:26
this you know it’s like this is our idea
32:28
this is what it looked like it reached
32:30
this many people and made this much
32:32
money and we wanted to work and and
32:35
that’s it you know and if you go on for
32:37
example if you go on can Lions calm you
32:40
can see all of the advertising festival
32:42
or the winners from last year because
32:45
this year is gonna be in June and find
32:47
out who won go in and check out which
32:50
agencies around the world won awards and
32:52
send them you find out where you send
32:55
your your real to with these agencies
32:57
and say look I’m an America or I’m an
32:58
english-speaking talent I have a great
33:00
home studio I’d like to help you out
33:03
whenever you need work in English and
33:05
congratulations on that great you know
33:07
winning a bronze lion and I watched the
33:10
case it was really interesting if you
33:11
need work for other cases let me know
33:13
and you charge like a were corporate
33:15
video and you I mean you record hundreds
33:18
of these things here and I just as the
33:20
market I never had heard of and it’s
33:22
just gigantic so it’s one more thing to
33:24
look out for if you’re if you’re you
33:27
know looking internationally
33:28
how’d you stumble on it I just my wife’s
33:31
a voice-over artist and so wherever she
33:33
would go they say oh you’re your
33:36
speaks English right can he record some
33:37
of the stuff for us and I started in a
33:39
minute and I used them I’ve never in my
33:42
life
33:43
paid to have a demo produced and so what
33:45
I did is I use these these advertising
33:49
or these these film festival things to
33:52
put together my demo because some of
33:53
them are actual cases like two minutes
33:56
long and other ones are the ones that
33:59
are called
33:59
I think in Germany they called him the
34:01
golden idea which are ideas that were
34:04
not approved by the ad agencies and
34:06
didn’t go to air or we’re not approved
34:08
by the client didn’t go to air but the
34:10
agency thinks it’s such a brilliant idea
34:12
that it should have won an award so they
34:14
put the thing together yeah hey put it
34:16
on the air for like one minute at like
34:18
3:00 in the morning and like some stupid
34:20
market yeah so it’s eligible it aired
34:23
all right so they try to win an award
34:26
with it and so you actually have to do
34:28
the the piece you know you have to do
34:29
the tagline and record it because it has
34:31
to be in English and yeah it’s just it’s
34:34
just one of these gigantic markets that
34:36
you don’t hear anything about first name
34:38
that’s talking about geographic
34:40
differences I must admit that there are
34:44
certainly cultural differences between
34:45
English Australians and Americans
34:47
Americans are happy to tell you that
34:49
they’re good at something if you do that
34:52
in Australia or England you’re a
34:53
complete wanker and you won’t get the
34:56
job so if you’re marketing yourself
34:59
internationally that could be a major
35:01
issue yeah tiger’s eye how do you in
35:04
your talks do you talk about that at all
35:06
yeah what I what I use usually suggests
35:10
for example if you’re putting together
35:11
demos to send internationally most of
35:14
your work obviously is gonna be
35:16
narration so you’re gonna be doing
35:17
standard narration demos you’re not
35:19
gonna need anything fancy with lots of
35:21
bells and whistles but if you do have a
35:23
fancy sexy demo put it on your side as
35:27
well and send it to people because they
35:28
don’t even it’s not what they’re gonna
35:30
use but they like to hear that you could
35:32
sound like that you know especially in
35:34
the states where you can produce a demo
35:37
of a spot that you actually didn’t
35:39
record in Brazil people don’t do that
35:40
you if we produce something here and
35:43
they people automatically assume that
35:45
that is your voice
35:46
that was used so you have to make clear
35:49
that this is just an example of what I
35:51
could do had I recorded it but um the
35:55
only is real material they’re real ree l
35:58
I should say real real material that
36:02
that raises the barrier to get in in a
36:04
sense you know the same here though we
36:07
don’t have you ever done fake stuff robo
36:10
for anybody I have on a couple of
36:12
occasions there was a guy who who’s now
36:16
a very successful voice-over artist with
36:19
one of the big voiceover agencies here
36:21
in Sydney he moved up here from
36:23
Melbourne to start his voiceover career
36:25
and he had been voicing stuff but didn’t
36:28
really have anything for a demo that
36:30
would work so I cut him he before I got
36:33
him some scripts and we basically
36:35
reavoice to them over the production
36:37
that I’d already done so I’ve done that
36:40
sort of stuff a couple of times for
36:42
people who are trying to get into the
36:44
industry or in the industry and didn’t
36:45
really have a demo that was strong
36:47
enough to sort of get them through the
36:49
door but certainly not for people who
36:53
didn’t have the skills in the first
36:55
place though I guess was how I would
36:56
qualify that like these people clearly
36:59
had the ability they just didn’t have
37:00
hadn’t had the exposure to the client to
37:03
caliber of client that they needed to
37:06
get them through the doors they wanted
37:07
to get through I cut my teeth initially
37:10
doing demo like at a demo shop basically
37:13
where we would half the time if you want
37:16
copy you just grab a magazine ad and you
37:18
start reading that and that can turn
37:20
into like copy for radio and TV pretty
37:23
easily and so I was like that throw some
37:25
music against it make up some sound
37:27
effects and I remember my first real as
37:30
a sound designer had a whole bunch of
37:31
stuff that I had done is like design
37:34
work for demo which was all like the guy
37:37
did not do a McDonald’s commercial but
37:42
he did one finally can I tell you I
37:44
found my very first demo reel the other
37:46
day and I shuddered it was awful how it
37:52
got me another job I had no idea pity
37:59
I played well I paid yeah yes we know
38:06
the truth Robbo yes exactly
38:08
hello Charlie’s father if you’re
38:10
listening he probably is actually yeah
38:14
it’s interesting there because I always
38:16
find it weird when I hear someone’s demo
38:18
and you know very world that wasn’t the
38:20
they add the winter air quite obviously
38:23
done you know it’s a you know a fake oh
38:27
yeah you got to be careful what you put
38:29
in a demo don’t go come out of the gate
38:32
swinging with your first commercial demo
38:34
and have a Pepsi ad on there yeah yeah
38:36
yeah not a good idea look I’ll be honest
38:39
this there’s there’s a whole bunch of
38:41
new voices in the Sydney market at the
38:43
moment and and all the a lot of clients
38:46
that I work with are all excited about
38:49
our you know there’s a new voice we’ve
38:50
got to get him on I can’t tell you the
38:52
amount of times that you that there’s
38:54
specifically been a read on their real
38:56
that when the the agencies briefed me
38:59
they said I’ll this is that this is the
39:01
one they did that’s you know we sort of
39:03
like and this is the way we want to go
39:04
with direction and you can’t get it out
39:06
of them you get them in the booth and
39:08
and I can’t do it because they’ve spent
39:10
a week recording that 30 seconds of
39:13
audio yeah and when you ask them to
39:14
reproduce it in five minutes they can’t
39:16
do it it’s it’s even it’s done with
39:18
someone giving them directions so what
39:20
it is is like there’s a demo producer
39:23
who’s spending the time you know like
39:25
recording them giving them direction but
39:28
probably being a little bit more patient
39:31
about the whole process because you know
39:33
for a whatever a three-minute demo
39:36
those people would come in three times
39:39
four times even for like recording stuff
39:42
sometimes it just depends on how much
39:44
they wanted also to noodle it but yeah
39:46
it is definitely like the range and
39:49
being able to recreate the range that
39:50
you present on the and your demo is is
39:53
important for sure well the final
39:55
question I’ve got for you Jason and it’s
39:58
when I asked if quite a few people GE
40:00
how do you see the future of the
40:01
industry do you see this huge explosion
40:04
of everybody claiming to be able to do
40:06
stuff and having their own studio did
40:08
you see that shrinking back into the
40:10
more professional industry well
40:12
I’ll tell you a quick story that kind of
40:15
sums it up for me a couple days ago my
40:18
wife and I went to an audio production
40:20
company that’s one of the better ones
40:21
here in San Paulo and they were
40:22
auditioning for a gigantic client here
40:25
in Brazil for another big advertise you
40:28
know one of the things they’re gonna put
40:29
on TV for in the coming months and it
40:31
was it’s it’s a really big job and so
40:34
all of the top vo talent in Brazil were
40:36
auditioning for it from their home
40:37
studios and some were going into the
40:39
production house and I mean we’re
40:40
talking hundreds of auditions
40:43
finally the agency decided that they
40:46
wanted something that didn’t sound like
40:48
a voiceover artists and they wanted
40:49
someone that sound like a real person
40:50
and convinced that a voice-over artist
40:52
couldn’t sound like a real person they
40:54
started asking people in the production
40:56
house to Edition and so everyone at the
40:58
production house editions and they still
41:00
didn’t feel like it was real enough and
41:02
so they ended up asking people that
41:04
worked at the place where the client was
41:06
from to audition and they ended up
41:08
choosing one of their employees and
41:10
didn’t pay the person and that’s the
41:11
voice that’s gonna go to air and so I
41:14
don’t know you know because we we put so
41:16
much work and effort in the sounding
41:18
professional and getting you know the
41:20
great equipment and and and and putting
41:23
together these great demos and here in
41:25
Brazil at least I’m seeing that people
41:27
maybe it’s just a trend but you know
41:30
people want a voice that sounds ultra
41:32
realistic and to them I think it means
41:35
like sounding like something you’d hear
41:37
on YouTube that was recorded on a you
41:39
know a Logitech headphone and so maybe
41:42
you know we’re we’re doing ourselves a
41:45
disservice by sounding ultra
41:46
professional and no reverb and great you
41:50
know to mic and all of that and that’s
41:52
not what the client wants to hear
41:54
anymore and so it’s really if I’m I’m
41:57
talking about the work here and and
41:59
obviously if it’s a tagline for a bank
42:01
or an airline or something like that
42:04
you’re there’s always going to be that
42:05
need for the professional voice but I’m
42:07
just seeing more and more demand for
42:09
ultra realistic sounding audio and so
42:13
I’m getting away with recording on the
42:16
road a lot more i just wrote an article
42:18
about recording from a cruise ship and
42:20
my wife and i spent 15 days on a ship
42:23
just recording in the cabin and not one
42:25
of my clients complained about the audio
42:27
quality and I was recording like on a
42:28
SAN hyzer 4:16 you know with you know
42:31
lounged the we took in chairs from the
42:34
lounge and built a little booth and it
42:37
was fine totally they didn’t they didn’t
42:39
worry about it so in a way it’s scary
42:41
but in a way it opens up a lot of
42:42
possibilities you know we don’t we can
42:45
actually go anywhere we want we can as
42:47
long as you have good enough equipment
42:49
and you do take the time to set it you
42:51
know set things up correctly as long as
42:54
you have a really good internet
42:55
connection you know the world is your
42:57
oyster go for it and and and you know
43:00
enjoy the other side of being a
43:03
voiceover artists which means you don’t
43:05
always have to be cooped up in your home
43:06
studio you can go out and do a Airbnb
43:09
adventure and just record from different
43:11
houses around the world you know it’s
43:13
like it’s the difference between prison
43:15
and just chains you know like I think
43:21
that trend has been going on in
43:23
voiceover since the 20s you know and if
43:26
you listen to like reels from the 20s
43:28
like people never talked like like that
43:30
would the way an announcer spoke in the
43:32
20s and going on through the 40s and 50s
43:34
and even like you know in the 60s every
43:37
era has its style and right now the
43:39
style is like just sound like a normal
43:42
person I can’t tell you how many times
43:45
you know that’s the direction and I’m
43:47
thinking to myself like people really
43:50
don’t speak this way and and everyone
43:52
you know in the room knows it cuz it’s
43:54
like well do it like a normal person but
43:55
really hit up new and also hit up only
43:59
and also hit up and so no it’s like but
44:03
the new this is only like one speaks
44:05
that way but they still like it’s like
44:07
any TV but it’s scripted very carefully
44:11
right exactly so I think it’s just like
44:14
the new reality but it’s still not
44:16
reality there’s there’s always like and
44:19
so what do they call it now like every
44:21
man isn’t that sort of the direction or
44:24
the style like if it’s not an announcer
44:27
it’s just every motivational yeah seems
44:30
to be the buzzword I always hear about
44:31
conversational but then Roberts right
44:33
there’s nothing conversational about it
44:36
it’s right I mean I mean to begin with
44:38
like if you look at some of the like
44:40
it’s like scripts like there’s like so
44:43
much need to get a certain amount of
44:45
information out in 30 seconds that
44:47
beyond like knowing speaking like that
44:50
no one forms sentences like that
44:53
normally if it’s not in a 30-second
44:56
context so you know I’ve never
44:58
understood it because you know I don’t
45:01
understand the term conversational
45:02
because no one spends 30 seconds with me
45:04
at the pub telling me about the great
45:06
sail that’s on it Harvey Norman this
45:07
week conversational about it yeah that
45:14
sentence doesn’t show up in a
45:15
conversation yeah hey DT know that
45:18
Harvey Norman have 15% off microwaves
45:20
this week Robbo only 15% of Jesus anyway
45:34
you got if you want conversational
45:36
you’ve got to start by writing
45:37
conversational I guess he’s the point
45:39
really isn’t it yeah or it’s just that
45:42
it’s conversational and that’s the
45:43
intention but really the reality is it’s
45:46
still it’s still announcer work and
45:48
there’s still a certain number of
45:50
criterias that you gotta hit and that’s
45:52
the the threading of that needle between
45:55
sounding normal and still getting the
45:59
message across meaning not just like the
46:01
words with the message but the you know
46:03
the intention like I really need people
46:05
to know that the price is only this much
46:06
and and that’s actually required in
46:09
there because if not you know how many
46:10
times you get a scratch track that’s
46:12
read conversationally and that’s
46:13
basically like the person going in only
46:15
a hard like prices are $29.99 this month
46:19
only and they read it not caring a bit
46:21
so it is way quicker and and then they
46:25
cut to that and then when the person has
46:27
to actually announce to it and they have
46:28
to say well emphasize only and emphasize
46:30
this and emphasize that takes all longer
46:32
and now it doesn’t even fit because the
46:34
person who read the scratch track really
46:35
did do it conversationally well on that
46:38
note we should get out of here Jason
46:41
thank you very much for joining us yeah
46:43
thanks Jason well thank you guys for the
46:45
invitation what an honor to be able to
46:47
share this time
46:48
you we’re always testing this every
46:50
citizen owner usually the first word so
46:56
where’s the door thanks for letting us
47:04
ramble on the way we do Jason I think
47:06
what really well cuz I didn’t hear
47:07
George snoring at any point in the
47:09
conversation and I was so engaged you
47:18
can’t edit that part out
47:20
that’s right it’s tiring it’s yeah
47:23
Roberts sitting there looking at the
47:24
pizza menu watch like that’s an
47:33
interesting one because thanks to source
47:35
connect now we went to Sao Paulo
47:37
Chicago Los Angeles Sydney and just out
47:41
of Melbourne yeah incredible where’s the
47:45
world heading that was the pro audio
47:47
suite if you have any questions or ideas
47:49
for a show let us know via our Facebook
47:53
the pro audio suite podcast
47:59
you
“When the going gets weird, the weird turn professional.”

― Hunter S Thompson




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