Voice over artists – an afterthought

Rethinking Media Production: Why voice actors deserve a seat at the table from day one

Voice over artists

A new way of working with voice over artists

Picture this: You’re in the final stretch of a big media project. Everything’s coming together nicely, but then someone pipes up, “Hey, didn’t we need a voice for this?” Cue the collective groan. Sound familiar?

If you’ve been in the industry for any length of time, you’ve probably lived through this scenario more times than you’d care to admit.

But here’s the thing, though – it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, bringing voice actors into the mix early on can be a game-changer for your entire production process. Let me break it down for you.

When voice over artists are an afterthought: A recipe for headaches

Traditionally, voice over artists have been treated as an afterthought – a last-minute addition when the rest of the project is already locked in. I once worked on a big-budget animated series where the producers didn’t even think about casting voices until the animation was nearly complete. It was like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. They ended up having to reanimate entire scenes because the chosen voiceover artists didn’t match the characters’ expressions and movements. It was a costly lesson in the importance of early planning.

This last-minute approach often leads to a frantic rush. You’re scrambling to find available talent, hoping they can deliver exactly what you need with minimal direction, and praying that they nail it in just a few takes. Why? Because by this point, you’re likely over budget and behind schedule.

But here’s the kicker: voice over artists aren’t just there to read lines off a page. They’re artists who breathe life into characters, set the tone for entire productions, and often become the most memorable part of a project. Treating voice talent as an afterthought isn’t just short-sighted – it’s potentially sabotaging your own work.

The New Way: Bringing voiceover artists into the fold

Now, imagine a different scenario. You’re in the early stages of your project, brainstorming ideas, and there’s a voice actor in the room (or connected virtually). They’re not there to perform – not yet anyway. They’re there to contribute, to offer a perspective that’s often overlooked in those crucial early stages.


When you bring voice actors in early, magic happens. They can spot potential hiccups in the script before you waste time and resources on rewrites. I remember working on a commercial once where the voice actor pointed out that a particular phrase, while clever on paper, was a tongue-twister when spoken aloud. We tweaked it there and then, saving hours of frustration in the recording booth.

This early involvement means fewer retakes, smoother post-production, and a final product that feels cohesive from start to finish. It’s like having a secret weapon in your production arsenal.

Creativity on Steroids

Voice over artists bring a unique perspective to the table. They’re not just thinking about how something sounds – they’re considering how it feels, how it moves the story forward, how it connects with the audience.

I’ve seen voice actors transform two-dimensional characters into living, breathing entities that leap off the screen. Their input can shape not just dialogue, but visual design, pacing, and overall tone. It’s like having an extra brain in the room, one that’s specifically wired for bringing words to life.

Budget-Friendly? You Bet!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Won’t involving voice actors earlier cost more?” Surprisingly, it often works out cheaper in the long run. Here’s why:

  • Early booking could mean better rates. It’s simple supply and demand.
  • You avoid those painful rush fees that come with last-minute bookings.
  • With more time to prepare, voice actors can deliver spot-on performances, reducing the need for costly re-records.
  • Early involvement means fewer major changes late in the game, which can be budget-killers.

Quality That’ll Knock Your Socks Off

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the final product. When voice over artists are part of the team from day one, the result is often a more nuanced, thoughtful performance that truly brings your vision to life.

I’ve seen projects completely transformed by this approach. Characters become more relatable, messages more impactful, and the overall product more polished. It’s like the difference between a meal that’s been lovingly prepared over hours and one that’s been zapped in the microwave.

Making It Happen: Engaging your voice over actor

So, how do you make this shift to involving voice actors earlier on in the production process? Here are some tips:

  1. Include voice casting in your initial planning phase. Make it as important as choosing your visual style or writing your script.
  2. Invite potential voice over artists to creative meetings. Let them be part of the brainstorming process.
  3. Give them the full picture. Share your vision, your goals, your target audience. The more they know, the more they can contribute.
  4. Create an environment where their input is valued. Encourage them to speak up about script issues, character development, or anything else they notice.
  5. Be flexible. While it’s great to have a plan, be open to changes based on their input. Sometimes the best ideas come from unexpected places.

Overcoming the Hurdles

Sure, this approach might ruffle some feathers at first. You might face some resistance from team members who are set in their ways. Budget concerns might be raised. And yes, coordinating with an additional creative voice throughout the process can be a challenge.

But trust me, the benefits far outweigh these initial hurdles. I’ve seen teams go from skeptical to enthusiastic once they experience the difference this approach to engaging voice over artists can make.

Wrapping It Up

Look, at the end of the day, media production is all about creating something that resonates with your audience. By bringing voice actors into the fold early, you’re not just making your life easier (although that’s a nice bonus). You’re setting yourself up to create something truly special.

So next time you’re kicking off a project, consider giving your voice over artists a seat at the table from day one. You might just be surprised at the doors it opens and the magic it creates. After all, in this industry, a little innovation can go a long way. Who knows? This could be the edge that sets your next project apart from the pack.

A leader amongst British Voices

Guy Michaels is one of the most established and highly experienced British Voice Actors working today. Based in London and Cambridge with an unrivalled and dedicated professional studio.

British voices - British Male Voice Over Artist - Guy Michaels

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