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Editing flow preference with a voice over

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Obed McCalip
Editing flow preference with a voice over
on Jul 31, 2015 at 7:38:12 pm

I was just discussing with a couple guys which work flow works best for editing a voice over. Should you record the VO first before shooting anything or get all of your shots and then get a VO?

Keep in mind, all situations have scripts already and the talent charges 30 for recording a script and 50 to match the VO to a video. This is only for product videos.

I was just told to stop shooting a product until I have the recorded VO to edit to. We are still in the stages of figuring out the perfect pattern of getting things done. My take on it is, I could send someone the VO to record while I shoot and get titles together and by that time I would receive the VO and just lay it down and edit it to the video.

The way another guy did it was edited all the video and recorded a sample VO to get the talent to match. The talent matched his VO and just put it on the timeline and that was pretty much it.


The way I see it is our editing is about the same amount of time. I spend my editing before and after VO while the other guy spends all editing time before VO. The only difference is he pays more.

What are yall's thoughts?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Editing flow preference with a voice over
on Aug 1, 2015 at 2:43:32 am

Your solution of recording a "scratch track" for timing purposes seems like the best of both worlds, as long as you make it clear to the voice talent you're not trying to give them guidance on how to present, only on the overall timing. That should theoretically at least also get you the cheaper rate.

In a perfect world, you'd probably cut the pictures first, then get the vocal track done to match, then go thru one more evolution tweaking the image to the vocal. Cutting to the vocal is what you do in the fast-paced world of ENG news editing, and maybe for a product video, it isn't too heinous a practice. For something more dramatic or for a documentary, though, I'd rather cut all the bites first and the build the vocal track around them.


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Obed McCalip
Re: Editing flow preference with a voice over
on Aug 1, 2015 at 3:29:27 am

Thanks for your insight!


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Bill Davis
Re: Editing flow preference with a voice over
on Aug 12, 2015 at 7:01:43 pm

If the script is LOCKED - get the VO first.

If the script is not locked, than use the spec script with the standard VO Formula of 160 words a minute (the wall to wall radio standard) and time out the shots you need and have the video folks make SURE they shoot loose to that timing.

The biggest challenge to me as a 30 year VO talent is getting into a booth to narrate a video and finding out that they have more words for me to say than shot length to cover what I'm describing.

Don't do that.

My 2 cents.

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