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Going rate for voiceover actors?

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Neil Orman
Going rate for voiceover actors?
on Oct 15, 2015 at 6:41:27 pm

Hi, can anyone tell me the typical pay rate for voiceover actors? For example for doing narration for promotional Youtube videos? Are they paid by the hour? the day? the project? I work for a DC think tank that needs these services, and am trying to write a want ad.
Much appreciated,
Neil


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Steve Brame
Re: Going rate for voiceover actors?
on Oct 15, 2015 at 8:34:00 pm

We've used Voices.com for years now, and have never had a bad experience. The price range you'll get on proposals for a job will amaze you.

Asus P6X58D Premium * Core i7 950 * 24GB RAM * nVidia GeForce GTX 770 * Windows 7 Premium 64bit * System Drive - WD Caviar Black 500GB * 2nd Drive(Pagefile, Previews) - WD Velociraptor 10K drive 600GB * Media Drive - 2TB RAID0 (4 - WD Caviar Black 500GB drive) * Matrox MX02 Mini * Adobe CC * QuickTime 7.7.5
-------------------------------------------
"98% of all computer issues can be solved by simply pressing 'F1'."
Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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Neil Orman
Re: Going rate for voiceover actors?
on Oct 15, 2015 at 9:04:01 pm

Very much appreciated Steve. Let me know if others like voices.com, or have other thoughts. I was originally planning to use a Web site for recruiting actors called actors access (it's also called Breakdown Services I think), and was wondering what rates to post for voiceover work. So I'd be curious if anyone has experience with that route too, and the rates that are typical. But either way I'll take a close look at voices.com. Wow they've got a Web site for everything now!


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Bill Davis
Re: Going rate for voiceover actors?
on Oct 28, 2015 at 6:15:43 pm

As a 30 year VO talent with hundreds of paid gigs behind me - I can confidently say it's never been easier for a producer to get a super-cheap, competent VO done via the web.

Which is too bad.

I say that because the industry is looking more and more like a backstreet bizarre in a 3rd world country.
Prices have bene driven into the ground.
Quality, while low overall, is still decent and there are certainly wonderful underpriced gems to be found.

That said, I'm worried about the long term - I truly hope that the commoditization of talent that's taking place so rapidly in the internet era doesn't mean that this generation of potentially exciting voices doesn't ever have what I was lucky enough to have - which is a system that let me learn and mature and keep working while I built my skills and reputation. Now on the talent side, you have 10,000 choices instantly. And the talent rating system is iffy at best - because the hiring pool is no longer pros - it's anyone with a laptop and an internet account. So the ratings you get are kinda arbitrary.

I played with those services a bit - but my experience (purely from the talent side) was meh at best.

So I don't do that anymore. The money isn't enough for the hassle on the talent side - and so I'd rather just not play in the commodity internet pool. I still do 50 or so VO's a year for my long term clients and my own projects, but it's certainly changed radically.

Maybe someday the system it will straighten itself out - or not. Perhaps this is what it needs to be. But I suspect that the era of truly great voices - the Don LaFontains, Ernie Andersons, June Foray's and Thurl Ravenscrofts, et all - might be behind us. Cuz right now, cheap and disposable rules. Which is great if you're on the consumption side. Not so much on the talent side.

And so it goes.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Andy jackson
Re: Going rate for voiceover actors?
on Oct 28, 2015 at 6:35:24 pm
Last Edited By Andy jackson on Oct 28, 2015 at 7:46:38 pm

Hi Bill.

Its not just the voiceover side, its also the video production and editing side.
Digital has now given professional jobs to the amateur masses.

There is no money in video services anymore. This is the reason I left the industry, after 30 years.

Clients now look for the cheapest price or even free first.
Their not interested in professional services anymore as there attitude is "That Will Do The Job" (EVEN IF THE END RESULT IS TRASH!!)

I don`t know what the future holds and i was not willing to take the risk anymore.


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Bill Davis
Re: Going rate for voiceover actors? (A cautionary tale.)
on Dec 16, 2015 at 7:18:34 pm

I came across this article on the website Fusion.

Some of the language might be a bit indelicate for some, but the window the author paints into the brave new world of "costless content" market expectations is pretty fascinating.

For what it's worth...
http://fusion.net/story/244545/famous-and-broke-on-youtube-instagram-social...

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Bobby Lin
Re: Going rate for voiceover actors?
on Dec 15, 2015 at 2:36:27 am

I also love using voices.com for narrations and voice overs. In just a few minutes you will receive bids from applicants and you get to choose the one suited for your requirements (and of course, budget) to do the voice over for your video.

Bobby Lin
Director
info@valoso.com
http://www.beta.valoso.com


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Going rate for voiceover actors?
on Oct 28, 2015 at 6:29:48 pm

I have used Voice123.com and love it - you can get free auditions where VO talent will record a few lines of your VO for client approval, and ever VO artist has online sample reels which allow you to quickly slam through bunches of voices to select those that seem to have the qualities you need for the gig you're working on.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Bill Davis
Re: Going rate for voiceover actors?
on Nov 4, 2015 at 9:07:46 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "I have used Voice123.com and love it "

I just wonder how long it's going to be before somebody launches...

Colorist123.

; )

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Steve Brame
Re: Going rate for voiceover actors?
on Nov 4, 2015 at 10:21:24 pm

Not long at all. In fact, it's been there for years. Guru.com

Asus P6X58D Premium * Core i7 950 * 24GB RAM * nVidia GeForce GTX 770 * Windows 7 Premium 64bit * System Drive - WD Caviar Black 500GB * 2nd Drive(Pagefile, Previews) - WD Velociraptor 10K drive 600GB * Media Drive - 2TB RAID0 (4 - WD Caviar Black 500GB drive) * Matrox MX02 Mini * Adobe CC * QuickTime 7.7.5
-------------------------------------------
"98% of all computer issues can be solved by simply pressing 'F1'."
Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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Steve King
Re: Going rate for voiceover actors?
on Dec 4, 2015 at 7:00:03 am

My take on your question is based on over thirty years as a free-lance SAG/AFTRA voice and on-camera actor. For the past 20 years I've also written and directed corporate video from long form documentaries to 30 second web ads. So, to answer your question, voice over actors and narrators typically charge by the job with a very wide range of fees from as low as $25 for a one hour recording session to many hundreds of dollars for that same service. As a narrator, I am not the most expensive guy on the block, but I charge in the $500 range for a typical corporate narration. What? Why would anybody pay that much? With my producer's hat on I can explain why I pay that much and more to the actors I hire. There are thousands of script readers out there who charge less, but there are relatively few real story tellers. I want story tellers who can keep an audience, typically my clients' customers or my clients' employees, fully engaged in the video from start to finish. Who can quickly adapt to different video styles and different types of viewers. Who can look at a script for a few minutes and just know how to make it interesting. Who know how to make complex ideas clear. Who know how to show me different 'characters'until I hear one that makes my video come alive, makes my clients say, "that guy sounds like our best sales people." I want a narrator that quickly can find a way to express the pride in product or service that the owners or upper management of companies themselves feel. And, who will give me a read that doesn't cost me hours in audio editing to try to stitch together dozens of takes to get a finished track. When I do a good job of casting, when my clients hear their story and say, "Wow!", the narrator's fee is a non-issue, typically never even discussed. I can find ways on the production side that allow me to hire the right voice actor and still meet the budget.

Steve K
Full time writer/director
Pt. Time Video Editor


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Jon Harrison
Re: Going rate for voiceover actors?
on Dec 4, 2015 at 6:40:18 pm

I have a couple VO talents that I've used for year - male and female. A couple times I get it in my head to try and use something like voices.com or similar and I usually end up regretting it. I think it's because it feels more like a quick process and looses the compassion that I'm typically looking for - at least this was the case for me. I usually just go back to my talent pool and don't look back

Their rates typically range from $175 - $250 an hour, but they are so good and they know what I'm looking that I never struggle to get what I want in the first couple runs. And I can give them a call last minute and they accommodate and fit my work in at the same price.

Thanks,
Jon


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Going rate for voiceover actors?
on Dec 4, 2015 at 7:41:34 pm
Last Edited By David Roth Weiss on Dec 4, 2015 at 7:47:02 pm

Jon,

Your post seems odd to me... Can you please explain how, if you're directing the VO session, that hiring a professional you auditioned online is any different from any other VO talent?

Having directed and engineered hundreds of VO sessions both live and remote, I have never noticed any differences in quality between the pros I've used live here in Hollywood vs. pros I've hired online.

As I mentioned earlier, I've used pros from Voice123, all of whom supply resumes and references - and, they always send free auditions to me of a paragraph or two from the copy I supply to them from the current project (very helpful when getting client approvals). After a phone call to go over the technical and aesthetic details, I direct the sessions via a phone patch, until I'm satisfied, and it goes just like any live session I've ever directed, with results that are just as good.

BTW, I always get every VO talent to agree to a round of pickups, should they be needed, which 100% of the pros I've used have agreed to provide for free. I highly recommend that anyone producing anything with VO talent get such an agreement, in advance.

In summation, using an online service is a terrific way to meet VO pros from all over the country whom you would never otherwise know or meet, kind of like online dating. However, just like any people you might consider hiring for any position, you should do your due dilligence before hiring.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Jon Harrison
Re: Going rate for voiceover actors?
on Dec 14, 2015 at 2:51:19 pm

Hi David,

Sorry for the confusion - sounds like you have a much better experience with the online service than I have. The big difference is you seem to have a phone conversation with them - maybe I've just got some bad apples but when I've tried, I do receive samples from a script I sent them and when I followed up via email with some suggestion and then asked to meet via a phone call they usually drop off. I agree with you that you can find some awesome talent this way - this is actually how I found the talent that I use constantly - I agree due diligence is the key. maybe I'm to partial to my current talent and give up too soon?

It's been years since I've tried VO talent again, maybe it's time to give it a go again.

Thanks for the feedback!

Thanks,
Jon


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grinner hester
Re: Going rate for voiceover actors?
on Apr 9, 2016 at 7:02:47 pm

I send an email with "can ya bang this out for 250 bucks?" and wait for a file within the hour.
Building personal relationships is key for any business.



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David Roth Weiss
Re: Going rate for voiceover actors?
on Apr 10, 2016 at 2:30:43 am

I'm still waiting for all that king crab you're gonna get for all of us when you shoot on the Time Bandit.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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