As a Creative Director for a Global advertising company (we went global last year) it is my job to think. People pay me money to sit on a desk and look at the ceiling while cogs and gears in my head whir, twirl and spin to the sound of mental dialogue.
Now for some reason I’m very good at looking at other people’s problems and coming up with solutions for them… but for myself it’s sometimes hard to take that essential step back and look at your own problem subjectively and without bias.
So dear Voice Over friends and colleagues I present to you my Big Idea. It isn’t as big as twitter else I would be looking for private investors and trying to get the wheel turning on it secretly until the project was ready. No my idea has potential and that is why I am showing it to you today.
The Basic Premise
So I figured the best way for me to find people interested in getting involved in this project is to put it out here on my blog and let the people interested in implementing the idea contact me directly. We can work out the financial aspects later but here is the basic Premise for the project:
A Voice Over Bazaar or Pavilion that acts as a Farmer’s Market for the Voice Over Market.
What does that mean?
Well the truth is that right now many of the voice talent out there complain of lack of work. They spend part of their day marketing themselves online… but honestly there are a finite number of updates you can make to your website without getting obsessive.
You can promote yourself on Twitter but eventually people will get sick of you just posting all the fab jobs you are landing. The same with facebook, LinkedIn and the rest of your social media arsenal.
Your daily ritual of doing call backs and followups is great but eventually you’ll have contacted all the people that are possible to contact within your area and through the intertubes.
So What’s left?
Well, put simply…. Why don’t you invest your free time into creating your own projects?
My Own Projects? Are you MAD!
Well yes… as a hatter… but that’s not the issue. The issue here is that there is allot of downtime for some voice over actors that they could be using to perfect their trade and produce their own material to sell.
Right now we wait for people to post at the P2Ps (or VOMs) or contact you directly for voicing audiobooks. You are paid your fee and if you are part of a union you might get some residuals. But what if instead you decide to cut out the middle man and find a book that is no longer under copyright and part of the public domain and voice it.
Do it on your own dime. Produce it on your down time (yes I know… a poet and he doesn’t know it). Then when you are happy with your project come to the Voice Over Pavilion … and display your goods!
For those who have written books about the voice over industry … great! you can try to sell that there… for those who want to get rid of their old (or new) gear … fine… go list your products there.
But the main consumer for this site will be the general public.
Skip Audible, Skip The Producer
Basically the idea here is that we skip the middleman and present our self produced wares to the public through a website that they can come and browse and pick and chose between one voice and another.
There are thousands of public domain books that you can chose and voice…. You can even write your own children’s stories and record them directly. You never know maybe things will work backwards for you and the audio book you produce will get you a book writing deal!
So How Would It Work?
Let us say we register the domain www.vopavilion.com then we start start creating virtual booths. Each booth is owned and operated by the voice over talent. The talent pays VOP (voice over pavilion) for a booth… this fee is an annual fee.
Within the booth the talent can display his or her goods. The goods can be any of the following:
- Self Produced Audiobooks
- Previously Produced Audiobooks (with an agreement from the production company)
- Books that the person has written (so link to amazon or direct downloads from VOP)
- Voice Over Instruction CDs / DVDs / Digital Video Instruction
- Your Services… so if someone likes your voice they can hire you directly to record their IVR or their project.
Drawing The Line
I know there is a big market for it… but for this project (Taji’s Big Idea) I will place a few restrictions. They aren’t detrimental to the over business plan but there always has to be limits:
1. Pornographic or adult genre material
I know it’s popular in some places but I neither care nor wish to have these products associated with my project.
2. Hate Propaganda
As a Muslim Arab who has had to suffer racial slurs and discrimination on several occasions I think its pretty safe
to say I wouldn’t allow crap like that to be associated with my project either.
3. Blasphemous Material
If it disrespects God… then I’m not interested in having it displayed.
Now some folk might think that having a booth means that they can do whatever they want to… And the truth is that it doesn’t. Since the site will be privately owned then the rules to follow will be dictated by the site operators.
Well obviously they aren’t really hidden if I’m telling you about them but the Voice Over Pavilion will charge 5% (or 10%) on each sold item as processing fees… If you don’t sell… we don’t get paid … and if everyone sells then we get 5% (or 10%) of everything. These fees go toward site promotion and maintenance.
Hey maybe I can run this idea under the Dutch Co-op model that Paul Strikwerda promotes.
The Voice Over Pavilion is a website where voice over talent can subscribe and display their wares. These ware can be anything from self produced books and projects to their own voice over services. They pay to get a booth and the site gets a part 5 to 10 percent of the total sale of each item. This money goes toward promoting the site and its maintenance.
There will be advertising space in the site that the different site members can advertise their goods at.
What do you think?!
If you are interested in suggesting or being considered for :
1. Being a Financier
2. Being involved in Management
3. Getting your own booth
4. Looking for public domain books to record
5. Suggesting a subscription price as well as a markup price
6. Adding your ideas to the mix.
Please either email me directly or leave a comment in the comments section.
I think its time we started getting a bigger share of the pie… why let the production houses get most of the money. Lets fill up some of that down time with work that will give you a higher earning potential as well as keep your voice in shape.
Everyone’s input is welcome!