Hello All, This is my first of probably not many posts on the Voice Over industry and my personal experience as a VO talent.
For the past week or so now voiceover-casting.com members have had a heated debate on the pros and cons of voice over casting websites like www.voices.com and www.voice123.com. The majority of the veterans prefer not having websites like these because they bring down the VO rates. As a veteran Creative Director in an Advertising company and someone with 13 years as an Art Director I know that often new talent will try to undersell their talent to get their first and second job… what that does of course is cause problems for the established talent because the client (who understandably wants to pay less for any and all services especially in our failing global economy… thank you very much Dubya) wants the job done and doesn’t want to pay that much for it.
Ultimately I can be nice about this but my attitude toward this is… simply… Screw the Client.
I dont mean all clients… I mean if they want to get the job done for less.. fine go have it done by joe shmoe (or joe the plumber) I honestly dont give a rats posterior. Eventually you will realize your mistake and come looking to correct it which ultimately means you will pay more since you have already wasted your time working with less professional less experienced talent.
And ultimately the point of this is Dont back down… You know what you’re worth as a voice over talent … charge what you think is fair and if they dont like it … too bad… of course be sensible about this… and hold no grudges… burn no bridges (except if they rip you off in which case black list them and make sure others know that they are swindlers and thieves.)
So back to the 2 Vees … honestly I dont know which came first voices.com or voice123.com and as much as I feel pride that voices.com is a booming canadian business (yes you guessed it … i’m Canadian) I am also a bit miffed that I as a canadian I dont get any perks (ok so as a VO talent I treat my business as a business and I’m also trying to survive in this economy). The majority find that voices.com is the friendlier of the two… and in all honesty thats kind of what I feel myself … Voice123 feels alot more cold and corporate… which does bum me out cause my career in voice has always depended on close and warm work relationships.
But then again thats an element of me being an Arab… Outside of everyone’s misconceptions about Arabs and Muslims (I am both) we are very warm people (the client might be a factor) and that also reflects in our business relationships. I am reminded of a boss I had once in Canada who once asked how we treated employees during a slow season at work in the Middle East… and I said… well the boss requires them to come to work even if it means they dont do anything all day… He said … well that’s stupid… I’d just lay them off in the low season and hire them or someone else when the work picks up… I smiled at him and thought how cold that was of him.
The logic being that if you fire that person … you’ll have to invest time and money and effort training their replacement when the business picks up again… Arabs understand that there are annual business trends which means that if one month there is no work… maybe the next three there will be work and when the work comes it is best to have trained and seasoned veteren employees there to finish the work quickly and professionally.
A few of the members of voiceover-casting.com said that the majority of their work came from voice123 but that that trend was changing… Honestly most of the work I get from voices.com comes in the form of people conducting searches for Arabic VO talent and getting me… It works.
Recently I stumbled on a company called www.VOplanet.com and www.primevoices.comboth these companies dont have free accounts but seem to have a good number of VO talents registered with the… they might be a little cheaper than the Two Vs to set up accounts with.
Thats it for my first post… if you have any Comments… by all means leave them.
——– Update March 21st 2009 ——–
We can now add www. bodalgo.com to the list of Voice Casting sites. Bodalgo.com is based in Germany but caters to an international market… I will post a review of it in a few weeks… stay tuned.