Voice Over Projects Taking Off At Offbeat
Amazing developments in the Voice Over area of our recording studio here at Offbeat in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.
We recorded the voice of Star Wars star Jack Claff who plays the great actor in this portrait of the legendary director. We’ve don quite a few film projects with Mark now, including The Story Of Film,an Odyssey which won The Stanley Kubrick Award for best documentary.
We’ve done several VO jobs with Tony over the past year as well as pieces for the show featuring JJ Chalmers directly for BBC TV and for some third party production companies.
We are currently recording Series 10 of Earthrise with presenter Russell Beard. Its a great award winning series by Al-Jazeera which explores solutions to todays environmental challenges facing the planet.
Had Hollywood casting director Mary Lynn Wissener up in the studio recently along with Voice Coach and Producer Jeff Howell. Very productive meeting and Mary had actually produced a Voice Over with the great Orson Welles.
They both gave us some really valuable insider tips on how to develop and improve our growing VO business which was priceless really. They also complimented the sound we were achieving which was very encouraging coming from these seasoned and highly respected Pros.
Award Winning Voice Over Studio in Edinburgh.
Offbeat started doing major Voice Over projects several years ago when we met Film Producer and Director Mark Cousins at a recording studio music event in which he was taking part with a friend.
Mark, who lives locally, approached us after the session and asked if we wanted to record his commentary for The Story Of Film an Odyssey for Film 4.
Stanley Kubrick Award
15 (x 1 hour) episodes later the film was released and achieved critical acclaim, including The Stanley Kubrick Award for best film in 2012 and a nomination for Best Documentary feature at Palm Springs awards in 2012. The audio was recorded first and the film was later synced to Marks commentary in post production at another studio.
Since then we’ve done several films with Mark, the most recent being Stockholm My Love in which we recorded audio parts with Neneh Cherry for Scandinavian TV in collaboration with BBC 1. He also brought in Ewan Bremner to add voice to Marks film What Is This Film Called Love.
All that opened the door for us to take on more and more projects including Russell Howard’s 2016 series of USA travels with my Mum for Sky 1. This involved Russell recording his voice to picture.
We’ve recorded the voice for several programmes for BBC Radio 4 for Loftus Media including a programme narrated by broadcaster Alan Little reminiscing about his travels to Sarajevo. And this year an educational programme for BBC Bitesize as well as for Edinburgh International Festival for their 2017 audio music section of their forthcoming program.
On a more controversial film, Alan Knights film London Calling on the subject of BBC Bias in the 2014 referendum. Alan also brought famous actor Brian Cox up the stairs to record the voice of cartoon character Duggy The Dug.
Recording an audio book with Scottish author Kirsty Logan, who narrated her debut novel The Gracekeepers, was a different kind of project. All nine hours of audio had to delivered with no bad takes so if a mistake was made by the voice artist, which of course is inevitable with any recording project, each new take had to be dropped in over the faulty take. The resulting audio we delivered to Audio Book Company Bolinda in Australia had to be faultless.
Recording voice over audio for ‘live theatre’ is also an area we have been involved in. Pamela Stevenson-Connolly came to Offbeat to record audio for hers and Arlene Philip’s dance hit show Brazouka with Brazilian dancer Dos Santos in 2015. The recording was used for large sections of the show at the Edinburgh Festival before touring the show.
Sometimes the client wants the audio delivered ‘wild’ which means the audio is left in record mode throughout the session and the client edits the recording themselves.
Recording just a single voice may seem an extremely simple job but it’s deceptively tricky as there can be no extraneous noise or interference at all in the recording. The sound has to be perfect. Even the creak of a chair can spoil the recording. Sometimes we are asked to edit the recording too and with multiple takes of a script, keeping track of the best ones and creating a flowing dialogue demands real concentration and organisation with no room for mistakes.
Using Skype is very common now. The client is more often than not in a different location from the narrator. We then feed Skype from the client through the mixer so that they can conduct the session remotely with the voice artist who is listening to their instructions on headphones. This is very effective and if required we can record the clients Skype conversation too if they need to refer to it when they are editing.
Finally location is also a factor and being bang in the centre of Edinburghs famous Royal Mile is an advantage despite the long climb up the Offbeat stairs.