No matter the industry, online video content has become integral for brand outreach. With today’s reliance on web content for business, many companies now use the same tools as professional digital filmmakers for online marketing campaigns. For these types of projects, a good narrator may be an effective element for grabbing a viewer’s attention. This applies to creating clips for social media platforms, documentary films, or major motion pictures.
By the very definition of narrator, every film with voiceover narration needs the proper individual whose voice and intonation can effectively relay information to the viewer. Today, new apps and online sites can help in finding that perfect voice. For those filmmakers currently beginning their search, here we will look at some of the best ways to hire the right voice-over narrator for their project.
The Importance of Narration
Depending on the project, a narrator may be a major addition in bringing a script to life. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all narrations are for a work of fiction or adaptation of a short story or novel. Actually, documentary film projects rely on the strengths of voice-over narration more than any other genre. Even in shorter content, such as a historical television program or the evening news, the use of a narrator to dictate secondary action to viewers for both context and brevity is common. Usually, the narrator acts as the main storyteller. When a third-person voice tells you the backstory to a person’s life or a specific subject concurrent with real-time visuals, that narrator commands attention due to the importance of the information. With that in mind, it’s important to select a narrator whose voice is appropriate for the material and one with an authoritative and trusting quality.
Many films also use a narrator for dramatic purposes. In the instance of the lead protagonist, or main character, acting as narrator, it’s often an indicator the story is being told through extended flashbacks. Here, the starring lead will often act as the viewpoint character. In such an instance, the use of an unreliable narrator can act as a great genre trope, such as a twist ending. Likewise, a third-person narrator, or omniscient narrator, can give the film a fable-like quality, emphasizing the lessons to be learned within the story. In that case, the filmmaker must be as selective as those making a documentary, as the voice itself is key to the emotion of the story. The narrator’s mastery of vocabulary and punctuation should feel as authentic as the story being told.
The Tools of Great Narration
The most important tool for a powerful voiceover narration is the narrator themself. It’s always important to either hold an open audition for your narrator or use a good online network that specializes in discovering professional voice actors. Ideally, your narrator will have the most suitable voice for your project and will also be familiar with the software used for short films or other visual web content. Consumer-grade narration tools are also affordable and cost-effective. Some freelance narrators even self-record their part at home using many of these tools.
Many software tools have ease of access for strong narrator settings, such as effortless keyboard commands, a modifier key for pitch and range, notifications of timeline information, and a good translator tool for foreign-language content. Important additional options can include a narrator key for new words being introduced, as well as a screen reader connected to the screen or display. The primary actions of digital recording are dependent upon keystrokes, making accurate console hardware equally important. In order to cut out narrative redundancy, word lists for related words are helpful features.
Since many professional freelance voice actors have become familiar with these features, it always helps to hire someone who can troubleshoot for a smoother recording. The time and effort are worth it, as a good narrator can truly give your project the definitive voice to get your message across.