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March 08, 2011

New Tools (And a Warning Label)


Having quick access to handy tools is a must for any profession, no less so for VO artists. Voice talent J. Christopher Dunn has compiled a list of Five Must-Have Online Gizmos for Your Voice-over Toolbox that you'll want to check out.

I'm no lawyer (and I won't even play one here), but I would like to add a caveat regarding item # 4, "Save the Video". It's true that services like the one mentioned can grab online video, giving you the flexibility to post it to your site/blog/YouTube etc. However, just because you can grab it doesn't mean you should. Moreover, one shouldn't assume that a client's lack of response equals a "yes" when requesting a copy of the finished item. There is some debate about this; YouTube's own user agreement essentially states that once a video is uploaded, that clip is fair game for anyone's use. However, many of the content providers have legal decrees stating quite clearly the opposite. Unless you want to be potentially caught in a legal crossfire, your best move is to stick with content for which your client has given you the go-ahead.

Okay, enough finger-wagging. Go check out the toolbox and enjoy.

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March 07, 2011

Choosing the Right Talent


While they erroneously left hiring Yours Truly off the list (*ahem*), this article does contain some excellent tips for businesses looking to hire voice talent for their projects.

Additionally, Paul Strikwerda adds comments addressing the real value of hiring a genuine VO pro; it's required reading along with the main piece. (To paraphrase Paul here: to suppose that having a nice voice can make one a voice actor is to suppose that having an attractive pair of hands qualifies one to be a concert pianist.)

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February 20, 2011

Getting Started: Another Take



Wondering what it takes to get started on the right path to a career in voiceovers?

I've gotten a lot of nice feedback on my article about getting one's feet wet in the voiceover biz. Voice actor Smith Harrison has written his own superb piece on the subject of getting started in voiceovers, so I recommend you add it to your reading list if you're interested in laying the groundwork.

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February 14, 2011

VO Scam Alert: Update

Voice talent Dave Courvoisier recently alerted the voiceover community about a scam artist, one who's been reportedly soliciting radio imaging liners and not paying for the work. Here's an update on the matter.

I had a minor exchange with this person last year. Ultimately, he didn't actually scam me out of anything (except the time taken to respond to his e-mail inquiries and provide a rate quote), but his behavior was suspicious to say the least. He contacted me requesting a quote for fully-produced liners to be used on his radio program; I gave him the quote and made it clear that partial payment up front would be required before any work was done. No reply. I followed up a month later asking if he was still interested. He replied saying he'd sent payment, which I knew was false (if for no other reason than a month had passed with no word from him). The reply was complete silence when I asked him to provide some kind of confirmation of the payment.

Dave's report seems to confirm that this guy is not to be trusted. This sort of thing is precisely the reason why, with some exceptions, several voice artists (myself included) request at least a partial payment up front for new clients.

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February 07, 2011

Free Production Tracks - No Catch.

Producers/voice artists/et al.: Need new production backing tracks without handing over the proverbial arm and leg? 

Stock20 creates high quality music for media production. If you create a free account, they'll give you a $7 store credit (which will get you one free song). I've used their music beds, and the quality of the tracks is comparable to the more expensive services.

If you use my referral link (below), we can both get an extra $7 in free music--you'll get a total of $14.

Here's how:
1) Click this link, then create a free account (it takes about a minute):

http://www.stock20.com/gvr.php?rc=65xl2nv4056asd5v2x

2) Your new account will automatically be credited with $7 (enough to get a free track).

Then you'll get an additional gift certificate by e-mail, just for creating an account. That's a total of $14 in free production music.

Note: You can be assured that Stock20.com will not give away your info. They send out one e-mail per month when they release their new songs.


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January 31, 2011

The Right Coach

Excellent insight from Bob Souer on finding the right voice coach for you.

How to evaluate voiceover coaches


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January 08, 2011

Publicity, Pipes, and Perilous Thinking

So much has been written about Ted Williams in the last few days that this entry certainly appears late to the party. But, hey, this is still a voiceover blog, and the formerly-homeless baritone's story continues to unfold and gain steam.

Paul Strikwerda has written a piece on Williams sufficiently insightful and thought-provoking (and ultimately about far more than the man himself) to warrant a more dignified label than “blog post”, and I won't be attempting to top his efforts here. Nevertheless, here are a few thoughts.

After the story broke --- even before the subsequent media reports detailing Williams' less-than-angelic past emerged --- VO artists filled up boatloads of bandwidth with reactions ranging from effusive praise to grapes oh-so-sour. To that latter group, I say: debate over the various aspects of his story is fine. However, regardless of how one feels about his talent or whether he deserves the announcing jobs he's been offered, spending even a moment worrying about any voiceover career other than your own is to get on a speedy treadmill to nowhere.

After Williams was offered an announcing job by the Cleveland Cavaliers, it was supposed by some that he'd taken the place of an existing employee, who was probably cast aside callously so that the franchise could garner a share of the growing publicity. I'm confident that, were this the case, ESPN and other sports media outlets would be all over it like the fatigues sported by Williams in that first viral video. So far, I haven't seen any such reports.

For any still concerned that Williams may have unjustly taken (or, if you prefer, been granted) any jobs that might have gone to a “more deserving” VO artist --- ones equipped with an agent, a home studio, lots of C-notes spent on training and coaching --- consider something for a moment. It's already happening. It's been happening. It's going to continue to happen. “It”, of course, is the hiring of voice talents who might just not necessarily be ideal for the job. “It” occurs at all levels of the industry, from small-market radio to multimillion-dollar TV campaigns. These jobs were already being “taken” by others, and not for a moment did it ever mean that there wasn't still work to be had.

I say, hate neither the game nor the player. Embrace both and see what happens.

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December 01, 2010

Happy Holidays...

Happy Holidays from David Houston Voiceovers!


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October 28, 2010

FaffCon2: Atlanta 2011!

The success of the first FaffCon event in Portland has led to FaffCon 2, coming to Atlanta in 2011. Early registration begins November 1st!

FaffCon is a voiceover "unconference"; instead of being locked in to seminar or workshop content dictated by others, you get to choose what aspect of voiceover work gets discussed/worked on/et cetera. Congrats to FaffCon's organizer, Amy Snively, on the success of the (un)conference!

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October 01, 2010

A Top Tip Twofer from Philip Banks

In one fell swoop, international voiceoverist Philip Banks teaches you 1) how not to be a cinematographer AND 2) the elusive, magical secret to getting VO work.

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September 24, 2010

New Client: Learning House

Thanks and welcome to new client Learning House!

 

 

 

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August 04, 2010

Animation Nation: Nailing The VO Audition

(Hat-tip to voice actor Kyle Hebert for the link.)

In this Backstage.com article, award-winning casting director Sarah Noonan and animation voiceover actor Bob Bergen (the voice of hundreds of characters from Porky Pig to Luke Skywalker) offer tips on nailing your animation audition. Required reading for anyone with an interest in cartoon VO!

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April 21, 2010

Voice Actor Voices Activism

Government Employees Insurance Company (doing ...Image via Wikipedia

Didn't expect to see this today:

Sometimes you have a headline that makes the rest of the story superfluous, but here's the background. Actor Lance Baxter, otherwise known as "D.C. Douglas," currently known as the man who informs you how much GEICO can save you on car insurance, left a message last month with FreedomWorks in which he asked the group how many "mentally retarded" people it had on staff and what it would do when a tea partyer "killed someone." On April 14, FreedomWorks put his voicemail online.voices.washingtonpost.com, GEICO voice actor fired after insulting tea parties, Apr 2010

However you feel about the issues raised here, I hope we can all agree that it's a good idea to spell-check your press release. "Achilles heal"?

 

UPDATE: In-depth discussion and commentary here, and that's putting it mildly. It is, as they say, on like Donkey Kong.
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January 11, 2010

Jeffrey Kafer Talks VO on TV

My friend and VO colleague Jeffrey Kafer appeared on Mike Huckabee's cable show this past weekend, to talk about making the transition from day-job exile to full-time voiceover artist. He shares the segment with another guest, but Jeff is the far more telegenic and compelling of the two.

It's a great bit of self-promotion for Jeff, and it underscores the fact that working to market your VO business can pay off. Jeff had issued a press release on his blog about his jump from layoff-world to an audiobook career, and it caught the eye of the show's producers. Here's hoping it leads to more gigs for this talented voice-talker.

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November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, VO-BB!

 

 
Happy 5th Birthday to the VO-BB forum, from David Houston Voiceovers!
 

 

 

There aren't enough superlatives to describe what a tremendous online forum the VO-BB is (and nobody likes an overwritten script anyway). Therefore, I'll just ask you to join me in a hearty Congrats and Happy Birthday to the site, born five years ago today.

My pal (and creator & manager of the site) DB Cooper also deserves more thanks and salutations than I can adequately express here. Here's to many more!

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June 18, 2009

Joan Baker Endorses Neumann

 

Veteran voiceover artist Joan Baker
 

(from Voice Over Times)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 2009: As the manufacturer of the high-end vocal microphones that have been integral to the voiceover industry since its inception, Neumann is pleased to announce its endorsement of Joan Baker.

In an amazing career that now spans two decades, Joan Baker has been “the voice” for hundreds of programs, promos, and commercials in TV, film, and radio. Her clients include ABC News, American Express, and ESPN, among countless others of equally high profile.

Read More...

 

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May 26, 2009

Audiobooks Silenced?

 

 

 

 

Audiobooks have been hailed as an ever-expanding market for voice artists to tap into, but recent numbers are telling a disturbingly different tale. A recent AP article notes that audiobook sales for 2009 are down 20 per cent from last year, with publishers seeing a whiplash-inducing 47 per cent drop in revenue from the medium.*

What's causing the audiobook to lose ground? Clive Young at ProSoundNews cites the ever-growing list of alternate media options, combined with popular titles' higher price tags compared to their paper counterparts. However, Young also suggests ways in which social media could play a role in reviving the format.

Information and entertainment mediums of all types are undergoing radical changes these days, and the audiobook appears to be no exception.

 

 

 

*The article notes that the Nielsen scan data used doesn't take digital downloads into account, but publishers are still not optimistic about the overall trend.

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May 22, 2009

Press Release: Professional Voiceover Talent David Houston Signs with Ryan Artists Talent Agency

Professional voice over talent David Houston has agreed to be represented by Ryan Artists talent agency.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


May 22, 2009 – Professional voice over talent David Houston has agreed to be represented by Ryan Artists talent agency, it was announced today.

Ryan Artists, Inc., is the only full-service union-franchised talent agency in Oregon, operating in the Pacific Northwest since 1981. In addition to voice over, the agency represents models and actors in the areas of fashion, lifestyle, and on-camera, working with numerous regional and national clients in a variety of markets.

With this new partnership, Mr. Houston adds to his representation in Texas, California, Louisiana and New Mexico by The Atherton Group (TAG) Talent Agency.

"I'm excited to be partnering with Ryan Artists. Already having the strongest and most active representation in the South and West regions of the country with TAG, I wanted to expand my marketing and business opportunities to other areas as well", said Houston. "With Ryan, I can rest assured that my representation in the Northwest is being handled by top-notch professionals."

David Houston (davidhoustonvoice.com) is a voiceover artist, actor, and audio producer based in Austin, TX. He has been heard on numerous national TV and radio commercials, and also performs voiceovers for animation, corporate narrations, documentaries, broadcast voice imaging, audio books, podcasts and messaging on-hold (MOH). Houston was originally cast as the voice of James Bond in Activision's "Quantum of Solace" videogame. Also an on-camera actor, David Houston has appeared in episodes of the network TV series "Friday Night Lights", and will also appear in the upcoming feature films "Ex-Terminators" and "Temple Grandin".

Media Contacts:
David Houston, David Houston Voiceovers, 512.659.0013
Liz Atherton, The Atherton Group, 512.930.9301
Sarah Catherine Sorensen, Ryan Artists, Inc., 503.274.1005

# # #

Actor and voiceover artist in Austin, TX. Warm and rich baritone/tenor, pleasant yet authoritative; from friendly, smooth, and sophisticated, to commanding and powerful, to hip and upbeat; from Guy-Next-Door to Voice-of-God.

Companies like Activision, Dell, Callaway Golf and OmniTrader have chosen David Houston Voiceovers to voice their projects.

Other clients include: Saberex, Kinetic Concepts, Inc., Powered, Inc., Rove Mobile, KFLW-FM Radio


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May 13, 2009

An Appeal to Voice Overists, by Philip Banks

Don't worry, he doesn't mean you.

On second thought: yes, he does.

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April 30, 2009

Looking and Leaping Into Voiceover

Actress and author Deborah Puette gives an in-depth, first-hand look at taking the plunge into her first VO demo. Her work with producer/voice actor Ed Cunningham is also documented on video. Highly recommended!

(Courtesy of Backstage.com)

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Number Ten With a Bullet

CNN's list of "10 jobs cooler than yours" places Voice Actor at the bottom. I personally think it belongs at least in the top five.

The article lists the average annual salary at $47,000. CNN would have done well to include a disclaimer; I'm not sure how they arrived at the figure, but it's a little misleading. These are just my own estimates: about 80% of union voice actors pull in a tenth of that amount (or less). Only 10 to 15% earn the $47K listed, and the six-figure range goes to an exclusive 2%. Plenty of non-union work is available, but I'd wager that the disparity is about the same --- and since most non-union work doesn't pay residuals, the overall pie is probably smaller.

All in all, I'd still take this gig over "Storm chaser" at number 8.

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December 30, 2008

Voiceover Opportunites for the New Year

 

Report on the Voice Over Industry for 2009, from voices.com
 

 

David Ciccarelli of Voices.com has published Report on the Voice Over Industry : 2009, a comprehensive look at recent trends in media with an eye toward the upcoming effects --- and opportunities --- for the voiceover industry. It's a free PDF download, and it's highly recommended reading.

 

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December 06, 2008

Narration: Dell Computer

I voiced these a little over a year ago, and was finally able to get them from the client.

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December 02, 2008

Survey Says...

 

 

 

John Florian at VoiceOverXtra has published the results of their “How’s Business Lately?” survey of voice talents, Conducted in late October 2008, the survey asked participants to compare their current job volume and income with what they experienced at the same time in 2007. 

There's a mixed bag of results, with many reporting an uptick in business but also expressing concerns about the future. Worth a look.

 

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November 24, 2008

The To-Do List: R.I.P.

 

 

 

 

Time management is a necessary skill for VO artists, but it's crucial for just about anyone: freelancers in other arenas, students, professionals in any kind of business. Those skills can run aground when applied to the outmoded "to-do" list.

Jim Bird, CEO of WorkLifeBalance.com, lists getting rid of the to-do list among four key time-management tips in this article. A valuable read, if you have the time.

No pun intended. Honest.

 

 

(Hat-tip to Amy Snively. Thanks!)

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November 20, 2008

Notes from Berkley "No Auditions" Teleseminar

 

 

 

 

Susan Berkley's “Tons of Voice-overs Without Tons of Auditions” teleseminar earlier this evening --- referenced in yesterday's post --- featured some great tips, useful for novice as well as intermediate to advanced VO artists.

First of all, make no mistake: auditioning is a necessary part of the voice actor's professional life. The key is to remember that it should be only a part, and not the whole, of the search for jobs. I liked Susan's use of the term "slack adjusters" as one way of looking at auditions. The term comes from retail, in reference to big-ticket items that are expensive and don't fly off the shelves; however, just one sale of such an item can put a store in the black for that month. The problem is, no retail store can survive solely on that one big purchase, just as a voice artist can't afford to wait on landing that one magic job.

The focus, Susan drives home, should be on prospecting, marketing, and selling yourself. Instead of waiting for a buyer to pick you from among hundreds, seek out potential clients and make yourself the only choice when they need a VO. It's not as easy as staying on the audition treadmill, but it's far more rewarding.

Just to add my own $0.02: Landing a good agent --- you know, the one who sends you all those auditions --- isn't likely to happen in the first place unless you can convince them you're able to make money. Once you've got your own list of clients, having made yourself their choice, agents will look favorably on your pitches.

More information on Susan Berkley's upcoming seminars and classes at GreatVoice.com.

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November 19, 2008

FREE Training Teleseminar with Susan Berkley

Susan Berkley, founder and President of The Great Voice Company, is holding a free tele-seminar Thursday, November 20, 9 - 10 PM EST. Topic: “Tons of Voice-overs Without Tons of Auditions”. Register at GreatVoice.com. This is fairly short notice, so click now to register for any available slots.

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November 14, 2008

Words Mean Things.

 

 

 

 

Seen today in a Craigslist ad entitled "Voiceover professional for my voicemail":

 

I would prefer someone with a good english accent (preferably Male)

Or an older/mature voice that sounds something like Anthony Hopkins.

If you call this number it should sound something like this: [phone number listed]

I need it for my office phone (regular greeting and on hold greeting) and my cell phone
   
   
    * it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
    * Compensation: no pay 

 

Professional.

If I may quote the inimitable Inigo Montoya: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

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July 10, 2008

Helium Happenings

 
 

 
My article on Getting Started in Voiceovers is featured today on Helium's home page. A hat-tip from me to the Helium team.

Also featured are excellent VO articles by Natalie Nicole Gilbert and Doc Phillips. Give those a look while you're there, and take a look at the larger Helium community; it's a terrific resource for articles on just about any topic imaginable.

 

UPDATE (7/11/08): I received a message from a Helium user after yesterday's front-page showing:

 

I read your article on voiceovers (congrats on making the front page of Helium) - you have an excellent writing style, phenomenal understanding of words and their use in the English language, and easily share your knowledge without sounding pompous. Thank you for bringing your talent to Helium.

C.M.Erickson
Coffee sub-channel steward

 

C.M. didn't leave an e-mail address, so I hope it's okay if I offer humble thanks here for those kind words. 

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June 04, 2008

More D'oh! for Homer.

...and for his family, too.

 

 

 

 

Per their new deal with FOX, the lead actors on The Simpsons (Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith and Hank Azaria) will be paid nearly $400,000 per episode.

I haven't (and probably won't) check out the inevitable internet comments decrying them as overpaid, but I imagine they'll probably go something like this: 

"Voice acting is just talking into a mic! Besides, my brother's friend's cousin can do all the Simpsons voices perfectly and would be thrilled to do it for the low low fee of (A) a daily bag of Cheetos and (B) Jessica Alba's phone number."

Okay, I have to admit, I might do it just for the last item. 

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May 28, 2008

"Overpaid Voice Actors", episode # 48,763

 

Niko Bellic stalks in Grand Theft Auto IV.
 

 

 

With this story all over the news of late...

A Video Game Star and His Less-Than-Stellar Pay

...it was probably due to rear its ugly head again.

By "it", I refer to the deluge of internet commentary that inevitably follows any and all media reports of voice actors seeking residuals for videogame work. It ranges from the stupefyingly uninformed ("You get paid big bucks just to sit there and talk into a mic, so STFU") to the kind of union-bashing, anti-residuals snark that evokes the ghost of mogul Lew Wasserman (who once famously said "When my plumber fixes my toilet, I don't pay him every time I flush the @#%$ thing!"). The first opinion isn't worth wasting keystrokes refuting, and the second I'll address later.

Somewhat more reasoned are the arguments that game programmers don't get royalties, and that because their contribution is at least as vital as the actors, the latter shouldn't keep getting paid after the fact. Yes, I have heard tales of game companies overworking and underpaying its programmers, testers, and developers; and if this is becoming the norm rather than the exception, then that's an inequity that also needs to be addressed. Generally speaking, though, a simple (but key) distinction is often lost in this argument: members of the creative team work on salary, while the voice actor is a freelancer.

Viewed without this information, it's easy to think of our VO actor as being greedy, an unscrupulous sod; trying to squeeze out yet more money from a game, a few bucks at a time, after already sitting on a king's ransom. Mine isn't an unbiased viewpoint, but I'm nonetheless here to tell you that it just ain't so. It's important to remember that sales-based residuals aren't "bonuses" or "extra money", as many people out there seem to think. They're deferred payments against the lifetime value of the work. In other words, when residuals are part of a negotiated contract --- something that's not currently part of SAG and AFTRA's "new media" agreements --- the studio is essentially saying "your work is worth X, but that's too large an amount for us to pay up front. Therefore, we'll pay you a smaller percentage up front, and if the game is a success, then we'll pay you the remainder of that value over time." Film stars like Samuel L. Jackson and Ray Liotta get weekly checks for their movie roles not because their performances are stellar, but because their client (the studio) is on an installment plan. (This is one reason why the studios, long ago, agreed to the royalties system proposed by SAG; it places a risk on the part of the actor --- he stands to lose, say, 80% of the value of his work --- alongside the financial risk incurred by the studio on that project.)

There even exist a few voice actors, some for whom I have great respect, who are of the opinion that Hollick signed the contract, knew what he was getting into, and should stop bumping his gums about the lack of residuals. I'm not saying that wouldn't have been a prudent choice, but let's look at some other issues. Leaving aside the fact that his contract doesn't cover the use of his voice for promotional purposes over the Internet, who are any of us to tell an unknown voice actor to say no to a six-figure payday, even one that isn't currently as equitable as it should be?  As much as I admire those who stick to their principles when it's least convenient --- and they are to be admired --- actors have to eat. (Also, 100 grand is nothing to sneeze at, but it doesn't go as far when you live in NYC or L.A.; and residence in these cities is a near-absolute requirement for an actor to do videogame VO work .)

Another such colleague has opined that voice actors shouldn't receive royalties for games, with the reasoning that gamers don't buy titles based on the quality of the actor's performance. This may be true to a degree --- mitigated in no small part by the willingness of those same gamers to flame bad voice acting in game forums --- but it misses the point by a mile. Again, TV and film actors receive royalties for their work not because of their sheer acting prowess, but because the performing unions fought to ensure that these artists --- regardless of the artist's ability or inability to act his or her way out of a paper bag --- aren't left with an inequitable share of profits. The unions understood well that competition for acting jobs is fierce, to a degree that few other industries and professions can relate to.

Or, put another way, in the form of a rebuttal to Lew Wasserman: your plumber doesn't have to audition for his next job against hundreds of other hopeful wannabe plumbers, hoping against hope that he'll land the gig. Taking it a step farther: If the plumber had fixed the toilet so that it spat out a thousand bucks every time it was flushed, he'd be justified in asking for a percentage of that payout. But I digress.

Bottom line: the percentage of actors who can wrap up one job, then count on another gig being in place the next day, is small. As in single digits.

All this may be moot, however, if SAG and AFTRA are unable to negotiate residuals into their new contracts with the studios and production companies (represented by AMPTP). The TV writers were reasonably successful in their quest, but that's no guarantee. We'll see.

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May 05, 2008

New Client: Rove Mobile

Happy to have Rove Mobile as a new client; I'll be voicing an introductory video clip for their new application. Rove creates IT and business software for handheld devices.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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March 17, 2008

Do That Resource!

 

 

 

 

This little ol' DTV blog gets a feather in its cap from Voices.com; it's listed as one of their 100+ Industry Resources for Voice Over Talent, the latest in their series of VO talent tools.

Thanks to Stephanie and co. for seeing fit to include me; if you agree that DTV has been a valuable resource, I hope you'll pass along my link and subscription information to anyone interested in voiceover.

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November 02, 2007

Striking News

Looks like a Writer's Guild strike is imminent, with the most recent reports indicating only the slightest chance of last-minute talks to avert a crippling walkout. 

At first glance, the driving force behind this might simply appear to be a demand for wage increases. In fact, it's as much about the changing nature of entertainment delivery (DVD, streaming media, etc.) as it is about dollars and cents. From today's AdAge:

 

In the early '80s, the Hollywood's writers made what has become to be regarded as the worst deal since Manhattan was sold for some wampum and blankets: When the writers originally signed their pact with producers about how they would be compensated for work viewed on home video, they agreed that 80% of the revenue would immediately be kept aside for the studios, leaving only 20% of the revenue available for royalties. The upshot? While a film or TV show might sell for $19.99 on home video, a writer will typically receive less than a nickel from that sale.

"Welcome to class warfare," deadpanned Jonathan Handel, an entertainment lawyer at Troy & Gould who specializes in internet law, and who formerly was associate counsel to the WGA from 1994-1995. "The home-video agreement doesn't even make sense for home video anymore, let alone the internet."

Mr. Handel explained that the 80/20 split of home-video spoils might have been tenable in 1982, when video cassettes were a costly media to produce and often subsidized by studios seeking to create a new revenue stream. But the cost of manufacturing a DVD is now pegged at 25 cents; digital distribution is, he argued, even cheaper, because there is no physical media to produce at all. [I'm reminded of the 80s, when the music industry charged more for the "brand-new" CD format, even though production costs had plummeted fairly quickly after the format became a hit. --- DH]

Moreover, the studios are making more than they ever had before: Last year, all-media revenue from filmed entertainment -- money from home video, TV, theatrical release and pay TV -- grew 8% to a record $42.6 billion.

 

This is 100% speculation on my part, but there's a slight possibility that a writers' strike could push back the previously-mentioned videogame project I'm booked for. The game ties in with a movie release lated for 2008, but that film has (reportedly) already been delayed by script rewrites. I'll just keep my fingers crossed and continue to work as much as possible in the meantime. 

UPDATE: Well, per some information in the link (provided in the comments by my good friend Mary), it looks like my speculation was probably correct. The strike is hitting home, even here in Texas...
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October 24, 2007

This Time, Free is Good.

 

If you've read any of this blog in the past, you'll know that I'm usually skeptical of things given away for free; in terms of value, one usually gets what one pays for. With that in mind, I'm pleased to be able to report a happy exception to that rule. (Many thanks to fellow VO artist Joe Rodriguez for finding this one first.)

Intuit, the makers of Quickbooks (you may have heard the name; it's the market leader in small business accounting software) has made their QuickBooks Simplestart 2008 accounting software available for free. While you'd be right in thinking that this package isn't as fully-featured as the paid editions, it's not a time-limited demo or a stripped-bare version either; it's a completely functional program that allows you to create professional-looking invoices and sales receipts, track customer and vendor contacts, and further organize your business expenses. I've started using it myself the past few days, and I'm glad to say it makes this aspect of the business less of a chore.

Oh, and while I wouldn't be opposed to the idea, I assure you that this isn't a paid endorsement. It's rare that "free" and "worthwhile" go together, so I'm more than happy to let everyone know when it does.

 

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