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Old December 8th, 2006, 09:09 PM   #16
Inner Circle
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Posts: 2,317
Hey Gints,

I teach VO. Making jocks (or anyone) sound like Morgan Freeman is a daunting task. As you may have experienced, some folks are natural speakers, some aren't. Even some extroverts just possum up when the lights turn on and the camera rolls. Training anyone to be comfortable in front of a camera or mic takes time. Some get it and some never do.

As I tell my students, "I have already made every possible mistake you could ever make and when you make it, I know it and I know why you made it. Because of that, I can help you figure out how not to do it in the future."

Years ago when I started doing on-camera work, my first job was doing bits about musicians coming to town. We shot in the afternoon, at dusk, they fired up the lights and I felt my brain freak. I worked through it, but since then, I practice memorization at some point with a bright light in my face.

In your case, try shooting with as little artificial light as possible set up in a dark room away from the buzz. Dark background and key, fill and rim light to pop them out of the background; sort of dramatic, but it will make it difficult for them to become distracted.

Try engaging them in a real conversation instead of having them read off of cards or prompter. Steer them to say the right things by the way you steer the cconversation. Make their comments short. If necessary, try parroting; you say it, they say it, but to the camera.

And never have the monitor so they can see themselves while they are on camera.

Overacting is a natural response to being nervous. Let them burn through that in the beginning until they settle down.

I was recording Cal Ripken a few months back for some radio PSAs. Cal has been at this a very long time. He's a real pro at the media thing. I was there to record the audio and fell into helping him tweek one or two words that sounded just a little stiff. I didn't force it, but at some point he accepted me and asked for my help on how to get through a sentence or two.

I've been reading and writing ad copy for years, so I hear it differently than most people. I knew how the sentences should flow and after....big point....assuring him that he knew exactly what he was doing, I casually did my read of a sentence, hitting the words that needed to be hit. He picked right up on it and we shot right through the copy. Again, Cal's a real pro. Your mileage may vary.

Although there are some basic general moves, each person I teach comes to me with unique problems. My job is showing them what the problems are and giving them exercises to get past the problems. It usually can't be done in one session. I have a page on my site that covers my VO Training. See if you can cherry pick any thing from that. You won't be the first. :)


Ty Ford

PS: You want me to come out to Menlo Park and help media train your guys? I'm sure we can work something out. I'll even bring my gear and do the location audio. :)
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Old December 11th, 2006, 12:44 AM   #17
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: San Jose, CA
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Hi Ty,

Thanks for the advice on recording for jocks, your little book and the excellent tutorial videos on your site :


2) Click on "On Line Archive"

3) Click on Video
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Old December 11th, 2006, 09:01 AM   #18
Regular Crew
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 97
Big voice, always a problem. All clients want deeper and richer. Also try using a multiband compressor, you can compress the lower freqs, making it artificially "deeper." Also check out the Neuman BCM series, I believe, they have those larger than life sounds.
Also a tube mic if you must, AKG solid tube is also an excellent choice. I own one. But compared to those multiple grands Nuemanns, they're not as "smooth." Sound is very subjective.
In Vino Veritas
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Old December 11th, 2006, 10:43 AM   #19
Inner Circle
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
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It's also very objective.

You're right though. The SolidTube pales in comparison to a U 87 or a U 89.


Ty Ford
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