Welcome back! Last week we talked about the importance of coming to your voice over casting session with a great sense of the characters and tone of your project. This week, we’re focusing less on the creative side of things, and more on the practical – how much money do you have and how fast do you need it by?
Know Your Budget and Timeline
You’ve found the perfect actor for the lead role in your project. She’s super talented, has great microphone technique, and is excited about the role. Unfortunately, by the time you are ready to schedule her recording sessions, she’s out of the country filming a movie. Or she’s too expensive. Or she’s a well-known SAG actor and you forgot to mention that your project is non-union. Being Boy Scout-level prepared is essential to keeping things like this from happening.
• Have a schedule in mind. Know when you’ll want to be using your voice over talent. Do you need to be able to record this month, next year, or every Thursday for 6 weeks? If Michael Caine is off working on Batman, he won’t be available for your video game. Of course dates are always subject to change, but having a sense of your commitment will help you lock the actor you want without any surprises.
• Figure out what you can afford. Know how much you can spend on your initial record days, pickups, editing, and other audio costs. Do you need to budget for motion capture, or ADR to match animations that won’t be done for six months? When you know your overall budget, you can figure out what you can spend on each character. This way you won’t spend all your money on one actor and then remember later (once you’ve spent your budget) that there are 16 more characters you forgot about.
• Decide if you’re a union gig. Whether your project is SAG, AFTRA, or non-union, you’ll find exceptional voice talent for your cast. There are different rules and fees associated with different kinds of union contracts, which include limiting the number of characters an actor can play in a certain number of hours, or when your motion capture actor needs to take a lunch break. If you’re looking for a specific A-List actor to voice your lead, you’ll have to go union. If you’re looking for someone who “sounds like” a specific A-List actor, you have a lot more flexibility. Whatever you decide, you’ll want to know before completing casting so that you meet any necessary union regulations with the final makeup of your cast.
Are there other aspects of preparing for your voice over casting session that you’d like to know more about? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ResnickCasting and suggest a topic! We’re happy to provide more information to help you be super prepared and ready to work with us.