A producer is someone who takes a kernel of an idea and out of that kernel, creates an actual event. In the world of Voice Over Production, they are responsible assembling all the principals needed to fulfill the ultimate vision of the project. If we use the analogy of The Wizard Of Oz, the producer would ultimately have to be The Wizard, that being said s/he can be the Wicked Witch as well.
Most of the producer’s responsibilities occur before and after the actual recording session. It is in the hiring or overseeing of the director, actors, engineers, music etc. where the producer shines. Once the principal jobs have been filled, the voice over session (complete with all the top-notch players doing the jobs they’ve been hired to do) should unfold organically.
Once the producer has chosen a voice over director to bring the project to life, s/he will let the director do what they do best. Prior to the actual recording session, the producer will have discussed at length, with the voice director what the objectives and goals they intend to achieve.
Throughout the voice over recording, the producer may have opinions on how various lines are written and read. Keep in mind that any notes from the producer are meant to enhance the ultimate vision of the project. These notes are not meant to be taken personally. The producer is the one with weight of the project on his/her shoulders and is ultimately responsible for its success.
The actual voice over recording session is but one piece of a much larger puzzle, a crucial piece to be sure, but a singular piece nonetheless. The producer is also responsible for the artwork, the production timeline, the music, the marketing etc.
At the end of the day, The producer job is to over see the entire project from inception to execution and s/he often does it from behind the giant curtain.
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