Talent samples are used in the majority of voice-over and dubbing productions. However, the casting criteria for marketing films, brand collateral, TV/web series, and other types of material might be highly precise, therefore specialized auditions are beneficial. It is vital for multimedia localization practitioners to know how to maximize the value of these audition samples – and to do them right.
For voice-over and dubbing productions, why use specialized casting auditions?
Some projects necessitate extensive voice casting. In order to record all of their marketing and customer-facing collateral, a company looking for brand voices for its worldwide markets will need talent with the resting tone, acting range, and technical competence required to do so. Additionally, a series producer must ensure that the dubbing actors chosen for the show's lead cast are capable of portraying their characters' story arcs in the original language. All the information these customers need to choose a voice artist may not be included in a pre-recorded sample.
On projects with many casting reviews, custom auditions are a wonderful option. Because stakeholders may be unable to extrapolate a final performance from pre-recorded samples, it can be challenging to get stakeholders to approve foreign-language voice-over talent. To speed up this process, it's common to use an audition that lets stakeholders hear their project's text. Additionally, the audition sample can be used as a starting point for studio instruction in the recording process.
It's vital to get the custom auditions correct because they have an impact on budgets and timetables. As a result, here are some helpful hints to get you started:
1. Keep your text for the audition to a minimum.
For a customized audition, you might be tempted to have the performer read your entire voice-over screenplay. That's fine for a 30- or 15-second commercial, as well. However, if you have more material, you should condense it for individual auditions. Why? For starters, talents are better equipped to concentrate their performance on a smaller amount of material. It's also time-consuming and difficult to keep track of several auditions, especially when the samples aren't concise. Keep audition scripts to 100 words or less for the sake of quality and efficiency.
However, make sure that the wording covers what you require.
With your script, you must include all the beats and tone alterations, as well as any content pieces that will be used in your voice-over. Make sure to include components like product descriptions or tags in your text when you're casting for a marketing campaign on the web, radio, or television. In the case of an e-Learning video, make sure to include precise beats in your audition script, even if it's just in a short form. When it comes to character development, it's important to hear both tones in your bespoke audition if your main character evolves from innocent to cynical.
When creating a bespoke audition script for any project, be sure to include all of the information and performance range that you'll need throughout its lifecycle.
Notes about the performance and the changes in the beat can be added at this point.
Do you need the ability to go from being enraged to being apologetic in a single line? Is there a word or brand name that you want to stress in the copy? Sarcastic tone is required? Make a mention of that in the script, if possible. Add details and context. For entertainment localization projects, include character bios. Simply put, assist the candidates in delivering auditions that truly demonstrate their ability.
Also, don't forget about script translation and re-creation.
Your voice-over script and your audition script will both need translation or marketing transcreation. It is important to include this in your schedule. Remember, though, that this may have an impact on your wallet.
Involve your local partners or stakeholders in the process.
When it comes to sourcing auditions, this is crucial best practice for any multimedia localization. The audition script may be translated by an in-country contact as a first step. Audition notes tailored to their culture or language can also be provided. They will, of course, play a major role in the selection process. As soon as feasible, involve them in the production process.
Plan ahead of time to find the perfect voice actor or actress.
There's no escaping the fact that casting is time-consuming. Especially for foreign-language productions, where actors are examined for their ability to speak in the target language's accent. Obtaining custom auditions is a time-consuming endeavor, to say the least. So make sure to develop a casting timeline that includes the writing of a custom script, translation/transcreation, audition sourcing, and stakeholder evaluations. When advertisements and programs are scheduled to air at a specific time, the casting procedure must be given adequate time to succeed. A show, product, or brand's global success hinges on the choice of the correct voice actor.