View Full Version : Voice 2008 Dvd
10-31-2008, 11:52 AM
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11-21-2008, 12:04 PM
Hello all... I was one of the lucky winners for Julie's contest to review the VOICE 2008 DVD package, hope someone finds this helpful. Thanks for reading!
As a non-attendee of the VOICE 2008 conference, I was anxious to hear what I missed. Judging by the 20+ hours of audio content (with several PDFs and Power Point presentations thrown in for good measure), I'd say the answer is A LOT. The topics covered on the audio sessions on this DVD package cover quite a bit of ground, from breaking down copy to improv to self-direction to marketing and more.
Two highlights for me were the Promo Panel and our own Julie Williams's "Proven Voiceover Techniques" session. I think most of the promo panel's appeal for me was simply the fact that that's an arena of v-o that I aspire to work in some day, so it was great hearing some of the top pros like Joe Cipriano and Beau Weaver and Townsend Coleman talk about how they got where they are today. As far as practical learning, Julie's session was hands-down the most useful for me on the DVD. And no, I'm not just sucking up... her session teaches terrific ways to break down copy and make it your own, with useful exercises you can do while you listen.
Which brings me to one of the problems with this package. If you're not the type of learner who does well with audio materials, this DVD package probably won't be of as much use to you (though I believe there are workbooks included in the retail version). In fact, there are a number of sessions on here that don't translate all that well to the audio-only format. And while this package could be viewed as a tremendous value because of the number of presenters and the savings over taking each of their workshops individually, know that most of these sessions run an average of 1 hour in length - much shorter than any workshop I've attended - and you're not getting any hands-on individualized attention. Is this a worthwhile compilation? Absolutely. But at a sticker price of just south of $500, I think I'd rather put money that towards my VOICE 2009 fund. Which I suppose is part of the reason they're releasing this package in the first place... to get you interested in attending next year's event. And that it did for me.
11-24-2008, 10:00 PM
I attended VOICE 2008, and was eager to hear what happened in the sessions I was unable to attend. Although I haven't listened to everything yet, I know I will! I concentrated on: Susan Berkley's breakout session, Marc Cashman, Marc Graue and Deb Munro. I was using my Mac, so I had only audio to work with. Still, a lot came through, especially when the presenters were working with folks on mic, and giving feedback. I think that's terrific stuff we can all learn from.
Susan Berkley: very professional, but since she wasn't live, it was a little colder than the other sessions, with no audience interaction. Still, valid advice, but I could've done without the five-minute sales pitch at the end touting her products. I have to say that VOICE was, for the most part, void of the "glad-handed sales pitch". For example, we all know James and Penny run their VO training business from San Diego, but ads in the magazine and cards with their website on it let the attendees decide if they wanted more information. I never heard them sell their services during the three days in LA. And I thank them for that. Classy.
Marc Cashman - VO coach/teacher. What a great personality! He covered important VO attributes like breath control, exercise and he gave great hands-on (voice-on?) tips to several attendees behind the mic. Valuable.
Marc Graue - studio owner and demo producer. This was like listening to a buddy at the bar tell you how it really is in the VO business. He had demo advice, auditioning advice, and he also brought in two other professionals VO artists to discuss ADR (looping) and give advice on how to "do what you do well". Personally, I love to hear from those in the trenches, because they become more like me! Valuable.
Deb Munro - Canadian VO artist and coach. Wonderful seminar, full of stories from behind the glass, tips for what casting agents look for (or listen for), how to stand out from the crowd and how taking risks can ultimately increase your chances of landing the gig. She named names, listed websites, and in general gave information that other people charge for. Very valuable.
I know this is long, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention that there were a couple of presenters that I didn't enjoy at all. I am not naming names, since it is at best subjective, but let's just say that their preparation/organization wasn't there, and they seemed most interested in having their egos stroked. NOTE: The beauty of this VOICE 2008 DVD is that you have lots to choose from, and if something doesn't hit you, keep listening, because I think you'll find more than enough inside to justify its price.
The Spot-on Voice
11-24-2008, 10:58 PM
If you failed to attend Voice 2008 at the Hyatt Regency in Century Plaza last summer, fret not! Nearly the entire seminar has been preserved as an audio DVD, and is a must-have for all VO talent (and would be VO talent.) I can only give you a brief overview of the wonders you’ll find on this DVD, but let me say this: I have been a voice actor for over 30 years, and yet felt I was in kindergarten. I’m frankly amazed at what truths have been revealed in this presentation, and wish I’d heard them long ago. For example:
Julie Williams has been coaching for over 30 years, and she educates you in how to bring the copy to life. She’s done Orbits, Coca Cola, thousands of others. An author of many books on VO, she gives a great inspirational talk. Her speech is an abbreviated version of one of her workshops, and it is full of invaluable information regardless of your level in the business of VO. She points out that it’s not just your voice--It’s what you bring to the table. Learn what to bring. Learn to not let your voice destroy the message. And don’t worry if you have a great voice—you can overcome that by building skills. (Damn, I hope so!) You’ll hear folks learning to color words, on the spot. And you’ll learn the difference between inflection and color.
She also has a PowerPoint instructional program that will tell you important secrets!
Susan Berkley, CEO of The Great Voice Company, actually wasn’t at Voice 2008, due to a death in the family, but she too is represented on the DVD. Susan, of course, is the voice of, among many other things, “AT&T”. Many of us may be unfortunately familiar with one of her sessions in which she recorded the phrase: “Your card has been declined.” She gives you many reasons why VO is the “Ultimate Lifestyle Business.” She proves it by sending her contribution from Brazil, where she was enjoying Carnival! Susan also gives many examples of VO folks all over the globe who do their work from remote locations, squeezing in their work between farm chores, gardening duties, or one throwing a Texas Bar-B-Q. She says, “There’s never been a better time to be in voice-over.” So listen and believe!
The DVD includes improv instruction from Avery Schriver’s protégé Karly Rothenbuerg. She’s a voice actor, as well as a televison and film actor, and she peppers everything she does with improv. Learn how you, too, can dive in and do it. You’ll hear audience members follow instructions in learning to play and produce presence. Go for agreement! Create a relationship! All that and more…
Plus, you’ll be astounded by Richard Horvitz, one of the key voices of Invader Zim, master of playfulness and creativity in voice-over work. Are you an artist? Then you are approved to listen to Richard’s session. If you’ve ever walked out of an audition wishing you’d done it differently, this session is for you. Did you ever play “house” as a kid? Play make-believe games? Somewhere along the way you may have stopped playing pretend. How can you get that youthful innocence back? Learn how to use those early games to inspire yourself. Learn to enter that secondary reality. You’ll also learn that bad mic technique apparently won’t keep you from success. (Sorry Richard!)
Stefan Chinell does a great variety of VO, and does it in Swedish. He does it the Toyota Way…a variation of Audience, Backstory, Character. Where do I want to go? What can I do now to get there? Better to be a first class version of yourself than a second-rate version of someone else. Learn how to be a rock star in 14 nights? Maybe not, but you’ll learn how to make money in the VO business. And learn that Overselling is Repelling.
From making a great demo to setting up a killer home studio, you’ll hear a fun, informative look at the VO business from Marc Graue. You need a demo. Learn how to create a great one. The “Wow” factor! Garner attention immediately. Copy that makes them remember you. You’ll also hear maybe the worst demo ever. You’ll feel better about yourself after you hear this! Learn to do what you do, but do it better than everybody else. You have a unique life experience, learn to use it.
One entire disc is the Promo Panel, moderated by the legend, Joe Cipriano.
Finally, you’ll see some amazing video productions as well, produced by people like Pat Fraley, Deb Munro, Marc Cashman and an old friend of mine, Joe Klein. Joe will shake you up with some practical and frighteningly impractical tips on the biz. Joe is a long time producer/studio owner who has done powerful spots for hundreds of clients, from Casablanca Records (Donna Summer, Kiss) to General Electric. Joe is also a voice-over talent, and you’ll learn of his new company, The Podcast Voice Guys.
So, if you have any interest whatever in making money as a Voice/Over artist, you must get your hands on this double-DVD set. The hours you spend listening will pay off for you more than you can imagine! (Hope I haven’t OverSold it.) PC
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