Creating your own VO reel is a fun and great way to present yourself for hire, but there are some basics you should know. Let's look at some useful tips to get you started.
What Is A VO Reel?
VO stands for voice-over. Voice-over work is an excellent way to make an income in the entertainment industry, with many making a full-time career out of it. Casting directors need voice-over actors for animation, documentaries, audiobooks, movie trailers, and more. A VO reel is a recorded demo that shows potential employers examples of your work.
One Reel For One Niche
Because the voice-over field is very competitive, thousands of actors submit VO reels to employers. You want to tailor your reel to fit the director's or producer's specific needs. A reel that shows your skills in animation will not be helpful to an employer looking for help in his documentary. Plan on making multiple reels for each niche.
Keep Your Examples Short And Sweet
As a general rule, select sample scripts or pieces that are only 90 seconds, 60 to 90 is optimal. Why? The typical producer or director is going to listen to many submitted reels looking for the right person. They very much have a cut to the chance mentality, so present yourself concisely.
Back in the day, CDs and tapes were the preferred media, but times have changed. While you will still see them pop up from time to time today's preferred format is via online hosting. Online hosting allows for easier editing, is simpler to send, and is more convenient for the client to access. Spend the time necessary to find a suitable host.
If you want to sound like a professional, and of course you do, professional equipment is a must. This means recording your VO reel in a recording studio or at a minimum with a home-based professional setup. Don't let this scare you. There are plenty of relatively inexpensive studios around and you probably know a friend or two who can help you. A high-quality microphone for speaking is a must, as are pop filters and noise dampening software.
Find High-Quality VO Reels, Emulate and Practice
You believe in yourself and your talents, and you should, but this is not the time to reinvent the wheel. Make a point of acquiring VO reels of experienced voice-over actors, learn from them, emulate and practice. These are your competitors, but they're also the people who do it just the way employers like it. So study and learn from the best.
Voice-over work is a wonderful way for actors to supplement their income and can be a fun way to make a full-time living as well. Make great a VO reel and get started today.