While you DO want to showcase your ability to sound like you booked a big name gig, consider the possibility of that products competitor listening to your demo and deeming hiring you would be a conflict of interest. Or let’s say the agency who produces the spot you voiced says, “Wait a minute…we hired [Name of Talent] for that campaign…not this person! Faker!!” Could that happen? Maybe, maybe not. But you get the idea. There ARE many national brands that target to regional markets however…automotive, restaurants and clothing stores to name a few. Thus it’s OK to sprinkle some high profile client brands in, as long as you sound convincing that you booked that job!
Most commercial demos today run 60 seconds in length and no-longer than 90 seconds. (Demos in Los Angeles are now running 30 to 40 seconds total!) That’s why it’s so important your first spots are “WOW” worthy and sequenced to compel the listener to keep their finger off the “Next” button.
Character demos also run around the same 60-90 second length as commercial. There are subcategories to the genre of Character including Cartoon, Sit-Com, Cinema and Gaming. Each requires it’s own level of production and presentation approach, but for the most part you want to put amaze them with your best work up front.
Narration demos can run over the 60 second mark as you want to envelop the listener by showcasing your ability to unfold a story. This is an opportunity to let your demo “breathe” and engage the voice buyer. That said, 90 seconds is still considered an optimum length, meaning you won’t have as many cuts but the ones you do have will enable the voice buyer to hear how you’d actually sound for their project.
There are sub categories for Narration as well which include eLearning, web tutorials, explainer videos, etc. In some cases you may need only provide a few samples of your style which could bring the length of your demo to :60 seconds.
Audio book demos may tend to go longer, as the voice seeker may want to hear how you handle longer passages from a story. Multiple samples could lengthen your demo up to 5 minutes. Many narrators present individual passages on their websites showcasing the genres they specialize in. (Mystery, Biography, Sci-Fi, Medical, etc) These lengths run the gamut from 45 seconds to four minutes in some cases. Generally a sequenced Audiobook demo with three featured genres would do well to run 90 seconds.
Yes, of course. If the director is a professional voice coach, casting director or other person directly related to the business. Payment for this resource will be incumbent upon you, the talent to absorb.
Only if they make themselves invisible waiting in the lobby or step out for a coffee up the street after they drop you off. It’s very important that you not be distracted by outside influences during your session and remain focused on your performance. This includes finding a sitter for your child or pet, clearing your calendar and assuring that your time and mind in the booth is devoted entirely to YOU.
Yes, all of your produced pieces that went into the making of the demo will be sent to you in wav/mp3 (or both, however you prefer). Individual “best-of” voice takes are available if requested as well. Music and sound effects are not offered however.
Let’s do it! Especially if it’s to include spots you’ve booked. Often too, new skills are developed over time and you want to showcase those talents. If updating requires a new recording session and production, the hourly rate of $175.00 will apply. Editing your existing demo will be broken down to actual time accrued to make the adjustments…generally that falls well under one hour.
There are no guarantees but should I feel certain agents might be interested then the answer is yes. Every talent rep has their own guidelines for who they consider a good fit for their roster Some want people with a certain amount of years experience in the business. Others may like your sound, but already represent 2 or 3 others with your similar qualities and don’t have a need at this time. Freshly vetted voices might be offered a 90 day trial period tossing auditions your way to see how you fare.
Plan on having your demo fully produced and completed within 2-3 weeks after the recording session. This is an opportune time for talent to work on their marketing plan to coincide with the launch of the demo.
Occasionally clients will receive “sneak previews” along the way to hear how awesome their demo is coming along.
I’ve estimated that on average it takes one hour to complete a broadcast ready commercial. From recording, editing, music and sound effects compilation, mixing to final production…one hour. (This is an AVERAGE and doesn’t include copywriting)
Most commercial demos contain 8-10 samples of commercials. Each one of those commercials require full production despite the fact only a snippet will be heard. Thus it can take 8 – 10 hours just to create these elements needed to craft your marketing tool. Add to that an additional hour to lay out the sequence of the spots and mix them together.
The reason it may take 2 – 3 weeks for final delivery is due to several factors. Where you are in the line up plays a large part. I’m a custom builder, not an assembly line manufacturer. Ideally my ultimate goal is to provide you a finished product within 10 days of the recording session.
Requests for rush jobs will be met with my favorite question. “Do you want it done right away…or do you want it done right?”
One free revision is offered for changes pertaining to sequencing or insertion of a new commercial you booked.
Requests to re-record or add entirely new material to your demo would constitute it being a full revision and hourly editing rates for recording/production time would be applied.
During much of the preliminary process of creating your demo your branding and marketing ideas are discussed.
Beyond completion of your demo we can set up a one-hour marketing consultation ($125) where we’ll map out a step-by-step plan to approach agents, producers and opportunities in your own back yard!
To some degree, yes. I can provide suggestions for obtaining reasonably priced, high quality gear and best methods to treat your recording environment for optimal sound absorption.
While doing an in-home assessment may not be do-able, a separate one-hour consultation via Skype or Zoom will enable me to “see” your space via web cam or pictures you provide. Based on those images I will offer suggestions on how best to treat the environment your in so you have a comfortable broadcast worthy space to perform, edit and earn. ($125/hr)
I cannot offer guarantees of employment off your demo. The purpose of a demo is to demonstrate your performance skills for marketing to obtain work or representation only.
Happily past clients have shared with me great stories of success though!
“Hey Burnsie…just booked a Port of Subs job off my demo!” – Jamie Hunsdale
“So you know, I landed a couple of narration jobs off the demo we did.” – Shiromi Arserio
“Well guess who won the Character Demo contest at PAX this weekend?” – Misty Doty.
I was just about to ask you the same thing…