Documentaries are one of the most effective means to tell a story through moving visual images. An essential part of documentary production, in addition to its featured topic, filmmaking style, location, and script, is its voiceover component.
If you are looking for an exciting opportunity in voice acting, a documentary voiceover project may be a good breakthrough for you.
Important Things to Remember for Documentary Voiceover Projects
Many voice actors often find a documentary voiceover work highly challenging for the first time.
After all, it won’t be surprising for you to work with a film director who demands the highest standards when it comes to voiceover results. If you are used to commercial or radio drama voice acting, where voice emotion is allowed, making the switch to documentary-based voice acting can be daunting.
Nonetheless, there are important skills you can master to become effective in documentary voiceover or narration.
One of these is to understand the context of the documentary story and to find the appropriate voice acting style. Many documentary films tend to be informative, delivering historical, scientific, or biographical information along with moving pictures or film shots. However, this doesn’t mean that there is a one-style-fits-all formula for your voice acting performance. Certainly, a documentary about the life of Kim Kardashian will demand a narration technique that is different from a documentary voiceover on the behavior of iguanas and snakes in the wild.
Another skill is on timing. The voiceover actor should be able to match the story being narrated to the moving shots on film. This is also where a voice acting professional is expected to show “coolness under pressure”. The final voice recording sound should be natural but also well-suited to the topic or feature of the documentary.
Collaboration and Creativity for Documentary Voiceover Success
Documentaries are not the sole responsibility of a film director or cinematographer. It is important for you as the voiceover actor to be able to collaborate with the director and/or film producers as well.
Other than being able to read the script, you have to know what the voice acting project demands. In a documentary voiceover, moreover, creativity is also highly prized. As a way to collaborate, you can let the director or producer listen to various readings so you both come up with the best narration style.
As a voiceover narrator, you should work on both your strengths and mistakes. Through practicing and educating yourself on whichever way possible, your documentary voiceover success won’t be far behind.