Carbon Maestro

Producer's Éditique for Voice Actors/Actresses and Vocalists

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When I talk about producers, I mean those who regular work with voice actors and actresses, singers, in music and/or in animation. After being in a few experiences of both good and bad, I complied these comprehensive guidelines that will help you work with other contributors more easily.


If you're making a song or project with another person who is doing vocals or voice acting, it might be the best feeling. However, not all things go according to plan, hence I've come up the things that many producers ignore about the burdens that you might be unaware of. I call this, the Producer's Code: The Editique for Voice Actors/Actresses and Vocalists.


This list has been in the making since 2006 derived from various voice actors and actresses, producers and musicians.




Producer's Éditique For Voice Actors/Actresses and Vocalists.


1. Be specific. You may ask for redo's if you do not believe that your voice actor said the line the way you imagined it, but giving criticism without giving specific details is frustrating and will burn out your VA. Instead, record yourself saying the line with the emotion you had in mind so that your actor can get a better idea. VAs not psychic.


2. Send your voice actor the entire script or instrumental, or at least the part of the script that contains his or her character. If you're a musician sending vocal lyrics to a singer, be sure to send a rough draft of the instrumental. Sending the lines without context will sound awkward or misread when all the lines are added together in the project.

3. If you're scouting for a role, let your voice actor know what type of voice you're looking for, or send concept art.

4. Please give your voice actors a deadline. Otherwise VA lines might not appear until 2 months from now.


5. It is your responsibility to listen to a voice actor's demo before scouting them for a role.

6. Everyone has their preferred methods of casting, but simply "handing out parts" is generally not a smart move to make when casting.


7. Even if you're talking to the voice actor via skype chat about the files, send a copy to their e-mail box just to be safe.


8. There's no need to go on a forum and talk about how much you dislike them or what a terrible actor they are. Voice actors and actress are a tightly knit community - If you develop a reputation of spreading bad press other VAs won't want to meet a similar fate.


9. When doing long-term projects, please keep contact information on hand.


10. No matter what, make sure to credit your voice actors in the finished product.


11. Send a link or video or file copy to the VA of the final product.


12. When a VA has contacted you with an audition, or especially if you have contacted a VA, it is only common courtesy to email them a reply.

15. Proofread your script before sending it to your voice actors.

16. When your VA sends you lines, make sure you save them to a safe place, and keep them if you decide to get a new computer. Don't lose these at all costs!

17. Don't be afraid to be assertive with your project. Ask for lines to be redone if you need to. Set deadlines with authority. Just be specific - anything you can send us, such as concept art, voice clips for reference, etc. will be helpful in doing the voice the way you want it.

18. It's understandable if you're making a spoof of an anime or game and want the voices to sound close to the original. However, please consider that this isn't the same voice actor/actress that was in the game or movie, and chances are the VA will not be able to do an exact imitation.

19. Recasting: So your voice actor missed a deadline? The best thing to do is send them a friendly reminder asking them about their lines. If they still don't respond, send a notice that if they don't have their lines in by (insert date here), they will be recasted. It's a good idea to let your voice actors know if you'll be recasting so that they don't waste time recording lines you're not going to use.

20. Cancelling your project? Just be honest and let the VA know.


21. When a voice actor does work for you, do NOT take this as an extra e-mail address that you can add to forward chain letters to on your massive mailing list.


22. Do not digitally edit the pitch without first asking permission from the voice actor.


23. If the VA is working for free, don't be too hard and be reasonable about deadlines, redos, and be generous in voice direction (See Number 1).

Edited by Carbon Maestro

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Thank you for this! This is a great guide, and it's frustrating when producers/directors don't follow some of these. 

Edited by Little Lizards

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It's kind of funny/disappointing that any producer/director would forward unrelated emails to their cast members.  Are they 9 years old or something?  :o


It's also easy for actors to take the good directors for granted.  At least until they've had the misfortune of working with a bad director.  Last year I (and at least one other actor) prepared an audition for a director who failed to specify that the role was actually supposed to be female.  Not surprisingly, that project eventually died due to a lack of direction, communication and leadership.

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Not surprisingly, that project eventually died due to a lack of direction, communication and leadership.


A lot of it is motivation on both sides; You need both in order for a project to succeed. Usually when one side isn't interested, the project falters, but that's intuitive.

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Fantastic guide, Carbon.  I will definitely keep this in mind, :D

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With all my years of working as either a director, producer, or actor, I've never even thought of some of these things.  Thank you so much for making this!  Hopefully this gets around quickly so everyone can see this.


Sticky this thread, please! c:

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