The New Year, New Opportunities and Demo Trends
One of the most important tools a Voice Actor can possess is the demo. The challenge with demos is pleasing the industry. There is great debate when it comes to demos and the requirements are always changing. From content, copyright, production, timeline, to choice of characters, no one seems to agree.
Content: This always depends on what type of demo you have created, however you need to make sure your copy is current and not dated. You don’t want to choose products/companies that make your demo seem local. And if you are working on character demos you want to make sure you are choosing characters that are currently cast. Trends change each year, so it’s important that you change and adapt your demos to suit the current trends. Know what is going on in the market you are seeking.
At one point demos were 2-3 min long. While narration demos remain longer format, the demos are getting shorter and shorter, however this depends on the recipient. Many local agents in major cities want a one minute demo complete with several longer clips that showcase your work, while many of the online agents want 30-60 second demos max with many short clips. So keeping everyone happy can be a daunting task.
What I recommend the most is have your demo team create a longer master with the longer clips. Then these clips can be used as individual samples on your website and other sites you need to market samples of your voice too. Then have a one minute produced version created as well. I highly recommend you get the individual produced clips of your demo recordings so you can use each of them as samples of different styles etc. It also gives you creative control of your product so you can recreate with it in the future. After all, speaking as a talent myself, I pay for it, so in my opinion it’s my material. I know some companies don’t want to give you the masters, so I suggest try and negotiate that from the start.
Another trend that is very current and highly requested these days is unproduced demos. Your voice can have production quality, but no music or sfx. This is not an easy demo to put together, only because you can’t use music and sfx to create mood, variety and atmosphere, so you just have to be that good all on your own. Many in the European market require this type of clean demo, specifically in the narration/commercial market, but you will find this in the animation/video game market as well.
When I produce demos I always offer the individual produced clips (although sometimes I forget to send them to the talent, but I always have them on hand), then I would send a produced master version, then a condensed 60 second version. Those that require 30 second demos, I’m happy to oblige. Then I send them the raw cuts when they request it so they can create their own demos when needed for clients with the same material.
Remember you should be updating your demos every couple of years. I know it’s costly but its important you have new material to market and that you show that you are staying current. I like to keep current and the only way to do that is to keep working and working with those that know.
If there is anything I can help you with or you’d like me to critique your demo, please don’t hesitate to reach out and I’d be happy to give you my thoughts and suggestions. Stay ahead of the industry so you can always stay on top.
Until Next Time Everyone
All my best
VO Chef Deb (Aka Deb Munro)