With Noise + Colour’s Basecamp, covering all things Voiceover Artistry and Commercial Radio coming to Perth this August, I thought I’d run a few questions past the collaborators and contributors to give you a bit of an idea of what to expect.
In this blog, we’ll start with Bec O’Farrell, founder and creator of Noise & Colour, who literally grew up in a recording studio. This movement - to give voiceover artists the skills to run their own business and secure long-term, paid work in the industry - is her brainchild.
Next time, I’ll introduce you to Janco Blom, resident Audio Engineer at Magic Studios which is where Basecamp will be held.
Then Basecamp presenter, and professional Voice Actor, Deanna Cooney will share her insights.
And later, I’ll share my own answers to the same questions from the point of view of the Commercial Radio Industry - the component I’ll be delivering to attendees at Basecamp.
Are you ready? Let’s go.
We know the digital age (the internet) has affected a lot of industries in recent years.. how has the audio industry changed?
Now, supply and demand are so fast, high profile campaigns can be produced same-day from multiple artists all over the world. Back in the 80's, reel to reel was hot, equipment cost six figures, and there were no loops or pre-produced material available online. It was a collaboration of singers, songwriters, musicians, voiceover artists, creative directors and producers all working together under one roof.
Clients paid top dollar for tailor-made jingles, and I witnessed what would literally make history in the industry.
While the creative process was pretty magic back in the day, the internet has opened up a plethora of work that can be achieved PRONTO. This also makes the time versus money approach to running a business (I love time management) much more lucrative and we only need a minimal amount of gear to work from home and score consistent, paid work in the industry. It's an exciting time to voice.
So.. What inspired you to start your business?
A lack of BUSINESS support. There's no shortage of technical training in MEDIA but creatives are wired to be colourful (chaotic) and without some practical guidance on setting up and running a business, there is no chance of consistent work in these industries. Artists are encouraged to sign exclusively with agents and trust that these organisations will market them accordingly. It's just not the case. If you want to milk the industry and seek out every opportunity within your niche, this is the place to build a successful brand and learn how to market it. The work you miss out on when you hand over your creative power is criminal (love that word).
How long have you been in business?
4 years ago, I had the client base to leave my job. That was a happy day.
But you’ve worked in the industry for much longer than that, right?
My career in broadcasting kicked off 20 years ago now (ouch). I used to catch the bus at 6:00am from Mundaring (Perth Hills) all the way to RTR at UWA. I've spent my adult life engrossed in copy, managing national marketing campaigns and voicing for bigwigs like Coca-Cola, Commonwealth Bank, Australian Cricketers’ Association, Channel 9 and BHP. From Breakfast Announcer with WA regional networks to the fast-paced world of marketing and promotions for Perth’s 96fm and Nova. After years of hard-core training in the trenches and learning how to master gruelling interviews for fiercely competitive roles, I set sail and built a successful voiceover and media business, Noise + Colour.
Which industries are using trained voiceover artists these days?
As a corporate voiceover artist, I'd have to say real estate takes the cake as far as growth in online presence. The money going into spectacular visuals to support the sale of homes (globally) means there is also a huge pool of work for voiceover artists. Here's a taste!
Then, there's retail, business and professional services, building and construction, agriculture, government, healthcare, hospitality, mining, education and training. The list goes on. There is voiceover work waiting for you in just about every sector you can think of. It's about streamlining your marketing systems and communication to meet the needs of each one and convincing them that you have the voice to tell their story and fulfill their branding goals (which they've invested in emotionally and financially).
What kind of gear might a voiceover artist find themselves getting to work on?
When I started out, I had a MAC, a mic (Rode), a device to connect my mic to the computer (Pre Sonus) and I rented Adobe Audition. Now, as a professional full-time artist, nothing has changed except a mic upgrade.
What other jobs are out there in the audio industry?
Voiceover ACTING opens up another whole world of creative opportunity. Think animation/video games, audiobooks, documentaries, film, television programs, comedy, theatre.
If my survival depended on my ability to act, I'd be homeless but there's a place for those who can.
What can we expect from BASECAMP?
A realistic view of the MEDIA from professionals achieving success in the industry right now and confidence in your ability to set up and run a lucrative business of your own.
It's a jam-packed day and we'd love to see you there
What about after BASECAMP?
My goal is to see every student through the challenges that come with setting up and getting paid work. All of the workshop content will be broken down online in a members-only forum where students can ask questions, share stories and collaborate with like-minded individuals.