Entries Tagged as 'animation'

voice-over puts the “explain” in explainer videos

For those who don’t know, explainer videos (also sometimes called video demos) are usually 1-3 minute videos that creatively tell the story of a product or service or even a story. There are many kinds…here’s an example of an explainer video I narrated for a DVD series which presented information about the Catholic Catechism in a friendly and creative way.

There are tons of talented production companies churning out amazing stories for products and services of all kinds. It’s an entertaining way of engaging a consumer.

Well, it’s supposed to be entertaining.

Problem is, just like in almost every facet of business, there are businesses out there who try and take crazy and short-sighted shortcuts on things like explainer videos with cheesy graphics and homegrown narration.

Yup, business owners narrate these videos themselves or have some family member narrate their explainer video, further diluting the possibility of any one watching the video past the first 10 seconds. It’s like watching a train wreck.

So here are my unsolicited tips for a valuable explainer video.

First, on an explainer video – visuals are the key…if they aren’t awesome, your production is in trouble. Visuals are job one.

Second, you don’t absolutely need a voice talent for a successful explainer video…but your visuals better tell a very, very, very good story…and you should look into a custom music bed too if you’re not going to use a voice talent.

Third, and I know I appear biased but I’ll take the risk, don’t do the narration for your explainer video in-house. Hire a voice-over professional (there are only a few thousand out there…see, I’m not just hawking my wares).

Great visuals and a great story teller will make your explainer video engaging and memorable. And that there’s the whole ballgame.

now even the news anchors are doing cartoon voices

Oy!

As if being a voice actor weren’t tough enough, what with every goofus with an iphone calling himself a voice talent, now comes an animated special from “30Rock” where only celeb VO’s need apply.

unmasking animation voice actors

Many voice actors know the names and faces of our more famous voice actoing brethren (and sisteren) who star in popular American animation TV series (you could throw animated movies in there but those castings always feel more about “movie star power” than anything else).

Some of us are even good enough to be able to identify an actor’s voice in animation or commercials on the first listen.

But what about the general public – do they particularly care what these voice actors look like?

I ask the question because on the Fox News web site today they featured a section called “TV Cartoon Stars Unmasked”.

Basically it’s a slide show of cartoon characters with a head shot of the voice actor next to it. Nice and deserved recognition for the actors, to be sure, but I’m just not sure the public really cares (and that is not meant as any slam to the actors).

What do you think?

the voiceover fight is on: “dora the explorer” vs. viacom

Caitlin Sanchez - Voice of Dora The Explorer; Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon-AP

This is not the first voiceover contract battle nor will it likely be the last but Caitlin Sanchez family’s lawsuit now filed against defendants Nickelodeon, MTV Networks and Viacom International is a bit more high profile than most.

It pits Viacom, one of the world’s largest communication companies and owner of many media properties including MTV as well as Nickelodeon against the plaintiff Sanchez (and her family) who was hired in 2007 as the voice of Dora the Explorer for the wildly popular and profitable cartoon series of the same name. The family

According to the article in the New York Daily News, the suit claims “Defendants used Caitlin, unjustly enriching themselves of millions of dollars in profits from the series and branded products, which Caitlin preformed and promoted,” and that Sanchez’ Dora deal promised her more than $5,000 an episode and compensation in residuals and merchandising.

After negotiations between the parties failed the lawsuit, which the defendant’s attorney claim is “without merit”, was filed.

My take on these suits is always “we’ll see”.

because there hasn’t been a logo post here in a while

I came across this video produced by the design firm Chermayeff & Geismar. It’s really impressive.

It takes some of their most famous logo designs (and there are lots of them) and morphs them into a cool video montage. The video has been around a while but its new to me so maybe its new to you too.

Not only is it entertaining but it’s also effective marketing although by the looks of their clients and their great work, you’d think securing new business isn’t so much a problem.

meet the voice of rabbit from winnie the pooh

Kenneth Sansom, who played the voice of Rabbit in the Winnie the Pooh series, recently stopped by ABC4 in Salt Lake City for an interview on Good Things Utah.