Am I Understanding You Correctly? Is That In English?

It’s the same in most businesses; you get presented with a piece inviting a quote/audition/tender/bid, and when you see how much they want for the price they’re willing to pay, it does beggar belief.

Recently, on a voiceover directory/audition site, I was presented with a job offer that ‘matched my profile’ as they tend to say, inviting me to put myself forward for the voiceover in question. You read a rough guide of what they want, how long the voiceover is, script length etc; and then you scroll down to the bottom and see how much they’re willing to budget for this. So often, what I’m finding, it’s WELL under what the job should be worth, sometimes as much as 10% of what the quote should be. I do find this quite staggering, how little value some people place on services.

I’m certain this happens in every industry, unrealistic projects, businesses not wanting to part with much cash for a top-quality production, tenders being offered out without any common sense as to how much things actually cost. It does annoy me…….it shouldn’t, but it does. Luckily the sun is shining so I’m not letting it bother me as much. As long as I get a tan I don’t mind.

I do often have to read some of these types of offerings several times over, to make sure I haven’t missed anything glaringly obvious, like misread a ‘x hours/minutes’ instead of ‘seconds’ or ‘words’. But no, sadly I’m usually correct in my assumption, it does read as pitiful as it actually is.

So, in the spirit of therapy for such times as these that wind us up on a frequent basis, here’s a little video I found that might amuse, from the classic series, ‘Big Train’.

2 thoughts on “Am I Understanding You Correctly? Is That In English?

  1. Hi Richard, I couldn’t agree more with your article and this subject continues to boil the blood of many VO’s in the industry today. So often we find that voice over artists in the UK are receiving pitiful quotes for jobs which clearly merit at least three times the initial offer. This can be extremely frustrating given the level of skill and amount of effort required to perform the script in question. More often than not, as you have mentioned, we find that offers quoted for particular jobs are drawn up by those who have little experience in the field nor possess any knowledge of the difficulty a copywriter or marketing agent may have in finding a skilled voice over actor to professionally perform and nail a script. If they want a good final product which is put together as smoothly as possibly then they need to be willing to make decent offers. In saying this though I would always advise newcomers to the industry to take any work they get offered at first, regardless of the pay, in order to gain experience in the world of voice over acting. But when it comes to experienced VO’s, the ability to stick to your guns or successfully negotiate a price which you are happy to work for can be a huge asset.

  2. Yep totally agree Darragh, it’s an age old problem in VO, but also in many many other types of industry as well.
    Hopefully at some point there’ll be a revolution and people will see clearly why people charge what they charge – there is a reason for it!

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