Week 5: Voice-overs

Just a pic of baboons doing a vocal warm-up. Photo illustration Gerhard G/CC/Pixabay



  • Voice overs (V/0)
  • Mark up a script 
  • Develop techniques for reading scripted material

V/O: a piece of narration in a film or broadcast, not accompanied by an image of the speaker

Voice-overs (VO’s) are a highly creative, demanding, and unique pursuit that mystify many people. It’s generally an anonymous job and yet, the sounds that an artist creates can greatly enhance a media project. Where would Shrek be without the character voice? Not to mention Eddie Murphy’s Donkey:

Before you attempt to record or go live, commit to vocal warm-ups and a series of tongue twisters that will sharpen up your delivery and improve diction:

  • Unique New York
  • She sells sea shells by the sea shore
  • The big black bug bled black blood
  • Red leather, yellow leather

Get to know (and love) the script. Take a pencil and “mark it up” which means to place a vertical line or two in the text at places where maybe, an extra breath is needed.

Use the punctuation to pause and re-set; breath. Re-fill your diaphragm

Voice-over tips with Industry professional and TAFE teacher, Caz Adams:

Top 20 Ways to become a great radio presenter:

  • Search for five or six 30-45 second VO scripts. Mark them up and have a red-hot go at recording in your humble yet effective home studio. Using your phone is fine. See here for script samples.
  • Upload the scripts and recordings (.mp3) to your Student Weekly Tasks folder.

Next week: Ad-libbing, i.e. speaking or performing in public without previously preparing one’s words. Charles had to ad-lib because he’d forgotten his script.

ORIGIN: early 19th century (as an adverb): abbreviation of ad libitum.

Reminder: ASSESSMENT – PORTFOLIO Part 1 Voiceovers – DUE WEEK 6

Check specific assessment task instructions in the Subject Guide.

27 Voiceover Techniques – 14.24 min:
Morgan Freeman is one of the gifted voice-over artists appearing in this video. There are many more industry professionals who offer their advice and techniques on using your voice in any media situation. To warm up before a session Morgan says, “Just yawn”.

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