Part 2 of an Interview with Lowell Christensen of Spotworks Creative
In this second installment, professional female voiceover artist, Debbie Grattan interviews Lowell Christensen of SpotWorks Radio Creative and Production to discuss the attributes that male and female voiceover artists need to get steady work from online production agencies. Read Part 1 of this interview here.
Voiceover Actor – Debbie Grattan: How do you discover new voice artists?
Lowell Christensen: I set up a subscription-based voiceover online talent site because I get so many voiceover artist pitches. The site gives male and female voiceover artists an opportunity to promote their demos, and I use it to promote voice talent to my clients.
That said, there are still two or three times each year when I go to voice talent online sources like Voice123 for specialty talent not in my roster.
Voiceover Actor – Debbie Grattan: What are the most important qualities that a female voiceover artist needs in order to get voiceover work from your agency?
Lowell Christensen: After meeting the price criteria, which I’ll talk about in a bit, it’s the ability to do VO production on their own within a couple of hours and do a revision in the same amount of time.
Eight times out of ten a client will say, ‘I need this voice within the next hour, who do you have?’ The voiceover talent who get regular work from me are the ones I know I can count on to voice things right away and turn projects around within 24 hours. At the very least, if they get back to me quickly, we can arrange to have the audio delivered overnight. Communication is key.
Voiceover Actor – Debbie Grattan: Do you feel it’s important for voiceover artists to have certain voice over studio equipment?
Lowell Christensen: The actual equipment isn’t important to me a long as the voice talent can deliver decent sound quality. ISDN is beneficial for voice talent online who want higher-level voiceover agency jobs, but the lower price point usually expected for hiring a voice talent online doesn’t always fit with the client who wants to sit in on a phone patch or ISDN session and do 50 takes.
Voiceover Actor – Debbie Grattan: Given the mid-level market you cater to, what do you consider to be the industry standard for a 30-second radio spot?
Lowell Christensen: A voiceover talent can expect to make $100 for a 30-second spot, $150 for a 60-second spot, which unfortunately is the same price it was when I went online in 1997. That said, I have regular voice actors who are doing vo production services for $75 for a 30-second spot, with the understanding that these are rip and read: You give me one take, and these are regular clients that like what I give them. I don’t last long with clients who pick things apart.
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but I try to educate voice talent and build trust that I’m not marking my jobs up 500 percent. Voiceover artists need to wrap their head around the fact that for online voice-over work, they don’t have to drive to a recording studio, sit for hours, and do 25 takes to earn $400. They can make $100 for 15 minutes of work sitting at their computer. I don’t want to downplay the value of getting paid for your talent, but the online world has changed the face of our industry. It’s important to be flexible.
In Part 1 of this interview, Lowell Christensen talks about online voiceover marketing tips that can work well for voiceover artists.
Debbie Grattan is a professional female voice artist who has been doing voice over work for over 20 years. Check out her female voiceover samples, voiceover talent resume and voice acting bio and ISDN recording studio specs for more information.