Professional Documentary Voiceover
In the industry of voice-over, many genres can pique your interest. When most think of voice over, they usually think of cartoon characters, commercials, in-show narration, and documentaries. These are prevalent genres within the industry, as the luxurious voice of David Attenborough narrates documentaries such as Planet Earth. Morgan Freeman and many other top celebrities have participated in documentary voiceover because they are budget-friendly, quick to produce, and in high demand.
Many Voice Talents Choose Documentary
When considering a career in voiceover, this genre is one that many are interested in. Documentaries have become popular over the years. Once a talent learns how the industry works, they are confident it’s in their best interest to start coaching in commercial voice-over. Once your commercial career is established, it is a good idea to branch out into other genres of VO. Below I will outline the various types of documentary voice over and how they are classified.
Crime and Fraud Documentary
This is one genre of documentary voice over that is quite popular. Usually, the voice actor for this genre has a serious tone, typically lower in pitch. The opening of the documentary is quite firm, alarming, and exciting. As the show begins, the pitch changes to a more story-telling tone which suits the beginning of the storyline. Once the drama begins, the voice pitch changes, and the viewer is on the edge of their seat. The actor does a great job of keeping the viewer on the edge of their seat for the entire duration of the show.
Documentary Voiceover for Animal Programs
The genre of animal documentaries is quite popular among voice actors. Whether it is a National Geographic movie or Planet Earth, the voice can make a difference in the tone of the overall show. David Attenborough is the most famous animal show narrator with his ethereal, soft, and tender voice. His tone is famous for the perspective of hiding behind a tree and watching the animal in plain sight. He reads as though he knows and understands the animal and can help ease fears and improve their situation.
VOX and Podcast Style Documentary
This newer documentary narration style resembles a tone you would hear in a podcast. There is a very natural quality to the tone of voice, it is less commercial and less pronounced, and it’s more flat, reflective, and professional. You’ll hear this style in many socio-economic documentaries. This is my favorite style of voice over. It does not sound like the actor is trying to sell me anything. It feels genuine, authentic, and understated; because of that, I feel drawn into the message and theme of the show.
Documentary Voiceover for Biographies
Biography narration can be in various styles, depending on the subject matter. Whether it’s a historical figure, music, actor, or reality show celebrity, it will determine the type of voice actor chosen for the role. Historical figures tend to use an older voice actor with more gracias and a professional tone. Musical documentaries typically use voice actors with a more laid-back and cool approach. A reality show documentary will typically use a millennial voiceover or Generation Z actor with a trendy style and optimistic approach.
The Benefits of Using Professional Documentary Voiceover
Using a professional voice actor can boost your project’s credibility. Some of the best have trained them to change their tone and express themselves appropriately. They understand the concept of cold open, body, and close. They also know when to “turn the curve.” They understand what parts of the script need to shine, so the viewer knows what information to pay attention to.
With time and patience, one can dissect the script, finding colors and nuances to lend to the drama. Taking time to understand the purpose of the show and dissecting the script will lead to better performance and make the viewer more interested in what they are watching.
Whether you are working on a crime, reality, nature, or biography-style documentary, Leah is exceptionally qualified to handle the narration voiceover and would love to assist you with your next series. Reach out so she can learn about your next project!