Voiceovers by Gregory Houser
A man, a martini, and a lot of microphones.: So what does Goldman-Sachs have in common with voice over? High fees for high stakes.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

So what does Goldman-Sachs have in common with voice over? High fees for high stakes.

There's an article written by Megan McArdle that I recently read in the Atlantic, which likened investment bankers with wedding planners, funeral directors, and movie trailer voice over actors. Regardless of the current economic climate, that's an interesting comparison to make, but it's actually pretty accurate.

The big message that McArdle tries to get across is that if you buy cheap, you usually get cheap. While her message has to do with the finance industry, she is able to relate it to the career of Don LaFonatine, and how many people (who aren't in voice over) might be shocked to learn what he salary was during the peak of Don's career. This is true, as the man made the kind of money that most people can only dream of. However, when you've only got one shot to make the deal, the fees associated with that one shot were negligible with the potential return on investment a client might see.

In the author's own words, "a moment of reckoning will come when the deal either goes well, or does not; that moment is very hard to anticipate; and if things go wrong, they can be very hard to fix."

How often do we as voice artists have to deal with clients who simply do not want to pay our fees? I know that I've lost count, and I've lost more than a few bookings because I wasn't willing to sell my services as short as a client might want them (we've all got stories about the $1500 dollar project that the client was only willing to pay $100 for). That doesn't matter so much as the message that a professional talent must represent to their clientele and potential clients alike, and that message is that when one shot is all you get, one shot is all you (as a voice talent) need...

Put another way, when a client is concerned that they can't afford your services, your job is to remind them that they can't afford not to have your services.

A link to the article can be found here.

PS: I got a chuckle out of the author's comment that "...no guy asks a date if she’d like to go see the new Don LaFontaine trailer."

I actually got my significant other to listen to countless movie trailers with me... before we were dating (so it's a valid pickup strategy in my opinion).


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