Media Parents

Monthly Archives: April 2020

5 minutes with Voice Actor Artist Kerry Hutchinson

by Amy Walker

Your broadcast or other media products, whether commercials, factual documentaries, online or on TV, need a professional voice, writes voice actor, and ex-RAF Officer, Kerry Hutchinson.

Voice Actor Kerry Hutchinson at work

As a father of three children, Kerry knows life can get busy, even in lockdown. “But,” Kerry continues, “If I can help you, let’s chat. As a professional voiceover and voice actor with my own broadcast-quality equipment, I could help you if you need a voice for your next project. Contact me via Media Parents or via the link below – I’d be delighted to provide you a free sample read of a script to help you decide”.

So, how did I get into voiceovers? I used to be a Training Officer in the RAF and someone said I had a good ‘Radio 4’ voice – would I mind voicing some instructional videos? And someone else later said I should do voiceovers full-time.  I was lucky with a new agent who had a gap my vocal tones would fill on their gallery.  Having German as a second language helped me gain the attention of German-speaking companies and agencies, and being able to mimic accents has also helped with my vocal ‘shop front’.

Once I’d got an agent, I started investing in upskilling courses, especially, several years later, I decided to go independent.  Not a leap for the timid, because competition among indie VOs is pretty ferocious. And you have to upskill to keep on the ball.  Social media courses have really helped, especially when learning about techniques to reach out when networking and marketing for possible voice job leads.

And having been injured in combat when a serving infantry Officer in Afghanistan, the compensation helped me realise a long-held dream of not just launching as an independent voice actor, but having a professional, broadcast-quality studio set up, which I now have. The image below shows me (on the right) ‘resting’ on a combat patrol with the Gurkhas, with whom I had the honour to serve, in Helmand, Afghanistan.

Among the many things I have learned is to pitch for jobs that fit my vocal range – and with a voice that seems suited to documentaries, corporates and one-to-one style deliveries that engage with a ‘listener of one’ that’s what I play to. Of course, being able to sustain accents such as gravelly Slavic angry, fearsome and similar, I have started helping indie game developers voice their 2-D characters.

Kerry Hutchinson on manoeuvres in Afghanistan

I think. It is a fact that web presentations, explainers and e-learner need a trained, professional and believable voice to bring your product, presentation and training to life. And not just on TV – more than 1.3 billion people use social media – that’s a rise of 88% over the last five years, and equates to more than 8 new users every second. So how could my voice help you penetrate the above target audience with your broadcast voiced project, marketing and branding campaign, or in-house training?

Well, video slots often have complex messages that only have a short time to deliver their message – and the right voice can explain new concepts and deliver information persuasively and compellingly. And a compelling, plausible documentary or narrative voice is instrumental in selling your audiovisual story and encouraging viewers to watch future episodes. Your audience, indeed the wider public, make fast judgments on voice tone alone.

So the right voice – believable, persuasive – can attract traffic to your series, product or brand if the voice infers it is respectable and of value to them, and therefore worth listening to and watching. Especially for a major multinational like NATO, who employ me as their consistent ‘brand voice’ – even when I go to Afghanistan on short term contracts. Here’s an excerpt from a promo video I did at the start of 2020: https://vimeo.com/393166864

The right voice can inspire trust and confidence, with a perfectly rendered narration that is lively and engaging, delivering a high-quality message. And for more commercial considerations, if your product has a voice component it could boost Google rankings and increase social media shares.

Contact me at https://www.kerryvoice.co.uk/ – as they say – “it’s good to talk.”

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/16452/kerry-hutchinson

Our next event is a CV Masterclass on Friday May 1st online, contact us for details. Join us for Media Parents events, jobs and training at www.mediaparents.co.uk

April 24, 2020 @ 10:18 am Posted in Freelancer Profiles Comments Off

locked down with Producer Jonathan Schutz

by Amy Walker

And here we are – at home, writes Media Parents Factual Exec and SP Jonathan Schutz. Working from home. Hmm. Let’s be honest: for most of us, even the least sniff of work has evaporated. Channel 4 has suggested it will be “reaching out” to freelancers. The BBC and Netflix have made donations to the Film & TV Charity, ITV has made a fund available for indies. It’s all very nice, though perhaps not all that useful for those of us who are just about grinding along.

Producer Jonathan Schutz in edit at home

In the meantime, some indies are helping out by rehiring and furloughing recent freelancers so they can avail themselves of Rishi Sunak’s seeming bounty. Many of us however (including those with Personal Service Companies) plummet between the cracks of the Chancellor’s help package. BECTUMartin Lewis and some helpful MPs and journos – are making noise about this, but we still don’t know if that’s going to have any effect.

All the channels, terrestrial and otherwise, will soon be desperate for content – and not just shows about the virus. It’ll be on a budget as commercial broadcasters face a fall in advertising income, and those broadcasters who rely on ad-sales driven production will be hit doubly as sponsors retreat as well. I personally have two 6-hour series in development with interested sponsors who have gone extremely quiet!

But quality production on a budget? That’s good news: my whole business model for Curly Lizard Films is based on it. Frankly, my life – juggling Daddy Duty with Specialist Factual production – has been a bit like lockdown for some years now anyway. I was writing, developing, producing, editing and delivering productions from home long before all this kicked off. Last year’s main Curly Lizard production was a reversion of a very glossy Chinese series for NGC, all made from the spare room.

Some companies are managing to get commissions – you can watch Swan Films MD Joe Evans talking about his latest socially distanced commission with Talented People’s Kimberley Godboldt by clicking here, and your family can take part in Grayson’s Art Club here – but there are a lot more of us still looking for work.

Who are any of us really working for anyway?

So, dear broadcasters and indies – here’s a thought that could get us all busy right now. Pop down to your friendly distributor – online, of course. They have plenty on their shelves from around the world. Or see what you have in your own archive that could be repurposed. Send it over to me, and I’ll script something up and edit it together for you. And should you be up for some history – there are plenty of untouched subjects from all over the world, with archive accessible online. Wouldn’t it be a nice surprise if we suddenly developed a wider world-view while shut away in our houses?

Because when you come down to it, what’s the one thing better than setting up funds and relying on the government’s largesse? Getting productions started again and getting us all back to work. So now: over to you!

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14396/jonathan-schtz

April 17, 2020 @ 2:46 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, How To, News Leave a comment