2020 in review in the world of voice over and content!
The year in voice over that was, could not have been anything like what was forecasted at the start of the year. One event, COVID-19, came to dominate everything.
We started the year with a glimpse into what might be the pressing issues for 2020 in terms of content and voice over, with mobile viewership being a big trend only set to grow, and an increased explosion in new voices needed, being 2 of 5 content trends to keep an eye out for (read January’s post “5 Voiceover and Content Predictions” here). Content, getting eyeballs and how voice over is a vital help in the mix were at the forefront of things at the start of 2020. By March it all changed with social distancing and the two words that were most pressing in the voice over world now being “home studio” (hopefully broadcast quality) and “connectivity” – overnight those voice over artists that had made professional home studios to rival the studios of Soho and LA a part of their offering were gold dust (read March’s post “Voiceover in the Covid 19 era” here). Add to that an ability to recreate the in studio environment with remote direction applications (read April’s post “How Voiceovers and Clients Can Stay Connected” here) and production pipelines could still continue with the care and safety of everyone involved.
Yet, overnight, the technological change that was being ushered in over the past decade, became the new norm. No studio records with lots of people. That was too dangerous to all involved. Voice over had shifted seismically in a month out of necessity. And that is what the rest of the year came to be about – that dramatic shift and voice over artists being nimble in responding to that change.
It meant an influx of new voiceover artists to the field, given that most avenues of acting work were on hiatus. An ability to discern quality among the influx mentioned some vital things to look out for in sourcing a professional voice over (read May’s Post “How to Discern Quality during Covid-19" here) , along with the all important quality sound that professional VOs can produce (read July’s post “What makes for Sound Audio?” here) and ways in which to maximise that remote directed session to get the best for the project (read August’s Post “5 Ways to maximise your next remote directed voice over session” here).
Which meant that come the second Lockdown in September, the experience first time round better prepared us to continue projects with a minimum of disruption (Read September’s Post “5 Things we Learned from March’s Lockdown” here)
Covid has changed much of our personal, professional and daily lives. One thing that humanity turned to in March was voice over to calm and bring stability. At the start of the year the youthful, millennial read had started to crowd out the older mature voice of gravitas. As soon as Covid hit, specs demanded experience, stability, maturity, calmness, nurturing and empathetic in order to bring comfort to people who were scared of what this new reality meant. By the time of the second lockdown in November 2020, with multiple successful vaccines on the way, reads had a tone of optimism as much as maturity (read November’s post “ How Voice over Tone Changed with Covid” here).
Though “Now, more than ever” was 2020s most used content line, it had resonance. More than ever we had to fall back on what was true and real, find support and connect in ways that we had not before. It is easy to focus on the gloom, but this year showed what is great about voice over and humanity – resilience and courage. Voice over was a vital part of lending that calm and reassuring voice to bring comfort. For once, specs that called for adjectives that can often be overlooked, came to mean something vital. And voice over and voice over artists rose to the occasion.
2020 has not lead to our incapacitation. The adversity we experienced as content creators has only revealed our capabilities, courage and resilience. Qualities that will drive us into 2021 and beyond.
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Paul Mclaughlin © Versatile Voiceovers