The Arkansas Voice Over MarketFebruary 22, 2008 by: Tracy Pattin
It’s often helpful to hear about voice over markets beyond Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. With so many voice actors having clients and agents across the country, it’s good to know the smaller markets. I came across Soundscapes production company while I was blog surfing. Founder, Brent Walker was kind enough to answer my questions for this blog interview. By the way, check out their website and “The People” section (first click on “About Soundscapes”) Very creative!
T: How long have you been in business?
B: We’ve been around for 26 years, patiently doing our work for ad agencies, but many people around the country don’t even think to look in Little Rock for a production company. (A lot of people still think Arkansas is waiting for indoor plumbing!) That’s OK though…it keeps our population down and our city a pleasant place to live.
T: What does your company, Soundscapes do? What types of clients do you have?
B: Soundscapes produces media audio–primarily radio–for advertising agencies nationwide. Our clients are typically medium-sized ad agencies in medium-sized markets.
T: What is the market like in Arkansas for the voice actor? Are they able to make a living in voice over?
B: Not many people realize that Little Rock has been a media production center for about 25 years. We have over fifty local actors on our roster, and about the same number of ISDN talent whom we use on a regular basis. Most of our local actors have other jobs, but there are 10 to 12 of them who make their living doing nothing but voice work. We also have three large, thriving video houses.
T: What changes have you seen in the industry over the past 3 years with the onset of New Media and advances in technology?
Naturally, we love the fact that we can dial up ISDN voice actors for our clients, and we do that on a daily basis. Distribution and tracking of work that we produce is much easier now. The downside of new technology is the expectation of immediacy. There was more time for creativity when we had a few days, or even a few hours, to think over what we can bring to the table. We have responded by getting all our sound effects and music on huge network servers, so our production can be completed more quickly.
T: Any insights from your clients about what makes a great voice actor?
Directability. Our best actors will patiently listen to directors, work with them to hone the performance, and even offer alternatives that the director may not have thought of.