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Voice Over Artist Q&A Series | Philippe (French)

Voice Over Artist Q&A Series | Philippe (French)

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Philippe, one of our French VO artists, has been working as a voice over artist for more than 30 years and has gained a lot of experience throughout the years. He gives us numerous tips and advice on making a session run smoothly as well as different ways to improve and grow as a voice over artist. Philippe also tells us about the many benefits of working as a voice over artist such as the variety of projects, the freedom, and the possibility of meeting so many new people.

Check the video below to see his answers, and feel free to listen to his voice samples HERE! We have added subtitles, and the transcript is also available following the video.

Watch the Q & A session with our voice over artist, Philippe.

Transcript:

Hello, my name is Philippe.

How would you describe your daily life as a voice over artist?

Well, my daily life as a VO artist obviously depends on the frequency of the work. It’s a job that is not necessarily regular. There are moments when we are extremely busy, and there are quieter moments when we have time to do other things. In my case, I try to combine my job as a VO artist with my job as an actor because I am trained actor. And up to now, I haven’t had many issues doing that.

However, when it’s very quiet, obviously it’s a good opportunity to do other activities, in maybe a more relaxed way, I’d say. I like to play the guitar. I’ve been doing it for a few years now, at least 40 years. But it’s purely for enjoyment. I joined an archery club, which I find to be extremely relaxing, and I also enjoy reading a lot. This is at the same time a pleasure as well as being useful, because the more we read, the more we practice and maintain our reading skills. So, yes, we combine the useful and the pleasant.

What has been your most exciting project so far?

Now, what has been my most exciting project? It’s a little difficult to say as I’ve been doing voice overs for 30 years, so I have now done a few thousand projects. Those which we get the most rewarding feeling from, in my opinion, are the projects I have done for charitable works such as “Médecins Sans Frontières”, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, or even all of Rolex’s charity work. These are projects which, I think, give me a sense of well-being as they are useful and important things, and well, it’s good to be able to add your own little contribution. Otherwise, the project that I really, really enjoyed was when we did the recording for the Metal Gear Solid game.

Firstly, it’s a very successful game, and secondly, we did the recording at Abbey Road, so in the studio where The Beatles used to do their recordings. It’s always great to be able to feel this history and to feel that I am walking in The Beatles’ footsteps. And in addition, I was playing the role of a general with a voice a little similar to Robert Hossein. And otherwise, I would do the role of Revolver Ocelot, who was a total psychopathic killer. This allows me to let go a little, because we must appreciate that, apart from tennis players, the job of a VO artist is a rare profession where sometimes we can scream like a crazy person and paid for it. So, we blow off some steam, and we’re paid for it. What more can we ask for?

– What do you love the most about your job as a voice over artist?

Now, the third question, if I’m not wrong. What I like the most from my job. There are a lot of things.

Firstly, I’d say there’s the independence, the freedom, the variety of topics I work on. It can be a medical video, a corporate video, it can be a video for Jaguar or BMW. It can be an audio guide, for example, and I love that because it allows… Well, firstly, we learn a certain amount of absolutely phenomenal things. Thankfully we don’t retain everything, otherwise it’s likely my brain would have already exploded. But it’s the diversity of the topics. There isn’t much monotony, and if we also consider when we create an ad for the TV, a video game, a cartoon dubbing. There’s a vast diversity in this job, and that’s a real positive aspect.

Also, the fact that we get to meet a lot of people. Even if we work from home, we interact with 2, 3, 4 people: the client, the French delegate, the English delegate, there is the sound engineer, so this is a job I would describe as being quite public in a way.

What tips would you give a client who is working with you for the first time in order for a session to run smoothly?

Finally, to finish this, if I had to share a few tips to clients with whom I’m working for the first time. I will try to keep it short.

Firstly, the work preparation. Getting the script beforehand, getting the video beforehand because we often tend to work on videos translated from English. We know that French is on average 25% longer than English, so it’s nice to be able to check the script from the video so that when we get to the studio, or when we are interacting with the client, we can tell from the start that this part might be a little too tight and so the speaker will have to speak faster. Things like that.

Secondly, I would mention pronunciation guides, and this is important because, very often, there can be, for example, in a text which happens to be a corporate video for an English company, do we pronounce it CID in French? Do we pronounce it CID in English? It’s important to prepare a pronunciation guide beforehand and in a really precise manner because we save 5 minutes, 10 minutes, sometimes a quarter of an hour.

Thirdly, trust the VO artists. I have been doing this job for 30 years so I have now a certain amount of experience, so sometimes, a VO artist will ask, especially if this is a client from the U.S. or U.K., to change the order of a sentence very slightly because it sounds a little odd, it sounds a little not so French. Have trust in the VO artist you are working with because very often, they know what they are doing.

Lastly, for the last point. Well, this is something that’s happened to me 2-3 times in my 30-year long career. Well, this is something I absolutely cannot stand, sorry. This happened when sometimes I had to record texts in English. So they were looking for a French VO artist with a French accent to record a text in English. It’s happened to me 2-3 times, no more, where there were producers, who, before more or less each sentence, showed me how to say it. That is, they’d say it in English and then they’d ask me to use the same inflection, the same intonation, and so on.

That really gets on my nerves, I’m sorry to say it that way, because, I feel at that moment I’m no longer a VO artist but a parrot instead. This is not what I’m being paid for. I’m not being paid to be a parrot, I am being paid to be a VO artist, to bring my own contribution to the work because I think that at the end of the day, a recording consists of the engineer, the translator, the person who wrote the script, the producer, the VO artist, and that’s everyone working together and make themselves be on the same page.

Anyway, this was my little blog. And now, I must wish you a lovely day.

Goodbye.

FUN FACT! Did you know that only Latin American Spanish voices were used for both Encanto and Coco Disney movies – uncommonly for Disney, no European Spanish dub was produced for those.

Remember, if you’d like to discuss your next project, then give us call on +44 (0) 207 095 5730. Or email projects@golocalise.com for a quote.

As well as providing voice over services for several decades now, we also provide translations and subtitling services. Whether you need voice overs or subtitles, we’d love to hear from you.

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