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The job of a documentary narrator is not as easy as it seems to be as it involves quite a number of responsibilities such as getting both facts and intonation correct, making complex material emotionally and viscerally appealing, and speaking quietly but assuredly to an interested audience. In reality, only a select few have done this work with a great sense of self-confidence and in a spirited manner.
Obviously, the road to becoming a great documentary narrator is not as smooth as it sounds, as intonation, timbre, voice quality and acting ability are all essential features that must be exhibited. Most importantly, anyone looking to become a documentary narrator must possess an audible and believable connection to their material and of course be able to land some worthwhile documentary voice over auditions.
Although the voice of a documentary narrator in a film does not necessarily affect a viewer’s interest, the viewing experience of the audience can be significantly detracted by a poorly narrated documentary. This implies that the quality of a documentary narration can either improve or deteriorate a film.
To make a great documentary narrator, here are three things to consider regardless of the topic of the documentary.
1. Stay in Line with the Tone of the Documentary
Depending on the target audience, the choice of a voice talent is expected to fit the content and tone of the film. This is not a hard and fast rule as most documentary filmmakers are known to have the ability to choose a befitting documentary. From global warming to the life of pop stars, there are several documentaries of varying topics. For instance, you are probably not going to hear a solemn professorial voice narrating the life of a pop star like Kanye West.
2. Use a Great Voice
Documentary narrators always ensure to keep listeners tuned in with great voices. This is an art that can deliver pleasant voice overs. While ensuring to keep the audience focused on the content of the documentary, a good documentary narrator will always seek to use an appealing voice to capture the audience’s interest.
As part of efforts to make listeners tuned in, documentary narrators eschew every form of displeasing characteristics like shrillness. They are known to have particularly engaging voices which they use to make proper enunciations and read smoothly and clearly.
3. Use Localization to Enhance the Quality of your Documentary Narration
In the interest of
reaching audiences from diverse language backgrounds, some documentaries
may choose to localize documentary narration with two to more narrators.
Although subtitles can also be used in place of documentary voice overs,
however, it is important to note that audiences would appreciate to hear
the voice of a native documentary narrator. By hearing the documentary
narrated in their own language, listeners are bound to have a more
personal and powerful viewing experience.
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