The Future Is Remote
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
So here is the advent of my blog!
Why do one? Well besides the obvious point that in the voiceover world it is good to keep one’s online presence visible and alive, I actually enjoy writing too.
And I got to thinking that instead of (or maybe as well as?) writing lengthy comments on social media about my thoughts regarding various industry issues, I may as well use my own space to do it in.
So here it is. Like it or lump it.
And the first most pressing issue I want to talk/rant/muse/waffle about is …
Home Studios and Remote Recording...
I don’t actually call my studio a ‘home’ studio. For a start it’s a custom made building in the garden and secondly, ‘home studio’ makes it sound like a kind of DIY hodgepodge affair as if I’ve stuck a duvet over my head and plugged a USB mic into my phone.
Living as I do rurally, and, heaven forbid ‘Not In London’ (NIL is the unfortunate Acronym for that. Perhaps North of Watford would be better: ‘NOW’) I have, ever since embarking on my voice acting career, ranted and raved about the industry’s apparent snobbism about A) remote studios and B) a reluctance or even downright refusal to work with anyone NOW (North Of Watford...do keep up with my youth-speak-acronyms;) …and it is highly possible that the two are intrinsically tied together.
With the current Covid crisis, I feel that this has now changed a little, both in the amount that remote studios are being used and in the attitude towards them. Of course there are some new ‘home studios’ that are being hastily set up because of the pandemic which may not meet industry standards, but many VO professionals, including myself, have been fine tuning their studios for many years and have brilliant set ups. And no matter where they are, they can produce fantastic broadcast quality audio.
At the Arts Awards in LA last year (seems like a lifetime ago and another world…which it kind of was) I made this point in my acceptance speech. The award was for playing a Cockney villain for a Texan made anime which was performed by me, a Scottish woman…and recorded in my own studio in Yorkshire, England. And Rooster Teeth Productions who produced it and directed me remotely didn’t bat an eyelid at me being on the other side of the world. I don’t know if it is true but I get the sense that across the Pond, directors and producers are a little less precious about having their talent on the doorstep.
6 years ago when I started, I would fairly frequently go to London studios to record for production companies. I still do sometimes but it is becoming rarer, especially in these strange times. And again, I submit that remote studios are becoming much more acceptable. Only the other week I was phoned and asked to go to London to record a radio commercial in a ‘Covid safe’ studio. I queried whether it could be done in my studio instead and the producer was only too happy to do so. Safer for everyone and cheaper for them and still great audio as a result.
Time will tell whether the industry perception of remote studios and VOs who are NOW has changed but I am optimistic that it has. These are dark times for the arts in general but perhaps, just perhaps, there is a light shining from all those little studios all over the country, creating and recording and keeping the industry moving.