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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Handling Retakes in Voice Over

Annoying, time-consuming, costly...these are just some the words I can use to describe retakes. However, they’re a fact of life in the voice over industry, and as actors, we’ve got to deal with them from time to time. How you handle them, though, can make a world of difference for both you and your client.

Here’s the scenario: you’ve been given a script and some direction from the client on how to read it, you do the recording, everything is great, and you’re ready to move to the next project. But wait! All of sudden, what was deemed “great” now needs “a little tweaking.”  Ugh. Now you’ve got a decision to make - do you suck it up and do the retake at no charge, or do you tell the client it will be “x” more to record again?

Well, there’s no right or wrong answer to that question, because it’s all very dependent on situational factors, like how much material is being re-recorded, your relationship with that particular client, and whether or not you had previously discussed retakes.

Here’s what I can tell you though: even if you’re grumpy about the situation, you need to check your negativity at the door. Grumbling isn’t going to get you anywhere, and it can make clients think twice about hiring you again. And in this industry, your reputation is one of your biggest assets.

The best way to handle retakes is to have a policy in place about how you’ll handle, and to share that policy with your clients BEFORE you do the recording. Adopt whatever policy you like, but make sure your client is aware of it before you start the project. This can prevent disagreement before it even happens, not to mention the hassle over haggling about additional fees. Besides, you may even decide to throw your policy out the window for certain “special” clients, and this can do wonders for your image. If you’re the guy that’s not only professional and reliable, but also easy-going about handling retakes, you’ve just moved to the top of their list - which is exactly where you want to be with VO clients. 

The following link is to the revisions/retakes policy that I've been using for a few years now. I send it along via email with job estimates, negotiated rates, sometimes new clients or any situation or client I feel I need to inform prior to accepting or recording the project. Feel free to borrow the info here to base your own policy upon. 

http://tinyurl.com/njkof7d   (Rick Lance Studio Revisions Policy)

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