Best Practices for Producers & Others Engaging Voice Talent

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In order for your session or project to go as smoothly and successfully as it possibly can, it is suggested that producers and those engaging voice talent strive to:

1. Allow adequate time so that voice talent can perform their duties properly, whenever possible. This includes giving talent adequate notice in scheduling sessions, preferably 24 hours, and allowing enough studio time to properly record the session.

2. Start and end sessions on schedule.

3. Avoid rescheduling previously scheduled recording sessions, only rescheduling under circumstances beyond control. When talent commits to a scheduled time and that time is postponed or canceled, they forego potential income from other clients’ sessions.

4. Have any script/copy approved by the client prior to the recording session so that Talent can review the copy prior to the session, and to avoid rescheduling due to non-availability of the final copy. If client requests changes after the copy is recorded, compensate the talent fairly for those post-recording changes.

5. Never request that talent place themselves in a situation where physical or financial harm may occur.

6. Pay talent on time, preferably 30 days after receipt of an invoice from the talent or their representative, and pay talent regardless of whether having received payment for the session from the client or not.

7. Treat talent professionally and with respect at all times and refrain from using profanity or other derogatory comments towards the talent.

8. If a talent has been hired for a session, but a change of talent is deemed necessary during the session for whatever reason [except for misrepresentation by talent], refrain from negative comments to the talent concerning same and agree to pay the talent for their time in the session, even if talent’s role is recast.

9. Provide copies of the finished work to talent as soon as possible after the work is completed, unless releasing the work violates a confidentiality agreement signed by talent or producer/client.

10. Provide all proper paperwork to be signed by talent prior to the session, including any fee agreements, contracts, tax forms, client releases, non-disclosures etc., and at talent’s request, provide them in advance of the session so that talent has an opportunity to have their representative, i.e., agent or attorney, review them should they wish to.

11. Talent should be allowed to decline to voice any material that they deem to be illegal, offensive or criminal or which promotes offensive, illegal or criminal behavior.

12. Voiceover recordings should only be used for a single project unless a buy-out fee has been negotiated in advance. A recording made for one project should not be used for another project by the same client without prior agreement and fee negotiation. For example, a voice recording made for a website may not also be used in a corporate video.

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