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Website and Demo Feedback

 
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Neil K. Hess
Contributore Level V


Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 184
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:04 pm    Post subject: Website and Demo Feedback Reply with quote

Hi everyone. Just wondering if you could critique my demo and website. Honest and helpful feedback appreciated.

http://www.neilkhessvo.com/
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Bruce
Boardmeister


Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 6402
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For where you are in your career path I think your demo is quite good. I'd take out a couple of similar sounding items to bring it down closer to 1 minute, and I'd take out or revise the one where you say "exshtrodinary". Michelle Obama can get away with that added "H" but not a professional voiceoverist.

I'd love to hear you re-do the VO on the TV spot without the room noise and with some audio treatment such as compression. It's a decent read that lays flat with those issues.

The website is rather mundane and a bit messy in my view. I suggest cutting the copy in half and write it as though you've been in the business for many years. Don't lie, just try not to sound like a noob. The type font could be bigger and more modern. The logos bouncing back and forth wasn't appealing to me. Contact us? Who's us? And lastly, 99.9999% of your viewers don't care what equipment you use. The quality in your demo shows you use decent equipment.

Bon chance,

B
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I'm not a Zoo, but over the years I've played one on radio/TV.
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Neil K. Hess
Contributore Level V


Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 184
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback Bruce. Greatful for your advice and I will work on the things you mentioned.
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Bish
Triple G


Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 3310
Location: Just a little further from Hell's Kitchen than eX

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in the middle of designing a new website as well, so I'm in that frame of mind. I'm trying all sorts of things... mainly to get a handle on Joomla (it's a pig to get started with, but very powerful when you do).

So... from the top.
The SM55 is a real cliche... it's over-used... and if you think about it, it's not even a VO mic. Personally, although I love the mic itself, I never want to see another on a VOs website. Ever. It's great if you are an Elvis impersonator, but otherwise it's just... old Smile

Demo, video example, and contact info on the front page. Good. Bio... nobody cares unless it's relevant to what you can do for them. Equipment... again, nobody cares... and you should be careful, because listing a $99 interface may actually work against you.

Logos... I agree with Bruce... they need to be tidied up and calmed down. Try making them all the same size and lining them up statically. The scrolling when they are just jogging back-and-forth is untidy. Maybe try one single animated gif that rotates them.

Finally... and this is a touchy one. You are making a decision to make it obvious that your faith means a lot to you. The listed book, but more so the "Have a blessed day" may actually be detrimental in a wider marketplace. I mean no disrespect, but this is a business site, and it has to be a business decision. Politics and religion are best left off a business site unless you are specifically targeting that demographic.
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Bish a.k.a. Bish
Smoke me a kipper... I'll be back for breakfast.
I will not feed the trolls... I will not feed the trolls... I will not feed the trolls... I will not feed the trolls.
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Neil K. Hess
Contributore Level V


Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 184
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback Bish. I think I will have to tweak the logos, header and ending. Also, an excellent point about the interface.
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todd ellis
A Zillion


Joined: 02 Jan 2007
Posts: 9194
Location: little egypt

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

here's my 2Ę as someone who often looks for voices on websites:

1. make it easy for me to hear what you can do (check)
2. make it easy for me to contact you (check)
3. profit
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Bob Bergen
DC


Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 679

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey buddy! Let me start with your read. Very nice! Understated and conversational. Very "in" with today's vo market.

I think your demo is too long. You don't have the variety in reads to justify a minute and a half. I would cut 30 seconds out of it.

The demo didn't wow me, either. Not at all bad. But it didn't curl my toes. You are better than the demo. I think the demo needs to be taken up a notch, especially from the get go. You need to draw me in faster, then leave me asking for more.

You list all the genres of vo you do. Radio commercials, narration, audio books, etc. Your competition, those whom you want to not just compete with but excel beyond, don't just list what they do. They have a demo to reflect each genre of vo they do. Anyone can laundry list what they can do. But this makes the buyers and agents cringe. You need the demo to not just prove you can do the various genres, the demos need to be as good or better than everyone else already working in these genres.

"Add some personality to your project" is what every vo actor is expected to do. Today in vo, it's more about personality and less about the sound of the voice. And although your demo does indeed consist of your distinct style and personality, and this is just me, I was expecting to hear more personality in your demo. I'm not a big fan of telling the buyer in text what to expect from the talent. It's so subjective and you are inviting contradiction. And I'm not saying I didn't like yours. You are just setting yourself up for judgement based on the text.

You also don't need to tell visitors you are professionally trained. By virtue of having a demo and website, you should be professionally trained. You're stating the obvious, and it looks amateur. Now, if you have a resume, listing who you trained with is often impressive to agents and buyers, as long as whom you have trained with are impressive people.

And the YouTube video sound quality isn't great. Do you have more videos of your work? Nice touch!

Bottom line, I think you are really good! You don't sound like you are trying to be anyone else but you. I don't hear you putting on a "vo" sound. Just very authentic, believable, genuine.
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Neil K. Hess
Contributore Level V


Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 184
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very helpful critique Bob. I have had the same inklings about the demo myself. I may be getting an entirely new demo in the next few weeks. I appreciate your feedback (and the compliments too Smile ).
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audio'connell
T-Shirt


Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1914
Location: in a dark studio with a single bulb light...day after day after....

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bio is nice but I think it can be polished and still represent the essence of you. Now, this is a draft of a bio I have written up for you --- having never met you or spoken to you. As a draft, you should feel free to change it up however you would like (or throw it out completely). But i think you'll see it has a bit more flair and may be a bit more fun to read.

------------

Itís really Radio Shackís fault I became a male voiceover talent.

As I child growing up in Yakima, Washington, near Mount Rainier, my friends and I would power up my cassette recorder and create these amazing radio shows that allowed me to do creative and interesting things with my voice and I loved it.

I still love it, but now I perform those creative voices (and some fairly normal ones too) for my terrific clients who need commercials, narrations, e-learning, promo voices and even message on-hold.

I still live in Yakima, now with my lovely wife Jennifer, where we enjoy the outdoors, playing the bass (well, I enjoy that, Jennifer sometimes not so much) and of course cheering on the Seahawks. As an active Christian, I am glad to offer prayers for those who may need it (including Seahawks fans).

Please give me a call or email if you would like me to quote on your next voiceover project. Thanks!

--Hope that helps.
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audioconnell Voice Over Talent
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Jack Daniel
Contributore Level V


Joined: 23 Jun 2016
Posts: 155
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

audio'connell wrote:
...this is a draft of a bio I have written up for you --- having never met you or spoken to you.


That's a pretty kickass bio. Nice work "Audio"!

If I were going to add my two cents--and clearly I am--I'd remove the "Please" from "Please give me a call or email..."

Bravo, Mr. O'Connell.
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Jack Daniel
Voice Talent / Man About Town
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