The Voice in the Booth
Sometime back, at a fairly major recording studio, for a national client, in front of a cast of around a dozen people including the clients, directors, producers, creatives and writers, the sound designer and myself were talking direction from every quarter on how this TVC we were voicing should sound.
Let’s just say … it was a very ‘yes sir, no sir’ type of recording session.
The session had been going for around 45 minutes and we’d laid down numerous takes that were so close to what everyone was after. But the general consensus was, there was something missing. We’d given almost every style a crack and I was starting run out of different ways to deliver it. In fact the words on the page were starting to become just that … words on the page.
It was at this point one of the very nicely dressed chaps sitting at the back of the room proclaims – Tangerine – I think it needs a squeeze of tangerine.
Now this guy must have pulled a bit of punch, because the entire entourage agreed whole-heartedly that indeed a small smackerel of ‘tangerine’ was required.
I immediately made eye contact with sound designer, who had his back to the room full citrus lovers, for some guidance. But all I got from him was a wide eyed stare combined with a cheeky smirk. Which basically translated to me as – you’re on your own with this fella.
With that he opens the slate and announces – this time with ‘tangerine’ …. Recording!
I looked up to see at least a dozen expectant eyes staring back at me. I’d never eaten a tangerine and had absolutely no idea what they sounded like. So I took a slow calm breath and thought of a juicy wedge of citrus and basically delivered the same read as the previous half a dozen.
At the end of the take the slate opened to sound of a slow clap and cries of “brilliant”, “outstanding”, “nailed it”, “that’s the one”
Just as I was started to feel pretty pleased with myself I realized the accolades weren’t for me – no, they were for the very well dressed Mr. Tangerine Man at the back the room.
There’s a lesson to the learned in every recoding session.
Have you every had any similar ‘tangerine moments’ – please share.
This video, written and directed by Tim Mason says it all ...
(Thanks to Dan Marsden from Whistling Wolf for sending this through to me)