The use of a voice actor or actress

Many people are interested in working as a voice actor or actress. Time to tell more about this.

Voiceover acting has been used, and continues to be used, in many different forms and to perform various roles within films. In many films, the voice actor or actress is used to narrate the story (as in Moby-Dick by Richard Basehart, where the actor also comments on the action in the film). In addition, voice actors are increasingly used to voice CGI or animated characters. A great many Disney films have employed voice actors over the years to perform as animated characters and the new wave of CGI movies seems to be increasing the trend and demand for this type of acting. During the production of the film, the recorded voice tracks are laid over the top of moving pictures to provide external narrative or characters' thoughts. Often, existing 'visual' characters from within the film will be used – particularly if it is a thought or piece of commentary from that character. This technique is often used for pieces of reflection in film characters or a character who has more inside knowledge of events than the others.

Films such as The Usual Suspects, The Shawshank Redemption, and Clash of the Titans have all effectively used a voice actor or actress in the place of a character narrator or omniscient narrator. In The Usual Suspects, this device is used by Roger “Verbal” Kint's character to describe recollections of crimes. In some films which have had to be shortened or cut down for official release, voice actors as narrators have been used to summaries events taking place in scenes which have been cut. This device was famously used in the 1948 film Joan of Arc, starring Ingrid Bergman.

Voice actors are often integral to documentary-style films and television documentaries. As much of the video footage is informative and descriptive, the narrator is used to describe events and provide background detail as well as introducing speakers and talking heads. Specialised documentary television networks, such as The Discovery Channel make extensive use of voice acting through narrators. In addition, many television game shows use a voice actor or actress to introduce contestants, prizes, and hosts.

For many voice actors, the bread and butter of their work will be commercial advertising. They may be employed to voice radio adverts or, more lucratively, television adverts. Television commercials are often short-lived and many new commercials are filmed all the time, meaning voice actors are in high demand in this industry.