There are lots and lots of voice overs that everyone hears each and every day. They are saturate the media with the information that makes our modern world turn.
A voice-over talent is an actor or actress who uses their voice talent in order to give a voice to a cartoon character or to be utilized in an advertisement to name a few. The voice over can be presented live and in person or by professional voice talent someone who the crowd usually does NOT see. There are many different ways to use a voice over. These can be used in character building, creative influences in film, education, or in sales and marketing.
One of the most common ways to use vocalization is in animated films and television. For instance, animated characters (like the kids from the show South Park) are animated. They require voice talent in order to give them personalities and to make the show work. There are times where well known actors are used as the voice artists, such as Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz, who lent their voices for the Shrek movies, or, it is a specialized voice actor, not a movie-star who voices the characters. Obviously, using an actors voice is critical to building the animated character and bringing them to life.
In other instances, there are no animated characters, but the need for off screen articulation is still there. A voice-over can be used to create an ironic twist, or to make a statement in the movie. This is the creative device. It can be a character narrating, or miss-matched voices narrating and the speaking does not match the characters on screen. This creates a sense of imbalance and lends to the movies inventiveness, such as the film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, where this technique is applied.
Moving away from use in films, voice-overs are also used for educational or descriptive purposes. The TV news is broadcast with video clips and commentary by the reporters, who are describing and explaining the significance of the
clips being shown. Sportscasts also have spoken observations, especially when played over the radio. There are also voice-overs that are used as commentary by a critic or historian, possibly even directors about when a new movie or DVD will be released.
Sometimes, instead of just commentary or news production, voices are also used for advertising and marketing purposes. We do not see the actor that is narrating the advertising or marketing ad, but we hear it on televison, radio, in stores and shopping malls, to name a few places. Voice-overs were primarily used on radio, but since the advent of the TV, this device has crossed over into TV as well.
Some prominent and memorable voice-over artists are Hank Azaria, Nancy Cartwright, Hal Douglas, & James Earl Jones. These artists and the utilization of their voice over talents are very useful in many different facets of our daily lives. It is not just for show business. It can be used creatively and commercially, and almost all people come into contact with it on a regular basis.