Frequently Asked Questions – Johnny Video

“So what are your rates?”

Because you came directly here, as opposed to using a middleman/agent type website, I will typically offer a discount on industry standard. However, since that is the case, it also means there is little to no overhead to haggle over, and with time being money, the less time I have to invest messaging back and forth about a job, the less expensive it will be for you. So be professional and be prepared. With that said, the best I can empower you with here, is simply to point out that there are literally dozens of different types of voice over jobs, which means it is categorically impossible for me to list out every rate. Typically rates will be based on a number of factors- How many voices am I doing in the script? How soon does it need delivered? Is it for narration or a spot? Are we doing a live phone/skype session? Is it just a dry read or will you need editing and production? If it’s the latter, what kind of production and editing will you need– just need ambient noise replaced with electronic silence or do you need it timed out to fit an exact format as well? Need even more precision timing to match the animations in a video? Do you need release forms signed? How much time am I going to have to invest just looking at your script and coming up with a word count? Did you provide me with a well written script or did you spell and punctuate like a struggling second grader? You get the idea– so be professional, and provide me with as much detail as possible when contacting me.

“Can I get a volume discount?”

If we’re doing everything in one day, that’s something that will already get factored into your cost. So yes. But keep in mind, that’s because I’m a bird in the hand kind of guy, meaning, I do not do volume discounts on the promise that you’ll be back for more. So if you are indeed thinking of hiring me for a recurring project, my rate isn’t really going to change unless you’ve contracted me out and paid for x-amount of projects in advance. Like I said above, I typically offer a discount on industry standard already, so it not only means that you’re already getting a reduced rate, it also means that there’s little to no overhead left to play with.

“I’m non-profit. I’m a struggling student. Can you give me a discount or work for free?”

I worked for free, twice, and only because there was something insanely-significant in it for me, which buoyed my career in ways that were probably better than money. But those days are long gone. As I stated, I typically offer rates that are considerably below industry standard. So don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Sometimes that may mean 10%, other times that may be as high as 80%. It just depends.

“Is Narration less expensive?”

Probably. Depends. Most jobs are fifteen seconds to a minute or two, so, does narration begin at 2:01, 10:01 or 30:01? It just depends. See everything I’ve already written above, ask me, and we’ll figure it out.

“I found you on Fiverr. Why are your rates cheaper there?”

They’re not. I am there as a favor to Mom & Pop buyers who know nothing about voiceovers and want to do fun little short jobs, mostly as MP3 gifts to others, and to also help “get my name out there”. But if you think I’m going to deliver you professional level work at change-in-the-fountain costs, you’re out of your mind. That goes for anywhere. But the good news is, I am much cheaper here on this website, where there is no agent or middleman, and therefore you’re not paying those fees- like you are there. Get it? In fact, though some people are hard-headed and refuse to understand this, aside of scripts that are 10 seconds (25 words) or less, you’d be a fool to order from me there or any site that operates as an agent or middleman, because you’re always going to be paying 20-33% more for the same work to cover what those websites take from us.

“Can you impersonate ____ ?”

People surprise me all the time inquiring about voices that I was not aware I could do. So, it never hurts to ask. However, in order for me to answer you intelligently about a voice you don’t see listed under my Celebrity Voice Impersonations, even with voices I already know I’m capable of impersonating, it’s always beneficial to show me a script, so that I’m aware of the exact words you need to come out of my mouth in the voice you want. If you have a sample of them talking from YouTube or something, even better. But try to employ a little common sense when asking too. My resume lists my range as an “Authoritative, Male Adult, ages 20-80”, which means no, I do not do female voices or children.

“Hey man, can you give me some drops in so-and-so’s voice? Say something like….”

Stop. Just stop. Contrary to popular belief, I’m actually an insanely busy person, so I don’t really entertain hypotheticals. If I have some professional input after you’ve submitted a finished script, trust me, I’m not shy. I’ll speak up to try and offer suggestions, and do everything in my power to help you, as long as doing so isn’t insulting to your intelligence. But in order to keep my costs as low as they are, it unfortunately means that I have neither the time nor the funds to write your scripts for you.

“I heard one of your prank phone calls. Can you call my friend and do ___ today?”

If you heard one of my prank calls on a different website, you’ve heard an MP3. In today’s world of caller ID, for about a billion obvious reasons, I do not place the phone calls. I will however, be glad to record you an MP3 as well, if you like. If you need it today, there’s a decent chance it’s possible, but rates for 24 hour service will apply.

“Can you impersonate _____ saying he endorses my product or service? What if I use a disclaimer?”

Depends. If you’re doing this for junior’s bar mitzvah, and it’s never going to see the public eye, sure. Otherwise, no. You’re going to get yourself in a heap of trouble if you run some sort of ad trying to convince the public that so-and-so endorses your product, when in fact, they do not. See the next question for more detail.

“Is it legal for me to hire you to do a celebrity voice impersonation in my commercial?”

While I am not a lawyer, and I am certainly not versed in how likeness-rights vary from state to state, it is my understanding that if you create an ad that allows the celebrity to be impersonated without name or character-name dropping, then you should be fine. In other words, the voice impersonation has to stand on it’s own without the use of names. But, when in doubt, play it safe and toss in a disclaimer. “I’m not Barack Obama, and I approve this message.”

“Can you send me each line of a script as a separate file?”

People will often ask me to do this for phone apps. The short answer is yes, but it’s a very tedious task, so it’s going to slow down your delivery time, and be very much factored into your cost.

“Will you sign a release form?”

The short answer is yes. Actually, I will “sign” release forms free of charge, as long as we can do it the easy way– I.E. You attach the form in an email, and I respond to that email with “I agree.” However… if I have to drive to Kinko’s to print out your form, sign your form, scan your form, email your new picture file back to you, and drive back home, you can expect an upcharge of 1-2 hours worth of time added onto your invoice for that service.

“What if you mispronounced a word on my audio or made a mistake?”

Unless you’re doing a live phone in session with me, the important thing to remember, is that I am going to record exactly what you write down. So if you receive audio from me that is not verbatim to the script we agreed on, then yes, that is my responsibility to fix free of charge. However, keep in mind, on the other side of this coin, the onus is on buyers to be clear beforehand . For example, if you wrote down “BO” I’m going to say “Bee-Oh”, not just inherently know that it was supposed to be my cue to say “Body Odor”. Likewise, if you write down “Bo” I’m going to say “Bo”, the person’s name. So, as it says on the contact form, it’s the buyer’s responsibility to make sure everything is properly spelled, punctuated and proofread before money exchanges hands, in order to reduce the possibility of mistakes.

“What if we need to change the wording after you’ve sent the audio?”

That would be considered a new script, and buyers will be charged according to how much new material needs recorded, the same as it is in any and all other situations where a buyer is presenting me with a new script. That’s not to say, if your original job was two pages, and you only need one sentence redone, that I am going to charge you for two pages. Rather, it means what I just said– that you are submitting to me a new script of one line, and one line is what you’ll be charged for.

“What if you said everything verbatim, but, we just kind of want you to say the sentence(s) with emphasis on different words?”

Again, the onus is on the buyer to be clear beforehand. I find that capitalization and/or asterisks work wonders in this situation. However, I would be remiss to point out that, where celebrity voice impersonations are concerned, the more you try to control the way I say sentences, the less control I have over sounding like the celebrity you want me to sound like. So, the best answer is, if you’re the type of person who wants control over every syllable, there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, and you’d probably be best suited paying for a live phone/skype session so that you can listen in during the recording process, and we can make adjustments together on the fly. However, if you chose to forfeit that option for the less expensive alternative, then any lines that need redone as a result of this situation would have to be charged for (See the question above). With that disclaimer, I will reiterate that I have a 99% satisfaction rating for a reason– because my artistic interpretation is usually pretty accurate, and in the aforementioned celebrity voice impersonation scenarios, spoken to keep the impression of the celebrity as spot on as possible.


© Johnny Video