Continued from last entry on Spring Training with Elaine Clark:
12Noon- 2PM- Voiceover Class In Session:
Elaine began by having each of us introduce ourselves and have us list our strengths and weaknesses, which she wrote down. She then handed each of us a commercial script to work on and then brought each of us,one by one into the recording booth to record 2 takes. This first round of recordings was private. The rest of us couldn’t hear what the others were doing until playback .
Everyone did their first take and the next was with Elaine’s direction. After we all recorded, we squeezed into the control booth to listen to playback of everybody’s takes, noting the differences.
And there were some large differences.
The mic she used in the record booth is a JZ Black Hole. It sounded pretty good, and pretty strange at first for me, as I am so used to working with my own equipment.
Then we each did another round of spots, and this time we were able to hang out in the control booth and listen to the first, second and playback takes with Elaine’s analysis.
Then we spent some time breaking apart and marking a script. The class went a bit beyond two hours, and it went fast. At the end we each shared what we got out of the day’s class.
Elaine discussing copy with me in the uber nice booth- Note the JZ Black Hole mic
Then it was time for my private session with Elaine, who promptly handed me 3 commercial scripts and gave me a few moments to prepare and then she put me through my paces.
I know I’ve been at this a long time, and I felt very good about my performance, but it was such an excellent opportunity to study with a Master, to sharpen my tools, and glean some fresh appproaches from Elaine’s vast experience and uncanny insght into how to make good copy sound great!
One spot required me to shave off 20 seconds from my initial read. What a wake up call. Another had me doing Hillary Clinton. And another, a slower paced TV spot for a national restaurant chain, where I had to make those dishes and ingredients sound so delicious the words made my mouth water!
It really was an exercise of a new level. Then she had me sight read another script totally cold. Wow. She said I did a pretty good job. Funny how you can be your own worst critic, and she told me she could recognize my level of voiceover proficiency, considering the cold sight read and all. Well my lesson was over before I knew it. We took some pics and said goodbye. Definitely worth the “pilgrimage”.
I took some amazing photos on this journey to San Francisco which I will share here.
Light through one of the lenses in a lighthouse lamp
San Fransicso Bay Marina
Crabs at Fisherman’s Wharf
A Rotogravure by Salvadore Dali at a local gallerie