Learn how to mark up a script to help with your voice session.
- Many Voice Actors like to mark up a script to give them visual reminders of how to read various lines in the script. Let's go over some common markings. If you have access to the exercise files, you can refer to the sample script and breakdown pages included. When you get hired for a project, ask for sides. Now, sides are simply a shortened version of the script that just has the lines you're supposed to read.
Now, I really like reading the entire script, so you understand what's going on, however, having sides is very helpful so that you can find and make sure don't miss any of your lines. It's easy to miss them sometimes when you go through a script. If you can, get a double spaced script print out. That gives you more room for notes. You're not always going to have that option, but if you can get it, it's helpful. The other thing you might want to do is highlight your lines. Just take a highlighter and on each of your character names, character descriptions, highlight it.
Now, you might be asked to voice two or more characters in a session. If so, simply highlight each character in a different color. It makes it really quick to reference as you're going through your script. Now, when you see a comma in a script, just like when you were reading, it kind of tells you to take a slight pause. However, sometimes those are rather hard to see when you're standing up and really acting something out looking at your script. So, some actors like to use a slash. I like to put that in there. It's a great visual, bigger reminder that, oh, put a little pause in right here.
Another thing you might see on some scripts are circles. Now, generally circling a word means that you're unsure of how to pronounce it. At the beginning of a session, ask. You know, it's a whole tomato, tomahto thing and how do they want it to sound? Now, there is also a great website that can help you with this. It's a website called FORVO.com. Now, FORVO gives you different pronunciations. Let's take a look real quick, 'cause I'm not too sure about this word here. In fact, I'm not even sure what it is. I think it's a vegetable that's supposed to be good, which means you know it's going to taste bad.
Let's take a look at it, we'll go to FORVO.com and I'm going to type in rutabaga. All right, here we go. Now, I'm going to click on this and it'll tell me what it sounds like, how to pronounce it, so let's take a listen. - Ru-ta-ba-Ga. - Okay, so now I know rutabaga and I'm probably not going to ask for it for dinner. Okay, so you can use up and down arrows on your script. Generally it's a cue to raise or lower your voice, but it could also mean to raise or lower the tone, or to change the pace.
It's really up to you. All caps, just like when you're texting, means to raise your voice or to yell. You can also bold or underline for emphasis. Again, use whatever feels right to you. Now, you may also see letters in a script, so for instance if you see H that could be happy, E for excited, or C for calm. There could be others, those are the main ones. If you take a look at the sample script that I gave you, it starts with C, because the way we wanted the Dream Weaver read is very calm.
"Anything can happen in my Dream Factory, "as long as you can imagine it." 'Cause that's totally different now if it had E on there. (yelling) "Anything can happen in my Dream Factory "as long as you can imagine it!" Now, that's a totally different take completely. Even if you do very happy. Whoa, (giggling) "anything can happen in my Dream Factory." The letters are very helpful, especially if you go back and forth.
If you look down at the bottom, I have C once you go to, "You are here, my Lord." But before that, the (grunting), I didn't want someone to say ah hem. It's an annoyed sound and it's clearing your throat, so in that case I actually wrote out the description as a descriptor. You'll see the up arrow there, "To restore balance," 'cause I wanted to make sure we went up, that we emphasized the word restore. "You are here, my Lord, to restore balance to my Factory." You can see some of the little things like that.
If you go up one line to burp, underlining the word sucks. "Um, Yeah. (yells) "Sucks!" You can see how those are great little reminders, and you might be adding those during the session as well, as the Director is giving you notes. You want to remember what he or she asked you to do. These are simply standard marking notes which are just for you as a Voice Actor. Feel free to adjust how you mark up your own script.
- Finding and hiring voice-over talent
- Recording voice-over
- Becoming a professional voice artist
- Recording better line readings
- Creating a demo reel
- Recording your own voice-over projects
- Delivering and backing up audio files