We all have to do them. It can be both annoying and time consuming but it’s an inevitable part of being a voice over artist. What are we talking about?
…Retakes, pick-ups, add-ons…!
When a script change happens or a client/director has an after thought about how they want the project to be voiced then it’s the VO artist who has to paint on their smile and just get on with it. But what’s acceptable when it comes to changing a project in terms of your time and how much, if anything, should you charge for doing retakes?
This is a question that can often stir a bit of debate and it can be particularly awkward if you’re relatively new to the industry and don’t want to upset anybody. Here are a couple of scenarios to get the debate going. What would you do in these situations?
Scenario 1 – You have received the script for the project and have been given direction on how to perform the voice over. The client can’t be there for the recording so you are left to your own devices. You agree a price, perform the voice over and submit the project. The client then changes the script and wants you to perform the voice over in a different style. What do you do?
Scenario 2 – You are in the studio with the client. You work with the script and the client gives you their direction on how they want the voice over to be performed. You complete the project to the client’s satisfaction and everybody’s happy….or so you think! A couple of days later you hear back form the client that they need to change the script and they want to try something a bit different on the delivery. What do you do?
In both of these scenarios it pays to have a strong policy when it comes to doing retakes. Would you –
- Agree with the client up front your policy on retakes and what you will charge?
- Does it depend on whether this is a regular client and how much you value the relationship?
- Does it depend on the size of the project and whether it will turn into future work?
- Charge for some of the retakes but not for others?
In the first scenario it’s difficult because the client can’t hear you so they might constantly be coming back to you with pieces of direction. In the second scenario the client has already had the opportunity to direct you but they have still come back at a later date to change things – should they pay a price penalty for this?! We believe that we owe our clients a kind of after-sales service, including that in the price, say 50 USD, that’s a proof of professionalism. Of course it needs to be reasonably short and justified. And that after-sales on-call should not last over 15 days provided you are available of course. After 15 days the client should pay. Needless to say that if the retake is due to a faulty recording, a mispronunciation, a missing line, etc… that should be completely free.
What do you think? It would really interesting to hear your policies on retakes and what kind of reactions you get from your clients when you have to charge them. Please let us know.