Narration is almost always used in a documentary style video, but certainly not always. In fact, some documentary makers feel it is a sign of quality when they can tell the story without relying on narration.
Some movies and other types of fictional stories rely on voice-over narration. Often, it’s used as a way for the character to reminisce about the past.
Voice-over narration can be used to reveal what a character is thinking, but not saying. Do a voice over narration of your character’s thoughts, and intersperse it with the spoken dialogue. It can be hilarious to juxtapose the thoughts and what really get said.
Narration can be as easy as an off-the-cuff commentary while you’re shooting. Or, you can write narration (before or after you shoot) and have that narration recorded separately from your video.
You can easily hire a professional narrator locally by calling audio production facilities or you can use any one of dozens of online voice over services.
TIPS TO DO IT YOURSELF
Narration doesn’t have to be done by a professional, especially if your video is for the web. That’s one of the joys of the web, people like seeing real people and don’t want to listen to an ANNOUNCER.
If you’re going to record narration separately from shooting, make sure your room is as quiet as possible. Turn off the air conditioner or any other background white noise.
Know what kind of mic you’re using and how far you need to be away from it. A microphone that comes on board an inexpensive video camcorder should be at least two feet from your mouth.
A lavaliere microphone should be about eight inches from your mouth.
Most handheld microphones should be about eight inches as well.
- Record as many takes as you need to.
- The biggest mistake novices make when recording voice-over narration is speaking too quickly. Slow down.
- Ask someone to listen to you and don’t be embarrassed.
If you want truly professional sounding narration but don’t want to go to a high dollar professional studio, sound-proof a small corner of your work area.
One of the biggest features of a professional voice-over recording studio is the sound proofing on the walls. All background and extraneous noise is stopped dead by the foam-covered walls.
Once you hear how extremely quiet an audio studio is you’ll be amazed. There’s tons of noise around us in even the quietest environments that we learn to ignore, but a microphone will pick it all up.
You can imitate a professional audio recording studio at home by getting some foam rubber at the fabric section of any Wal-Mart. (Check out a craft store or fabric store for a bigger selection.) The picture you is the portable sound proofing I made for myself from cardboard. I glued all the foam pieces to the tri-fold cardboard.
Professional sound-proofing foam is cut with lots of ridges to provide a larger overall surface area and better sound absorption. This is the same concept as using egg cartons as sound proofing material. Egg cartons work OK, but not as well as softer foam and certainly won’t give your studio a feeling of elegance.
You can also use carpet remnants on the walls for sound proofing. Get them free by asking a carpet installer for the leftovers he’s planning to toss in the trash.
I hope this information helps you make better videos.
Lorraine Grula, Internet Video Gal