With 30 years of experience as a voice over artist, one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is to expect a curveball before it gets thrown. I like to keep an ear to the ground and my eyes open for what the future might bring; it’s the only way to stay relevant in a constantly changing field. After attending this year’s Ad World conference and listening to some fantastic speakers talk about Web 3.0 and the Metaverse, I thought: Is this the future of voiceover?
It may feel like the ground is quaking beneath us, but it’s only changing around us. With the rapid emergence of AI and new technologies that emerge every other day, it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and feel like the industry is trying to shake us off. But if you know where to look, we’re not losing opportunities – we’re gaining them. Our world is just expanding into something new. Something bigger, better, and rife with opportunities to grow with it. Change is always scary, but it’s also necessary. While the Metaverse might sound like this giant, fearsome Goliath, and for all we know, it could very well be, Goliath was just a springboard for David to do something incredible and unexpected. And that’s what the Metaverse offers us – a chance to do something exceptional and unexpected.
The Future of Voiceover – Metaverse the Next Frontier
As a professional voice over artist, I’m always looking for the next avenue to pursue as I grow and adapt to a shifting industry, and this latest AdWorld conference confirms that the Metaverse is voiceover’s next frontier.
If you’re still in the dark on what the Metaverse is, that’s ok; it’s a VR world a la Ready Player One intended to act as a mock reality. Designed to take human interaction to the next level, the Metaverse will not only enable people to transcend the walls around them but open up a new world of possibilities. With a VR headset and a few keystrokes, you can go from sitting in a dim room to shopping with friends or grabbing a beer without leaving the comfort of your home. You can spend time with friends on different continents and connect with family you haven’t seen in years.
The next generation of human connection that’s essentially building on the last two decades of social media but boiled down to its core – the Metaverse is a textless social media experience that bridges a disconnect between users and content. But what does this mean for voice over?
Animated Movies Filmed in Metaverse
As technology becomes exceedingly adept at rendering the visual elements to animated films, there’s an opening for the clever voice over artists; if they know where to look. One of the most promising aspects of the future of voiceover is that animated movies will be filmed from within the Metaverse – in real-time. As a voice actor, it doesn’t just mean the opportunity to work from a home studio or record voice content as if you were in the same room as a director; it means having exponentially more projects to work on. It means that the value of the human voice will only be more and more impactful as time goes on.
In the past, animated movies from studios like Pixar or Dreamworks could easily take up to ten years to code and design – and relied on massive budgets to produce. But what the Metaverse offers is a chance to film complex visual effects on a whim and on a shoestring budget. Just as quickly as making a Youtube video from your smartphone, the average Joe will be able to create an entire world and film it almost instantly; but what they can’t render is a professional voice over artist.
A Talented Voiceover Artist Brings the Human Element
As easy as it will be to film animated movies and populate virtual worlds, the caliber of voice talent will be the defining feature of content captured in the Metaverse. When every new director has access to the same toolkit and resources at a fraction of the cost, the unique element (outside of a fantastic script and story) will be the human participation that goes into making it. Voice actors will be what set these projects apart and make people care about what they’re watching. When content is produced in abundance, the versatile human component a talented voice artist brings is invaluable.
At the end of the day, no matter how far technology goes, we’re still human, and what appeals to us reflects that.