- What was the initial idea behind BigMouth Voices?
BigMouth started out in 1996 with the quirky raw voices from bFM. It was an agency that moved away from the more traditional ‘radio’ voices of the industry. Over the years the number of local voices and clients has grown and we have also started working with more international clients and voices.
In 2018 we launched New Zealand’s first online voice booking platform. BigMouth Voices continues to be a forward-thinking world leading voice agency with over 760 voices from New Zealand, Australia, the US, the UK and beyond. As well as having a great range of voices, we have been told that we are the easiest voice agency to deal with through our world-leading technology that we have built specifically for our clients. We pride ourselves in being an agency with great voices, efficient service and a bit of fun.
- How did you come to be at the helm of BigMouth Voices?
I’ve been involved in the industry for over twenty years as an actress and was on the BigMouth books as a voice artist. About nine years ago the then owner, Ian Hughes, asked me if I wanted to come on board as a part time booking agent. A month later he asked me if I wanted to buy his ‘baby’ as he wanted to make sure it was going to go to someone that would look after it as well as he had done. I rebranded and built a new website straight away and then another five years later the platform and BigMouthVoices.com was born. I love being a voice agent and working closely with voices and clients to ensure everyone is getting the best possible experience.
- BMV has worked with agencies all across New Zealand and has an expansive portfolio, how do you make sure each client gets something unique?
We highly value the importance of having a personal connection with both voices and clients so that we can ensure the perfect match on every job. We have a wide range of actors, narrators, languages, accents, styles and character abilities. Pretty much whatever you are looking for you can find on the BigMouth books.
We know it can sometimes be difficult to cast a voice from their main demo reel if it’s not the voiceover style that you are after, so we have introduced an online audition process that allows clients to hear customized auditions with their script. We also have the ability for each voice to add an expansive number of demos to their profile page that are specific to their various styles, accents and languages. So you can really hear what you are getting.
- What are some technological or other improvements BMV has made recently to fit growing client demands?
We have built an online platform that allows clients to add voices to a shortlist, request customised auditions from the voices, select their preferred voice artist and then have that voice record and upload the audio file directly to the BigMouth platform. Clients can also easily share the job with others in their team at any stage of the process.
This has meant we’ve been able to expand our range of voices and meet the needs of more clients. The beauty of the new system is that it is also linked with Xero so invoices and payslips are automatically created and able to be emailed to clients and downloaded by voices.
All this has meant that it’s freed up a huge amount of admin time so we can focus even more on helping clients find their perfect voice.
- How does BMV service both the international and local market?
As well as having lots of awesome kiwi voice artists on the books, as we grew we also developed a stronger international profile. We joined with a group of well-known US voice agents and through that connection we had lots of awesome US voices join the books. Last year I spoke on a panel of international voice agents in London, at the One Voice Conference, and that also helped with getting lots of really good British voices joining the books.
The international voices have been used to being cast on online platforms for the last six years so the quality of their home studios and their auditions are great. And now that is starting to happen here in New Zealand. We have a growing number of voices that have their own home studio set up – which was fortunate when we all went into lockdown! And for those voices that don’t self-record we have a great relationship with Native Audio and we do a lot of our recordings there.
What this means for all our clients is that we have good range of voices and can offer either studio recording sessions or self-recording sessions with clients connecting remotely using Zoom, Skype or Source Connect Now.
The online platform also means that you can have a voice anywhere in the world record your voiceover overnight and have it in your inbox the next morning!
- You have voice actors that cover a range of accents, languages and dialects, how do you work with clients to make sure they’re getting the most out of your services?
And we have the capability to add demos specifics to those styles, accents and languages. So it makes it much easier for a client to select a voice on a demo that suits their project rather than only having a commercial reel to listen to.
We also have the ability to easily update and edit the platform and add and edit categories as required. For example we added ‘medical narrations’ and ‘reassuring’ in light of Covid-19 requirements.
- What would be your advice for clients looking to get started in their voice over offerings?
Have a look around the platform. Don’t be scared to add voices to a shortlist and request auditions or availability checks. This doesn’t mean you’re locked into making the booking! Remember that not all the voices are set up with home studios so sometimes their auditions might not be top notch audio quality but we always ensure that the final VO is professionally recorded.
And we’re ALWAYS here to help at any stage of the voiceover process.
We love to talk!