# Rates for Voice Over?

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Hello all,

I was wondering if I could get some feedback regarding voice over rates. I am a voice actress and am considering adding rates to my site:

http://www.tamararyanvo.com/

After reviewing my samples, what kind of rates would you expect to pay? Here is a rate card that seems to be the standard non-union prices for video game voice over:

Console Games, iPhone Games, iPad Games, Android Games

Per minute 100

00 to 05 minutes 100-250

06 to 15 minutes 250-500

16 to 30 minutes 500-750

31 to 45 minutes 750-1000

46 to 60 minutes 1000-2500

Would you say those are reasonable prices? What do you think would be fair? Do you prefer to pay a percentage after sales rather than a flat rate up front? Any feedback would be much appreciated!

Edited by TamaraRyan

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what kind of rates would you expect to pay?

If you belong to SAG, I would expect to pay SAG standard.

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Hi Tom,

as stated in the post, this would ne non-union rates.

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OK, my bad. I don't recommend you post rates on your site. You want to maintain flexibility.

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Yeah, I think you're right. Do you think having on the front page "Willing to work within your budget" is clear enough?

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Why say anything like that?

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Because I want indie developers with small budgets to know that I can still work with them.

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Yeah, I think you're right. Do you think having on the front page "Willing to work within your budget" is clear enough?

Because I want indie developers with small budgets to know that I can still work with them.

The reason why most people don't say the former is because some clients may want to only pay $1 for all of their audio. Are you willing to work within that small of a budget? What I stress to my clients is that I'm flexible, within reason. That I want to work with them and meet their needs but, at the same time, I need to pay my own bills and feel my craft and time are worth something. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites The reason why most people don't say the former is because some clients may want to only pay$1 for all of their audio. Are you willing to work within that small of a budget? What I stress to my clients is that I'm flexible, within reason. That I want to work with them and meet their needs but, at the same time, I need to pay my own bills and feel my craft and time are worth something.

Yeah, I guess that's kind of my fear. If I advertise "work within your budget" I might be getting really low offers and might get taken advantage of. I think in the end I'll just say that rates vary depending on the project and leave it at that.

Good call!

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Hi Tamara,

Those are actually quite strange rates for games.  That kind of pricing is generally more for long, spoken narrative (corp videos, radio spots, etc.).  Did you get that from "voices.com"? :)...

For games, we usually hire either by the hour of recording, by the character or by the 'phrase' or some combination thereof.

For large games, go by the SAG rates, which specify things like the # of characters you can get for a 4-hour block, etc.

For smaller games, be prepared to be more flexible.  Not necessarily on money, but on things like the # of characters, etc.

The SAG contract for games is largely predicated on the "AAA" model game, where you have major characters, plots, and many thousands (or tens of thousands) of lines of dialog, where a "line" is a complex character sentence.  (eg "Ok..I've set up the accompanying troops to deploy to the east forward area..")

By contrast, most small games require far less, and are also less likely to have complex plots.  But they may want more characters, etc.  And the dialog is likely to be much simpler (eg "hey, great shot!"  "you found the treasure", etc.).  As such, things like the SAG 4 hour minimum dont' really make sense.

Brian

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Hi Brian,

Thanks for the feedback. I did indeed get the rates from voices.com (I figured they're knowledgable when it it comes to that) Have you hired voice talent before? What kind of rates do you normally come across? Also, since you seem to be experienced in sound design for games, what would be the types of VO groups that are common?

For example, as you touched upon in your post, AAA games, one liners, ect.

I think if I can break it down into groups, that would help me figure out some base lines for the rates.

What I can think of for now is:

FPS/RTS - pages of possible dialogue (cover, me, get down, we need help, ect, ect)

MOBAs - still a good amount of lines here, but most likely not as much as an FPS

Adventure/RPGs - Dialogue trees are expected here, so probably pages of text for these

Platformers - Most likely dialogue between stages or during boss fights, not much else

Fighting - Probably not too much here. Mainly efforts and a few "I win!" lines

actually.....I wonder if it's easier to base my rates off of pages/half pages of dialogue. Then again.....I would have to then specify the font size, double space, ect. Somebody could always hand me one "page" of dialogue that's typed in font size 6.

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I've done a few voice over projects myself but they've been fairly small. I tend to charge according to the scope of the project and I'll try to work within their budget. I can do that as a little indy guy, though. Since I have my own production studio, I can save folks money by not having to go into a different studio. There's a lot of us around who do that these days.

But the first thing I think when I see someone posting "I'll compose your whole soundtrack for $5" is how good would it even be?! How willing would they be to work with me and do revisions to ensure they fit my vision? Just like with other purchases (computers, cars, food, etc) having too low of a price point can actually backfire. Edit: This headline made me laugh however: (terrible actor though ) http://www.fiverr.com/jordan831/make-a-20-second-video-crying-about-anything-you-want Edited by nsmadsen #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Hahaha nsmadsen. Well, if you don't want someone to cry about anything you want... Fiverr has it where you can charge higher rates for more work. These people also get rated, and fiverr takes a percent of the profits ( a dollar I think) so that keeps quality standards good. Yeah, people are saying they will do too much for$5, but if they can crank it out, and their ratings are good, you aren't loosing much.

I personally would keep things reasonable myself.

It may not be the best option, but I know that when I need voice actors, I am going that route first.

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Yeah, people are saying they will do too much for $5, but if they can crank it out, and their ratings are good, you aren't loosing much. Well, it does give the impression that VO rates are really low which can create severe sticker shock when dealing with a more established pro or union actor outside of Fiverr. I know that my music rates are much higher than$5 a song or even \$5 per minute of music composed. And they were when I first started out as well.

This discussion reminds me of a project I worked on with a triple AAA ranked franchise. This developer, which was more on the cheap side usually, wanted to hire the cheapest actors we could find. We tried to explain that although the actors were cheaper, the quality may not be there. This could mean longer studio time trying to get cuts that read/sounded good. The developer heads didn't budge and it turned out... some of the cheap actors did great! But some took 3 or 4 times longer due to less experience and/or less talent. The developer heads were frustrated with so much studio time or less-than-stellar acting but we just pointed them back to our original email.

Of course - this doesn't happen in all cases but it does happen.

Finally, all of this reminds me of something Charles Deenen, former Audio Director for EA, said about rates. I'm paraphrasing but he said he'd rather pay 10-20K MORE for someone he knew could knock it out of the park and deliver versus someone much cheaper who was a risk. After all, he had his own desk full of tasks to handle and didn't want to hold someone's hand through a project. Too much hassle and too much stress. That old saying "you get what you pay for" usually (but not always) rings true!

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