The Art of Voice Acting

The Art of Voice Acting

James R. Alburger (1999 Focal Press, 225 Wildwood Avenue, Woburn, MA 01801-2041, 232 pp., $20)

Has anyone ever told you that you have a great voice? Or do you find yourself doing voice work for your videos? A voice trained for narration is a valuable resource. And if you want one, this book will help you train your voice so you can produce professional-sounding voice-overs.

The Art of Voice Acting written by James Alburger is a detailed guide about becoming a successful voice over actor. Alburger writes about believable character creations, sinus clearing recipes and even about the best way to hold a microphone.

The book includes information about using your body correctly, finding your audience and being your own director. For beginners, Alburger discusses important aspects such as finding work and how much work you’ll have once you begin. If you have ever had to narrate a video, this is a good book for you to investigate.

Art of Visual Effects

Pauline B. Rogers (1999 Focal Press, 225 Wildwood Avenue, Woburn, MA 01801-2041, 360 pp., $20)

For those who are interested in pursuing a career as a special effects artist, or even for those who have just wondered how the heck they made those cool space ships in Independence Day, this book offers a behind-the-scenes look at the art and science of special effects.

The author’s approach is very direct: she interviews 16 top-notch special effects artists who have worked on such diverse projects as Babe and Starship Troopers. In this way, she attempts to present the reader with a complete picture of the state of the art as it exists today through the eyes of the people who are currently doing special effects for a living.

Though the content of this book is very helpful, the poor layout and typeface make it hard to read for long periods of time. Despite this, it can still be considered a must-read for special effects aficionados and aspiring amateurs everywhere.

How To Really Profit From Weddings

Rachel Harmon (1997, Sagebrush Video Productions, Moscow, Kansas 67952; 52 minutes, $99)

This videotape is one woman’s attempt to convey a single, simple entrepreneurial idea to the viewer: how to produce your own wedding planning video for profit. The producer, Rachel Harmon, is a member of WEVA (Wedding and Events Videographers of America), and has extensive experience in the wedding videography field.

This tape, unfortunately, suffers from several key flaws that many seasoned videographers will pick up on in a heartbeat. The majority of the tape consists of a single unmoving shot of Rachel talking to the camera with no cutaways. The shot is well lit, and Rachel’s on-camera demeanor is perky and enthusiastic, but these factors alone are not enough to carry the viewer’s interest. Though the tape is 52 minutes in length, about a fifth of that is all that’s really necessary. Her ideas are good, but the low quality of the video and the lack of cutaways make this tape difficult to watch.

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