Video voice-over with local actor

I’d been thinking about having the voice-over to my video spoken by someone with a Northern English accent, ideally an actor or someone else used to speaking into a microphone. In the draft, I speak and it is clearly not a northern voice and a little imperfect in places, which some have kindly commented adds an authenticity to the work.

By chance Paul Butterworth (, who is an OCA painting student posted on Discuss, looking for a photographer to take fresh headshots in return for a modelling session. I commented on his post that it’s a shame he’s so far away (Cambridge) as I’d love to do the headshots in exchange for a voice over.

After some discussion, and Paul looking at some of my work, he’s visiting Yorkshire (where he is from originally) for a short break and we’ll be doing the headshots and voice recording in my home-studio. I commented when talking to Paul that this closes a circle for me as I’d originally conceived of the canal project as mainly portrait focused – but the absence of people of interest (I didn’t want joggers or walkers in outdoor clothing) and Covid had changed its focus to a landscape based work.

Brief notes on process:

  • I’ll send across a model release form that will refer to the use of photographs in exchange for voice over services. If Paul’s agent approves the photos, they’ll be used on his public profiles and credit to me.
  • We’ll shoot some headshots under studio lighting and some outdoors on the land around my property. He’s also offered to model for some general shots for my portfolio. We talked about what he is looking for in the shots, which are suitable for his actor profile and I’ve also done a little research on this. In essence the face is the context for the eyes in this kind of shot – context beyond that is an unwanted distraction.
  • For the recording, we’ll do several takes with various feels on different tracks. I can then pick and mix if needed. Once done I’ll split the voice-over in Garageband to align it to the video.
  • I talked briefly about SYP and how having a known actor doing the voice over would be a big help when publicising the work. Paul is happy to be mentioned in this context.

This is unexpected and pleasant twist towards the end of this work and I’m very much looking forwards to it. I just now hope that the Covid-demons stay clear!