Let’s get Real About Reels

Cat lying on suitcase with old tape reels
I think I’ve detected a shift in the UK voice-over industry.

It might only be a little one.

But still, I’m starting to wonder what it signifies. Perhaps we’ll get into that later.

Anyway, it began when I became aware of an email from, shall we say, a ‘voice-over-related company’, which was suddenly offering voice-over showreels among its list of services.

That’s interesting, I thought. I’ve never seen them do that before.

But not only that: this company was also offering a discount on these voice reel services. Hmmm, never seen that from them, either.

A couple of weeks later, in the same month, I became aware of another email – this time from a different ‘voice-over-related company’. It, too, seemed to promise something similar.

However, this company seemingly had a bit more to offer. First, it had its own dedicated website. And second, it was also offering a bigger discount on voice-over showreel creation, compared to the other company.

Plus – ooh – a discount code.

Perhaps they’d seen the first company’s offering and thought they would go one better.

So… two voice-over-related companies… never involved in creating voice-over showreels before (as far as I can tell)… and both offering discounts on their new voice reel creation services….

Oh, but they don’t give a price, either of them. Yet you do get a discount.

Or two discounts, if you buy one voice-over reel from each place, I suppose!

Maybe offering a discount without actually revealing the price is how they intend to reel in their customers (pun very much intended).

Now, I’m not about to say that two ‘voice-over-related’ companies doing similar things is a trend, but it certainly seems to represent a shift in the way that the brains behind such businesses are adapting to the current economic climate.

I’m sure we’re all aware that rising prices are eating away at everyone’s earnings, which presumably means that companies need to do more to keep their bottom lines looking healthy. Since inflation is running at about 10 per cent, presumably this means that they need to do about 10 per cent more business than they did a year ago.

I suppose that making showreels for people they already have associations with is a good way to make up that 10 per cent. And it would make sense: established connections are easier to turn into money than new business.

And diversifying and adapting are key skills for any business when things change, which is all fine and is obviously, entirely their business.

But… what if the voice reels those businesses are making are made by someone putting in 10 per cent effort? Or someone who’s 10 per cent below what most people would consider professional?

Suddenly, you have to wonder why there’s a discount on their services… and still no advertised price…. Hmmm…

It is disheartening to witness how these companies exploit the dreams and aspirations of aspiring voice actors, offering flashy promises and quick fixes while charging exorbitant fees.

They lure in unsuspecting talents with misleading advertisements, claiming to provide comprehensive demo reel packages that will launch their careers. However, what these companies often deliver is subpar production value, generic scripts, and hastily assembled reels that fail to capture the unique essence and range of the voice actor.

This growing trend is a reflection of the industry's shift towards commercialization and profit-driven motives, overshadowing the genuine desire to foster talent and nurture artistic growth.

They are all about the money, and not about the craft.

If I were looking to make a professional voice reel, I think I would have to question why two companies pop up during challenging economic times and start offering ancillary services, discounted, with no stated fees.

And do you know what? I think I’d start questioning why I would want to use those services.

I think that I’d start to ask around, or to start searching the internet for voice-over showreels made by established creators who really know the business of voice acting. Not just businesses who act like they know ‘voice’.

I think I’d start looking for genuine voice-over people.

People who’ve been voice-over people since well before these other companies claimed they were voice-over people and suddenly popped up with offers and discounts to help other voice-over people.

People where the art of voice-over is in their being and in their doing.

And has been - day in, day out, for more than three decades.

Where a voice-over education is not about getting rich.

Where it’s about working on your craft.

So that your voice can be the richest version of itself.

I think I’d contact RichCraft, where showreels or demos are only made after you’ve shown or demonstrated what you can do in the studio with genuine scripts in real-world, professional voice-over scenarios.

Where you are put through your paces, made to study and practise – and are coached, mentored, and helped on your journey.

Where you are told the truth about who you are, where you are, and how to get where you want to go.

RichCraft doesn’t need to offer discounts or come up with promo pto attract people who want to improve their prospects in the professional voice-over world.

RichCraft knows the industry.

We know what the next generation of voice-over talent needs.

We know what producers need.

And we deliver.

In fact, a remarkable 10 RichCraft graduates – plus myself – each received nominations for the biggest awards celebration in the UK voice-over industry, the One Voice Awards 2023.

I think you’ll agree that, when it comes to producing demos for its students, RichCraft provides real – and reel – value.

Because demos and reels come at the end of training – not at the beginning.

They’re not part of an introductory offer.

They’re part of an initial investment into, hopefully, a solid, sustainable career.

I think you’ll also agree that in a world of rising prices and discounting, you can’t say fairer than that.


Tanya Rich

Founder, RichCraft voiceover coaching & professional UK voice-over artist