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VOICE ACTING
'Coverage' - How To Deal With Voice Over
Script Mistakes, Grammar And Pronunciation

By Tom Dheere
Voice Actor / Coach

What's coverage? In voice over circles, coverage is when you record certain things that could be pronounced different ways.

Over the years, I've noticed that this can be a good tool to ensure that after the recording session you don't have to go back and rerecord stuff.

Stuff like what?

1. A mistake in the script that was overlooked.

This happens all the time because the client has been writing and rewriting a script for weeks or months. Often they don't notice mistakes that are immediately noticed by someone who has never looked at the copy before. If you see what is an obvious typo, record it correctly.

2. Grammatical errors where English isn't the native language of the copywriter.

This comes up for me a lot because I have many regular international clients. Many of them tell me to correct the script as I record it, to make it proper English. This means they trust me, so I honor that by doing the best I can to make it grammatically correct.

If it's a new client, though, I record the way it's written, then the way it should be written, and send them both takes. I explain why and almost every time they accept and appreciate the changes I've made.

3. There's more than one way to pronounce something correctly.

If that happens, ideally you should ask the client before you record it.

Sometimes you can't. At many of the recording studios I regularly work at here in NYC, I don't get the script in advance so I have no idea what I'm saying next. I also record projects from home and the turnaround is pretty quick, so I don't have time to ask for their pronunciation preference and wait for an answer.

COVERAGE EXAMPLES

Here are examples of ways to help your client with coverage. (FYI: Some of these are what I do, and others are from fellow voice actors who were kind enough to share their coverages. Thanks, fellow voicers!)
  • The year 2022 as 20-22 and 2,022
  • Either as ee-ther and eye-ther
  • Data as day-ta and dah-ta
  • Finance as FIE-nance and fuh-NANCE
  • Our as ow-er and are (my international clients tend to prefer the latter)
  • UK to US terms, i.e. changing the word 'lift' to 'elevator'
  • Record three versions of the last line
  • Record an acronym as if it's an actual word
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ABOUT TOM
Tom Dheere is the VO Strategist, a voice over business and marketing coach and demo producer since 2011. He is also a voice actor with over 20 years of experience who has narrated just about every type of voice over you can think of. When not voicing or talking about voicing, he produces the sci-fi comic book Agent 1.22.

Email: tom@tomdheere.com
Web: www.tomdheere.com


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