sign up for our

Home Shop Subscribe Advertise Articles Directories Classifieds Calendar FAQs Contact Us Login

When Your Client's Idea Is A Turkey
(Or Lobster), Give Thanks Anyway

November 23, 2011

By David Seys
Voice Actor

Editor's note: We couldn't resist garnishing Brit VO David Sey's humorous report here with a Thanksgiving headline. What? You don't like lobster stuffing? Gobble, gobble ... HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Usually when asked to produce a radio commercial that is not just an announcer extolling the virtues of a product, I am sent a script that gives some indication of where the action takes place.

This needs SFX to paint the picture. For instance,
  • at the races (horses hooves, crowds, etc.),
  • in a park (rustling leaves, ducks splashing in the pond and quacking, birds chirping, ambient outside noise).
The sounds in the background will place the listeners subconsciously wherever you want them to be.


Occasionally one has to stretch the imagination.

One client asked me to place the idea of his radio commercial as a silent movie with Charlie Chaplin. A use of some old fashioned piano music and a whirring projector was the best I could come up with.

Another asked me to ‘start commercial with couple sleeping peacefully on their comfy new mattress.’ I suggested a light snoring noise but this was rejected!.


But last week I was completely beat.

A client in Russia asked me if I would produce a commercial for him. I asked him to send me the script, which he said was for a new seafood restaurant.

When the script arrived it appeared that a woman was to have a conversation with a lobster.

There was no dialogue for the lobster (actually, I have performed as a lobster for a computer game using some very odd clicking noises), and the woman did not mention lobster other than by a name when she spoke.


I tried to explain that this was a tableau that I was not able to construct, but he was having none of it and didn’t appear to have any ideas of his own.

We parted amicably with him saying he would get someone local to produce his commercial!

Oh well … onwards and upwards.


David Seys is an award-winning British voice actor whose deep, warm voice serves clients worldwide. The founder of London's leading music production company and a five-studio recording complex, producing singers and voice over talents, he came to the "other side of the glass" five years ago and "hasn't looked back since." When not in front of the microphone, he is out training in the forests that surround his house and studio in preparation for his next ultra marathon. These are usually in the deserts of Africa or the Middle East, but he has also completed the 100-mile Everest Marathon in the Himalayas of Northern India.


Your Daily Resource For Voice-Over Success
Tell Us What YOU Think!
Please Note: Since we check for spam, there will be a slight delay in the actual posting of your comment.
Your Name:
Your Email Address (will not be published):
Your Comment:
Your Comment:
Security code:     
Comments (1)
Elizabeth Holmes
11/25/2011 at 11:45 AM
Hi David,

Thank you for this delightful vignette! It's a wonderful glimpse inside the world of sound design.

Re: Having a conversation with a lobster... How about ascending and descending bubbles? I agree, the scenario's a stumper!

Best, Elizabeth Holmes
Back to Articles
Get your bi-weekly dose here ... all things VO!
On Michael Langsner's Voice-Over Roadmap Podcast
With Sean Daeley and Paul Stefano - check it out!