Pablo Hernandez discusses how social networking brought voiceover artists together to perform on a common project in support of the Haiti disaster victims. This is the first in a new series of podcasts in which Andy Boyns introduces the people behind the voices.
Download Podcast: Pablo Hernandez talks about Haiti
Links to Videos:
English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHK_Zu-wuE0 (short version)
Contributors to PSA:
Argentina – Fabián Nuñez
Ecuador – Pepe Saenz, Patricio Toro
Italy – Giovanni Noto
Mexico – Sebastian Rosas, Noe Celis
Turkey – Andy Boyns
Puerto Rico – Pablo Hernandez
Spain – Ruben Sarrion
USA – Chuck Davis, Bob Souer, Peter Katt, Doug Warner, Linda Ristig, John Weeks, Robin Marshall, Scott Forney, Bob Hurley, Vanessa Hart, Debbie Munro, Marian Massaro, Ron Levine, Liz de Nesnera, Claire Dodin, Frank Baum, Helene Janover, Mauricio Perez, Juan Carlos Hernandez, Sam Cornette
Transcript of “Let’s Talk About Haiti”
Andy: There has recently been a lot of discussion about the value of social networking for voice over artists. This has focused largely on whether it is a productive marketing tool, but has also commented on its value as a tool for connecting, motivating, and educating talent. Following the Haiti earthquake on 12th January 2010 there are many moving examples of how these same social networks have enabled people to join forces in different ways to try and help those so catastrophically affected including performance and teleseminar fundraisers.
I’m Andy Boyns, a British voice over artist based in Istanbul, Turkey, and I’m talking with VO artist Pablo Hernandez from Ponce, Puerto Rico. Hello Pablo.
Pablo: Hi Andy.
Pablo: I think I become interested in voice-overs the day I born. You know, the doctor hit the baby to make him cry, right? Well, I didn’t cry, I just start talking. (laughs) Actually, my love for voice-overs has been influenced by many circumstances. For example, I have been listening to radio and watching TV stations since I was a little boy and that means that I have been exposed to all kinds of voice-overs. Besides, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the radio announcers I used to listen to in the radio.
Andy: Has any voice-over artist been your inpiration in this field?
Pablo: Oh yes. The first one was Joe Cipriano. I happen to see him in an Apple company video in which he was the featured artist. When I saw him doing some voice-overs in the video, I said “That’s what I want to do, that’s the VO style I want to do. And of course, my other inspiration in voice-over was and still is Don Lafontaine. The best advice I heard from him in a video of him on YouTube was: “You don’t need a God-type voice to work in this industry” and the other one was: “Everything is in the read, so the voice stay in a second place.” Can you imagine how shocked I was, when I heard that from the king of voice-overs that, by the way, happened to have a God-type voice? Believe me, I’m still shocked!
Andy: And regarding the “Let’s Talk About Haiti” project…the day after the earthquake you started a new group on Facebook called “Let’s Talk About Haiti”, what can you tell us about your initial ideas?
Pablo: I wanted to try to coordinate the making of a video in which we could show our support to Haiti with a message of support, and to motivate others to help them by making donations of all kinds. I was also looking for the help of video editors to put together the visual part of the project. But I really wanted to gather as many VO artists as possible to make this a nice, multi voice project that would really gets into people’s hearts.
Andy: What was the response?
Pablo: The response was incredible. As you can still see on the group’s page I started to get offers of help and suggestions very quickly, and there are now 75 members who have joined as friends.
Andy: So what happened with all this energy?
Pablo: Well, we produced a Public Service Announcement, with video in 4 languages. I made 4 versions: 2 in English (a short and a long one), Spanish and French. An official video of the English short version by Brent Halfyard, profesional video editor and VO artist was completed last weekend. There are also two alternate versions, by Frank Baum and Helene Janover, and an Italian version too.
Andy: A truly international project…
Pablo: Yes, a total of 30 voice-over artists from all over the world were involved in the project: 17 in the English version, 10 in the Spanish version, 2 in the French version and 1 in the Italian version.
Andy: Rather than give a roll call, as this is on the PSA itself, where were the recordings made?
Pablo: They were sent to me from literally all over the world: Argentina, Ecuador, Italy, Mexico, Turkey, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, the USA
Chuck Davis, from the U.S.A, edited both the VO part and music bed of the English long version. I edited the rest of the audio files, put together the videos that are posted on YouTube, replied to tens of emails (literally) from the VO talents and wrote the scripts in English and Spanish, pretty tough job, but I enjoyed it. Liz de Nesnera translated the script into French and Giovanni Noto did the translation into Italian.
Andy: OK. The big question. How will the videos be used?
Pablo: They will be distributed mostly via YouTube. I would love for any TV and Radio stations to air the PSA. I would still appreciate any help I can receive on this. The English short version is posted in the Videos section on Voices.com and all the videos were posted on VoiceOverUniverse.com as they became available. I would love to see them posted in other VO related sites. Of course people are also sharing them on Facebook and other sites, and in their blogs.
Andy: Would you have started the project if you’d realised how much work was involved?
Pablo: Hahahahaha, oh, definitely YES! I’m always producing ideas in my mind and I have to admit that I get scared about them, but for this one I was neither scared nor even thought about how much work is involved in a project like this one. I think that’s one of the keys to the success of the project. If you think TOO much about doing something, you won’t probably do it.
If I get involved in another project like this one, I would definitely take a little more time to revise the scripts to avoid any modifications that could delay the project. That way the experience will be even smoother.
Andy: How do you feel about your achievement?
Pablo: I’m very happy, I’m really satisfied with the results. But I would not call it MY achievement, because there were many other people participating in this project: 30 voice-over artists that gave their voices and their talents, there is also the support from the 75 members of the “Let’s Talk About Haiti” group on Facebook. I also feel so grateful about every person who has supported the project in so many ways like John Florian from VoiceOverXtra.com and Stephanie Ciccarelli, Doug Warner and many others, such as yourself, who have posted articles and the PSA videos in their blogs.
Andy: We’ve talked about what we in the Voiceover community have done, but for a final word, Pablo, let’s talk about Haiti. What are you predominant thoughts?
Pablo: Oh yes, I hope this project really gets to the hearts of people and move them to help our Haitians brothers and sisters. My heart is with them and we will not forget about their situation. I hope that our efforts to help turn into a long-term project, so they can recover not only from the earthquake effects but also from their long-time distress.
Andy: And as you have said, you would welcome any offers for public distribution of the PSAs on TV or radio, where can people contact you?
Pablo: They can contact me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Facebook group “Let’s Talk About Haiti”
Andy: Thanks Pablo for being with us today.
Pablo: Thank you Andy for the opportunity to talk to you and to all of our beloved VO friends around the world.
Andy: The video links are on the notes accompanying this podcast, on the Facebook group, VoiceoverUniverse.com, and in my blog at www.andyboyns.com/vo/blog – Thanks for listening, we’ll give the final word to some of the international voices who contributed to the project.
English/French//Spanish: Excerpts from PSAs…
English: We are all part of a global community that cares about any person who is in need of help.