Brad Pitt hasn’t returned our calls (yet), but that’s alright, because in the meantime we’ve gotten creative and scoured the internet for undiscovered voice over talent to narrate the Bible Heroes apps! This week we’ll dive into how we produce the narrations that breathe life into our stories.
Our first step is determining what gender of voice is most appropriate for the story at hand. For our upcoming Esther app, a female voice was the natural choice. Whereas for Joseph, we’ve decided on a male voice.
Next, we invite candidates to audition for the part. Our primary criterion for selecting narrators is their ability to convey the tone and mood of a story with just the sound of their voices. We want our narrator to sound like the best storytellers from our own childhoods—with a voice that falls to a hush as Esther walks toward King Xerxes, uncertain of her fate. Or that rises in tempo at that moment when Joseph finally reveals himself to his brothers!
We’re also listening out for someone with the range to handle several unique voices. Most Bible stories boast a large cast of heroes and villains, and it’s easy to tell when someone is having a good time acting out the different parts. This is especially important, because kids can hear the difference.
Once we’ve settled on a narrator, we try to lock down the key character voices. There are always differences in character interpretation from person to person, so before recording, we work closely with our narrator to find the voice that best represents the Bible Hero.
The narrator then records the story and dialogue pieces. Rather than going back and forth with revisions, we’ve found that it’s more efficient to patch in to the recording session and give directions during the reading.
Finally, we edit the finished recordings and time mark them for text highlighting.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into the narration process. Next week we’ll look at sound effects and animations!