The art of screaming– Voice Over dying, being hit, shot, etc

What type of job would require you to need to know the art of screaming? Most people would say that screaming isn’t an art, but they are wrong. A scream can mean so many different things and in Voice Overs if you scream wrong it could cost you a gig or worse your voice. Don’t do the things listed below, they’re just food for thought. When you drop something on your foot you yell, scream or swear, but you do it with a different inflection then you would if you dropped a burning coal on your foot. When you are punched or kicked you scream or yell in a certain way. Well, Voice Over Actors get to have a fun time screaming, yelling, and dying in various ways all the time. Sometimes a session of dying, yelling and screaming can take three hours… that is a short session. Today I was working on an audition and was trying to get the right death scream down. When you scream so much, you shouldn’t scream from your throat, no you need to scream from your gut. These screams are also called guttural screams, yelling, dying, etc. Have the scream come from your stomach or use muscles in your body like your neck to make the scream sound realistic without using much of your throat. Honestly, I can’t think of another career that requires you to scream, yell and “die”.  Here are my five golden rules for Voice Over Screaming

1. Save your throat for talking, scream from your stomach or other muscles, also known as guttural screams, groans, dying, etc.

2. Don’t submit a weak scream or a scream that is totally out of context to what is happening to the character. If you are being hit you need the appropriate scream or yell.

3. Would you scream or yell that way in real life? If not, do it over again. There is an exception to this rule and that is with video games. You have to be way, way, way bigger than life when you die or get hit.

4. Have fun!!

5. Don’t drive your neighbors insane!

I did the Voice Overs for an iPhone game that is coming out sometime this year that was quite fun to record. I got to make the right sounds for my character being hit by cars, and then the right scream when his guts splatter all over the screen.

I hope you find this quick post that wasn’t written from my iPhone, at least somewhat helpful.

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