Chris is the owner of the voice-over agency, Matinée Multilingual based in Reading. He started his company over 30 years ago and is still going strong today. As it was World Voice Day on April 16th let’s hear more about the man behind this voice-over business.
What inspired you to start your business?
I already had a 24 track music recording studio where I recorded albums and demos for local bands. A friend, who owned a video production company, suggested I get into recording English and foreign voiceovers and dubbing soundtracks to corporate video.
What does a typical day look like at the Matinée studios?
We have 22 staff working from our base in Reading, and numerous translators and voice artists scattered across the globe. Our 3 recording studios are kept busy recording voice tracks, and we also have 2 video edit suites where we localise videos into any of about 80 different languages. We can add subtitling, replace captions, add new voice tracks, remix music and effects, anything that is required to produce video into multiple language formats.
What makes Matinée unique to other voice over agencies?
That’s a very good question. The answer is VALUE. The customer always expects good service and 1st class quality. But these days they invariably want low prices as well and that is the challenge. So, at Matinée Multilingual we offer the best VALUE proposition around, with excellent service, rapid turnaround, excellent quality and very competitive pricing.
How do you kick back and relax?
I play golf whenever I can. I’m obsessed with it.
What’s been your favourite Matinée project to date?
There have been so many I couldn’t possible remember my favourite. But I can remember some strange ones. Like the video from Brazil of a corpse being dissected piece by piece for medical training. This was re-voiced into a number of languages. I needed a strong stomach for that one!
EEEK! … So which five celebrities would you invite to a dinner party?
Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Jack Nicklaus, Bubba Watson, Luke Donald
What’s your #Matinéefunfact?
The sound of E.T. walking was made by someone squishing her hands in jelly.
Hmm interesting… What advice would you give to aspiring voice talents?
Find out if you have a good voice that works in front of a microphone. You might be the best linguist in the world, but if you have a terrible voice then no amount of training can change that. It’s all to do with vocal chords, nasal passages and other anatomical features that are near impossible to modify. Technique can be learnt, and one skill I developed in my short voice-over career, was to be able to read ahead of what I was saying. That enables a good voice artist to be able to read long passages without making mistakes. Typically the eyes are reading about 5 words ahead of what the mouth is actually saying.
Any famous voices in the Matinée studios recently?
Over the years we have recorded hundreds of famous voices. We’ve had voices from TV and radio, sports stars and all the usual suspects you might hear on the telly. Although, I think my recent favourites would be Chris Tarrant, Andrew Sachs and Justin Fletcher.
What’s your favourite book?
Jamie Oliver – Everyday Super Food