The above video is narrated by actor, comedian and fellow Bostonian Denis Leary – the voice of the Ford F-150 for over a decade. Oddly enough, I actually played a small role in the overall production. Working with Vaylian out of Los Angeles, I provided the voiceover “scratch tracks” for the groundbreaking 360º and Virtual Reality project. During those sessions, I also improvised some wild-lines that you can hear in the final cut…
0:20 Radio chatter: “You okay there…Raptor”
2:06 Radio chatter: “Alright, you’re good to go”
2:20 Radio chatter: “Looking good, fellas”
3:03 Radio chatter: “Maintain your current speed, we’re right on target”
3:09 Radio chatter: “All clear”
4:54 Radio chatter: “Come in chase crew”
4:57 Radio chatter: “Ok guys, you got no time…you’re not gonna make it”
5:15 Radio chatter: “Alright, coming in hot”
Not every read earns a credit, but it’s still rewarding to collaborate with remarkable talent on widely distributed, cutting-edge content. Vaylian’s post-production is top-notch. The film crew was extraordinary, working over 50 straight hours to capture breathtaking footage. Learn more about the shoot and production process.
Voiceover: Scratch Tracks
Not everything I record makes it into to the final production. Video producers often need voice talent to record scratch tracks, providing an audio template around which to build the visuals and graphics. This gives producers and directors a baseline to create and evolve their content before bringing in Hollywood talent to deliver the final read.
It’s all about efficiency: Take care of the first several drafts and pick-ups with a working actor so that the script, scene-sequence and final edits are complete prior to investing expensive studio time with an A-Lister. Let’s be honest, if producers need to go back and record pick-ups with a SAG/AFTRA heavy hitter, it’s a budget buster.
As a working voice actor, there’s a sense of responsibility when recording scratch tracks. The goal is to deliver on the director’s vision, so that the voiceover provides accurate tone, direction and guidance for the final read. Typically, these sessions are more collaborative. Based on the script they’ve prepared, directors know what they want…but aren’t quite certain of the exact sound. When recording scratch tracks, the ability to provide a variety of takes is significant, giving the producer options to convey meaning. The sessions are time consuming, but always free form and entertaining.
It’s funny. Whenever I work with the team at Vaylian, I’m on the road. The scratch tracks for this “Ford F-150 Raptor: Born to Baja” piece were recorded in hotel rooms in Springfield and Birmingham. Back in January, I was in Missouri working the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions, while in early February I was in Alabama for Team USA’s Davis Cup win over Switzerland.
Vaylian is a full service video production team. Seek our help with virtual reality and 360º videos, augmented reality apps, interactive web experiences, experiential videos for trade shows and live events, or just wonderfully crafted videos. We stretch boundaries to deliver media that’s memorable and demands attention. We lead with artistic vision to create inspired content.
Melody Misiaszek and Damien Christian D’Amico do dynamic work. Last year, I provided the scratch tracks for their Optima Batteries “Power of Legends” Virtual Reality Experience. This Ford Raptor project was also a VR/360º production, so I was excited to see how it turned out. The technology is jaw-dropping.