Voice Over: “Behind the Badge” | Watertown Police Department
Somerville Voice Artist Andy Taylor narrates the show Behind the Badge, featuring the everyday heroes within the Watertown, Massachusetts Police Department. The series, filmed and produced by Boston’s Mark Chambers, is uploaded monthly to the Watertown PD’s social media channels including Youtube, Facebook and Instagram.
Mark Chambers | Producer, Behind the Badge
Additional series collaboration between Mark Chambers and Andy Taylor
Narration for Network Programs, Promos and Sponsor Bumpers
As technology disrupts and transforms how viewers access shows, the role of voice over in programs and series continues to expand.
Traditionally, nonfiction programming like documentaries featured a popular host who spoke directly to viewers in frame. While the host narrated most of the program, the viewer still had an established idea of who was speaking. Meanwhile, for decades fictional sitcoms featured the same set of actors portraying known characters in weekly, relatable stories.
That said, during the 1980’s rise of cable networks and the need to design shows more affordably, faceless voice over spiked. As a result, nonfiction programming like news specials and documentaries often featured a single narrator, never seen on camera. Fictional sitcoms like The Wonder Years (inspired by narration-heavy movies like A Christmas Story and Stand By Me) also used voice over as its driving narrative.
What started as a cost-saving measure (voice-only roles don’t pay the scale of on-camera work), suddenly became an effective asset. Many producers and directors quickly understood the value of presenting content without a host’s intervention. Put another way – instead of hiring a “star” to deliver the narrative, the narrative was the “star.” No distractions. No viewer pre-judgement based on the talent hired.
The Internet doubles down on Cable’s impact
As explained above, the introduction of cable television fueled a significant spike in television voice over. But when the internet became an easily accessible resource, that growth expanded further.
For instance, as the internet gave greater access to content through websites like YouTube, advancements in technology significantly reduced production costs. Equipment and editing software became more affordable. As a result, more and more people began to produce programming, and video content mushroomed.
Most, however, created content with little or no budget. So, cost-saving measures – like using voice over to drive the narrative – became routine. As viewers became conditioned to this style of production, traditional networks embraced the style as well.
Today, Voice Over is an important asset to many popular programs
Think of the popular television shows in production over the past decade. How many are driven by a faceless voice that guides you through each episode?
Most immediately think of David Attenborough‘s iconic narration of the BBC’s Planet Earth. Many in the United States envision cable shows like HGTV’s House Hunters or House Hunters International. A cable network program, few know or even care who is performing the House Hunters narration. In fact, House Hunters has used three different similar sounding voice artists since the show’s inception: Suzanne Whang, Colette Whitaker and current narrator Andromeda Dunker. Who knew?
Program and Series Voice Over by Andy Taylor
Andy Taylor provides voice over for national and local network shows like Arthur Ashe Kids Day on ABC and BU Terriers Unleashed on NESN in New England. Additionally, he is the network bumper voice for ESPN’s coverage of World Team Tennis.
If you require American voice over for your upcoming television pilot, get in touch with Andy Taylor. Request a demo for your program and see if Andy’s sound fits your vision for the overall production.