Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I’m just the narrator, but I have opinions too. Good ones.

Last weekend I attended a screening of a documentary that I narrated. I’ve been working with the filmmaker for 2 years so I was looking forward to seeing the finished product. As it turned out, I was disappointed. The film was energetic; the narration was slow-paced and dramatic in places. It didn’t fit. I had done as I was directed, and of course I didn’t know at the time of recording what the film would be like.

In voice-over, we do as directed and try to stay out of the director’s way. But is that always the best way? In this case, I admit that from the beginning I didn’t care for the style that was being requested of me, but I did it and had no way of knowing just how poor a choice it would turn out to be. Now that it’s done and the filmmaker is trying to sell the film, I feel compelled to express my opinion and have indeed emailed him to mention, briefly, that I didn’t think the pace of the narration matched that of the movie. If he doesn’t like my opinion he can ignore it. If he agrees and I re-record, cool. Since my name is associated with the film of course I want it to be as successful as possible and because of this pace mismatch, I truly don’t think it will be as successful as it could be.

So yeah, I don’t think it’s always the best course to keep one’s opinions quiet. I’m not advocating questioning everything you’re directed to do, but neither should you stand by and watch a project go down in flames, especially if it might take you with it.



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