Donna Summers and Robert Simmons co-manage voplanet.com.
In order to provide the best service available, the VOplanet Team works closely with their clients and their talent. Their personal attention to each aspect of a project, including superior tech support and the agents direct involvement in the coaching, audition, booking, negotiating and payment process differentiates them from other voiceover sites. There are no projects too big or too small at Voplanet and they are always happy to handle projects within all budgets. They gladly give full attention and expertise to all projects that come through their doors.
Who We Are
VOICECASTING: The talent and team at VoiceCasting participate in the highest profile projects available today, bringing in each project on time and on budget. VoiceCasting is a full-service voice-over talent agency that serves an elite list of loyal clients and talent globally. The agency represents union, non-union, and financial-core talent and books jobs on the local, national, and international level. Since 1978 VoiceCasting has been in continuous business, formerly as a full service talent agency based in Atlanta, GA - Donna Summers Talent. The company chose to focus solely on voice-over representation about 15 years ago, set up its first agency website featuring some of the first talent VO demos on the Internet, and changed the agency name to VoiceCasting. Now operating as a full service talent agency, Donna Summers acts as agent and manager handling all talent acquisition and bookings for their VoiceCasting clients. Donna establishes and monitors policies and procedures and oversees Agency Operations(COO). Agency PR and social networking is handled by Donna Summers.
Robert Simmons, who co-manages VOplanet with Donna and who was one of the original co-creators of VoiceCasting, serves as tech support at the agency. He is also accounting executive at both VOplanet and VoiceCasting.
The agents at VoiceCasting consistently negotiate the best rates (and residuals if applicable) for their talent while being fair and reasonable to their clients. Involving an agent in the audition and VO job process benefits the talent by letting him or her focus on what they do best, which is voice the job. Agency involvement benefits clients by allowing them to focus on getting the absolute best talent candidates for their projects within a reasonable period of time and for a fair fee without wading through hours of unknown and unqualified talent. At VoiceCasting, we require signed deal memos from clients and talent before the project is done, which tends to dramatically reduce potential misunderstandings between client and talent. Agency involvement tends to greatly increase the assurance that a fair rate will be reached and also tends to decrease the number of days until payment is made. Agents are available daily for audition set-up and direction, demo critique, coaching referrals, studio consults, and tech support, and billing help.
Agency assistance and services are free for all clients and talent of VoiceCasting. A fee is only charged if a VoiceCasting talent is booked for a job on which a VoiceCasting agent assists a client. Among other things such as marketing and networking, agents are available to help clients set up their projects on-site, audition and choose talent, negotiate rates, book studios if needed, collect talent payments from clients, pay talent, and keep talent tax documents in order.
Talent inclusion at VoiceCasting is by invitation only after joining VOplanet and meeting several requirements determined by the VoiceCasting management team. Requirements for inclusion include experience, credits, studio quality, industry recommendation and professional demeanor.
VoiceCasting is a member of VideoVoicebank. VoiceCasting talent demos are listed on the VideoVoicebank site so that producers from around the world can hear our talents' demos.
VOPLANET: In 2006, Robert and Donna had a meeting about how to further serve the voice-over community and its clients, and VOplanet was formed as a membership audition site. Donna and Robert are Managers and Michelle is Lead Agent at VOplanet. All three take part in the booking, marketing and advertising efforts of, as well as the daily tasks to make the businesses run smoothly.
Talent and clients enjoy booking jobs directly while still having the knowledge that the experienced agents and tech support of the VOplanet team are available to help. Clients can listen to talent demos, view talent profiles which include experience/credits, training, studio capabilities, a complete list of audio demos in various categories, personal contact information including phone numbers, email and website addresses. Clients can post their projects for free directly to the VOplanet website. There they will be provided with their own confidential Audition Screening Room where talent post custom auditions reading client copy via MP3. Clients can then save the best auditions to their favorites, share the link with their clients and book the talent of their choice directly. With client to talent direct bookings, the client and talent negotiate for fees and arrange talent payment directly between themselves. No agency fees are incurred and auditions are always free.
In the event that either the talent or client involves an agent with an audition or a booking that originates at VOplanet, and the agent is asked to help set up or listen to auditions, the project will then be turned over to an VoiceCasting and an agency fee will be charged.
For talent at VOplanet, there are several levels of membership, some of which include an hour consultation, demo review and career recommendations with one of our agents. We also offer free website development and free web hosting. Our tech support is available all the time on both sites during normal business hours and there is always an agent standing by to answer general questions.
About Agency Fees: If a client and a talent go directly with each other, no agency fee is paid to Voplanet or VoiceCasting. If a client uses the agent to help book the project, an agency fee is incurred. If a talent asks an agent for help on a direct booking with a client, the agent will help in general terms. Anytime an agent becomes involved, an agency fee may be involved. Ask first.
What Clients Need to Know
Clients are always welcome to set up their own projects using the automated and easy to use post-a-project form at VOplanet and VoiceCasting. Just fill out the form, post your copy and specs, and click to invite talent you choose to audition. Auditions will appear in your private audition room by the deadline you choose. There is no limit the number of talent who audition for at VOplanet unless a client asks for assistance in narrowing down talent choices. Clients can choose talent based on age, voice type, gender, dialect, language, type of project that needs voicing, and many other criteria. You can save favorites and hide the others, or unhide if you change your mind. The project originator can create a link of auditions to share if there is more than one decision-maker in the process. Each talent profile and their demos are easily accessed with a click-through next to the talentís custom audition. If the project is a Voplanet project and producers go directly with talent, the talent contact info will show up on his profile. If the project is VoiceCasting, the agent's contact info will show up.
Talent are always encouraged to audition for every job that fits their criteria. There is no penalty ever for auditioning. When you become a member at VOplanet, auditions will be sent to your Inbox based on the criteria you check off on your profile page. Talent can also sign in and check the project bulletin board site daily for projects. The more criteria you check, the more projects you receive. You will be given a description of the job, client directions, how to name the file, and a script. ALL auditions are sent to clients and talent are never penalized for auditioning.
A "project closed" notice appears on the audition page when a project is closed. You are welcomed and encouraged to audition until a closed notice is posted even if the originally posted project deadline has been reached or past. The reason for this is that sometimes clients change their schedules so projects are left up until a client books the job. When a project is closed, talent can be assured that their audition was sent to the client. We can in no way assure which auditions a client listens to if the talent goes direct through VOplanet. But we can assure you that all VoiceCasting auditions are listened to by one of the VoiceCasting agents for quality assurance and recommendatons may be made to the client. All auditions are made available to clients.
How We Market
We use various mediums to market our companies. Having been in business for three decades as a reputable company in the entertainment industry, word of mouth and referral has been a great avenue of new business. We also use direct mail/postcards and many online talent and client newsletters and surveys. We advertise in both print and web medias and have strategic partnerships with various companies which includes cross promotion, banner and link exchanges, sponsorships etc. We employ viral marketing using social networking sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Voice Over Xtra, Voice Over Universe, Plaxo, VoiceOver Casting, and others. We use blogging as a source to advertise our sites and we contribute articles to various print and online newsletters/websites which pertain to our industry. Google Ads and search engine optimization are a viable source of advertising for us. We attend meet and greet luncheons, trade shows and conventions and we sponsor and advertise various voice over workshops and classes that pertain to our industry. Cold calling, press releases, and referral programs are all part of our marketing plan. We have written various e-books, stay on top of community forums, attend webinars and use many other various forms of marketing. Donna, Michelle and Robert are available for live speaking engagements, workshops and podcasts, and interviews. We combine the tools offered online through social networking sites and have created a powerful marketing plan for our talent and our companies, in some instances for free, which translates into free advertising for our talent. Being creative and staying on top of and ahead of the trends of our industry gives our talent the advantage. These new online tools and social networking sites are indeed an important part of our business. We utilize viral marketing to its fullest capabilities and many times contact these very companies about sponsorship opportunities and work directly with them to get VoiceCasting and VOplanet the best placement and exposure on their sites and in their newsletters. We take advantage of Google ad solutions. We participate in various aforementioned social networking websites and newsletters, and we are always seeking out new mutually beneficial affiliations and strategic partnerships. All of this greatly benefits the exposure for the talent listed at VoiceCasting and VOplanet.
Our Answer to the Current Economy...2010 and Beyond on the Planet!
VoiceCasting/VOplanet believe that we all need to pull together all the time. We strive to encourage our talent to come from a place of strength and not from a place of fear or lack. Advertising goes on no matter what the state of the economy and we take it as our job to find the niche and add value for our clients and our talent.
At VoiceCasting/VOplanet our motto is, "No matter what the state of the economy, it's always a good time for VO talent to make money while adding value to the Planet with their voices!" We use whatever perceived challenges there are in the economy to create newer and better ways to fill niches created for voice-over talent. Historically, a downturn in the economy equates to more advertising. We have maintained and exceeded our former marketing efforts and feel that no matter what downturn the economy may see, cutting back on marketing is not the way to stay in business. We remain firm, active, and constant in our marketing efforts for our talent. There are so many creative marketing strategies we can utilize to get the most from yours and our marketing dollars, especially with newer and better online technologies available today. Marketing our talent to our clients as the "choicest" voices for their projects will always remain our top priority.
Depend on the Experts to Help You Navigate Today's VO Marketplace
Between Robert, Donna, and Michelle, our combined years in business gives our talent and our clients the competitive edge needed to be successful in today's fast-paced and "overstocked" VO marketplace. We know how to identify the best talent and the best jobs and match the two in order to create successful campaigns and satisfied clients over and over again. We help you stay informed about the latest technologies in studio set-ups, microphones, audio programs, etc. and are happy to share that information with you at anytime. VoiceCasting's membership at VideoVoicebank and Voplanet's affiliation with SaVoa assure that we have the best talent and the best auditions in the industry. We are always happy to hear from you about your latest and greatest technological, coaching and job experiences and share that information with others.
The VO world changes at a very fast pace these days and we search and study daily to ensure that our talent reads and auditions are the gold standard for the ever-changing VO marketplace. We are always happy to listen to talent demos or give instruction or feedback on auditions posted on our sites. We are always happy to help new clients to set up and monitor auditions at any time.