Words to Use When Directing Voice Talent

Here's the list Craig Jackman mentions in this month's Q It Up. He uses it to convey dramatic concepts to his talent. Craig said that you actually have to credit his predecessor, Jonathan Crowe, for coming up with the list. Jonathan is now the producer for the Creative Services department at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He explains why he developed this list: "I had been using the same kinds of words--"give me an up read, a medium read, a soft read"--and the announcers kept asking me to come up with other words to describe what I wanted from them. So I spent the better part of a day going through the Thesaurus looking for words that said the same thing, just so I could surprise the announcers. It got to be a lot of fun. Now instead of giving me a hard time for using the same words, they give me a hard time for always looking off the sheet." Here's the list that you can copy and use.

PRODUCTION SYNONYMS

1. Forceful Hard Read: Firm, Solid, Colossal, Monstrous, Loud, Booming, Deafening, Dynamic, Mighty, Powerful, Emphatic, Stupendous, Mammoth, Heavy, Rugged, Grinding, Rocky, Thunderous, Resounding, Wake the Dead, Intense, Head Splitting, Ear Splitting, Penetrating, Bold, Brassy, Rough-and-Ready, Wild, Wild-and-Wooly, Uncouth, Gruff, Raw, Earthshaking, Bombastic, Rip-Roaring, Rowdy, Bizarre, Crazy, Mad.

2. Exciting Enthusiastic Read: Excited, All Fired Up, Zealous, Passionate, Spirited, Animated, Vivacious, Exuberant, Gushing, Light a Fire Under, Bubbling, Cheerful, Gusto, Up Beat, Red Hot, Lively, Exhilarating, Inspiring, Rousing, Energized, Set It on Fire, Thrilling, Electrifying, Spine-Tingling, Hair Raising, Rip-Roaring, Invigorating, Compelling, Soul-Stirring, Heart-Moving, Mind-Blowing, Tantalizing, Irresistible, Captivating, Provocative, Radiant.

3. Fresh Wholesome Effervescent Read: Garden-fresh, Novel, Energetic, Vigorous, Hearty, Lively, Bouncing, Vibrant, Bright, Shiny, Sparkling, Glistening, Brilliant, Clean, Glowing, Bubbling, Exuberant, Animated, Breathless, Happy.

4. Light Soft Read: Feather Light, Effortless, Simple, Easy-Going, Casual, Happy-go-lucky, Care-Free, Even, Sleek, Rippleless, Effortless, Refined, Eloquent, Delicate, Bouncy, Breezy, Low-Key, Natural, Subdued, Smarmy.

5. Romantic: Poetic, Whimsical, Flighty, Starry-eyed, Dreamy, Spicy, Idealistic, Philosophical, Sentimental, Sensitive, Tender, Emotional, Passionate, Mushy, Smooth, Silky, Velvety.

6. Warm Genuine Read: Cordial, Heartfelt, Sincere, Friendly, Natural, Folksy, Homespun, Honest, Unpretentious,

7. Serious Urgent Read: Earnest, No-Nonsense, Stern, Businesslike, Important, No-Laughing-Matter, Intense, Imperative, Driving, Demanding, Precise, Explicit, Positive, Grave, Severe, Solemn, Firm, Sincere, Honest, Genuine, Heavy, Challenging.

8. Mysterious Ominous Read: Shadowy, Cloudy, Nebulous, Vague, Mystifying, Strange, Weird, Bizarre, Ambiguous, Discreet, Noncommittal, Evasive, Shifty, Dark, Bewildering, Perplexing, Foreboding, Ill-fated, Threatening, Menacing, Sinister, Gloomy.

9. Tongue in Cheek Sarcastic Read: Sly, Cunning, Crafty, Mischievous, Playful, Mocking, Double-edged, Cynical, Teasing, Abrupt, Insulting, Denouncing, Abusive, Cruel, Mean, Brutal, Unkind, Uncharitable, Blunt, Testy, Touchy, Edgy, Ill-tempered, Ill-humored, Ill-natured, Hostile, Resentful, Indignant, Angry, Moody.

READ IS NOT WHAT I WANT YET:

1. Flat: Colorless, Drab, Dull, Lifeless, Bland, Mediocre, Ordinary, Average, Run-of-the-mill, So-so, Fair, Modest, Ho-Hum, Callous, Cool, Cold, Unsympathetic, Insensitive, Unconcerned, Emotionless, Boring, Uninteresting, Gray, Indifferent, Stiff, Formal, Distant, Aloof, Un-compassionate.

2. Tight: Rigid, Tense, Crammed, Thick, Relax the Read, Unleash the Read, Loosen Up, Too Rushed, Take More Time.

I LIKE WHAT I HEAR:

1. Fantastic, Good: Admirable, Distinguished, Dignified, Grand, Top-notch, Magnificent, Glorious, Profound, Thundering, Marvelous, Extraordinary, Remarkable, Phenomenal, Surprising, Unprecedented, Fabulous, Fantastic, Far-out, Amazing, Astounding, Astonishing, Breathtaking, Stunning, Mind-boggling, Mind-blowing, Splendid, Terrific, Sensational, Exceptional, Superfine, Super-duper, First-class.