The biggest problem with directing talent is learning to communicate with them (us). We don’t want you to read the spot to us. What you hear in your head is NOT what’s going into our ears! If you could do it exactly right, you wouldn’t need us.
We need to be able to hear in our heads what you hear in yours when you direct us. We want to know where the words are coming from…. Attitude. Emotion. Relationship to the listener. And where the words are going… Who’s the target demographic? How receptive will they be? And what, exactly, is the message behind the words we’re reading? If we don’t understand precisely what we’re saying and why we’re saying it, there’s no hope of communicating it to the listener.
When you tell talent to “hit that word harder” or “come up on the end of the phrase” or “put a little air in your voice when you say this”, or any of that sort of direction, you are telling us how to do our jobs rather than giving us the information we need to bring our expertise to the table.
Everything about the performance has to come from a position of understanding the message… not from artificial technique or imitation of someone else you once heard. Show us that position. Make us understand the message completely, and the reason for it, and we will give you what you hear in your head. Or, maybe, something even better.
Instead of trying to describe the sound, describe the feeling you want from us. It’s really nice, too, when we find a producer who isn’t married to the sound in his head so much that he can’t appreciate an equally appropriate and perfectly correct alternative interpretation from the talent.
The best creative products contain the combined best efforts of a team of specialists, guided by someone with the ability to recognize excellence in others. Its called “teamwork”.