Indie Of The Month – Kerry Voice
Written By Stella Nicholls
Photos Supplied by Kerry Hutchinson aka Kerry Voice
Imagine sitting in a dimly lit cinema, popcorn and chocolate treat conveniently positioned. Your drink of choice has been artfully wedged in the little round holder, making sure you’ve chosen the correct side (wouldn’t want a stranger taking a sip of your beverage by mistake). The atmosphere is electric as you await the beginning of a movie that you’ve wanted to see for ages. As the lights dim, indicating the trailers are about to start, a stillness descends upon the theatre.
The musical score begins; the sombre timbre of each note eerily making the hairs stand up on the back of your neck – this trailer is going to be scary. Snuggling down in your seat, you await the deep rumbling, epically famous ‘movie trailer voice’, to start with the famous lines, “In a world….”
Instead, the atmosphere is broken by the high-pitched squeaky voice of Mickey Mouse, the exciting build-up is forgotten, as you look around to see if anyone else is as surprised (and disappointed) as you.
There is no denying the difference a voice can make. From the distinctive voice of a famous legend like the late Nelson Mandela to the more comical voice of Homer Simpson, a voice is something that we tend to remember.
In fact, Torbay-based professional voice over artist, Kerry Hutchinson, advises that both seeing and hearing a brand or advert makes it more memorable to an audience, as it engages both the eyes and ears. I thought back to some of the famous adverts from my childhood and realised that the ones I remember the most, had a famously spoken strapline. Kerry emphasised how important and memorable putting a voice to a brand is and that it is really not as “crushingly expensive” as people may think.
Kerry has a charismatic and deeply rich voice. He realised at a young age that he could keep the class entertained, “raising the morale” by mimicking people, much to his teacher’s chagrin, and also that he had an aptitude for languages, studying German at University.
It wasn’t until he joined the Royal Air Force as an Education and Training Officer, however, that someone mentioned that he could put his engaging voice to good use and that he should “voice” their videos. It was sometime later when Kerry was up in York and had left the RAF, that someone remembered his rich tones, and recommended him to a media company who were looking for a voice actor to do a piece to camera. They needed someone who could imitate an Australian accent, which Kerry managed perfectly.
I interrupted Kerry at this point, to ask if he could mimic a South African, he broke into a broad ‘Saafrican’ accent, which I found immensely amusing and was impressed, as it is one of the more difficult accents to master.
Kerry recalls recording his first demo on a cassette recorder at home, which he says, “was dreadful”. It was for a new business which had just set up a voice agency with offices in Manchester and London. As bad as the recording quality was, the value of Kerry’s voice, must have shone through, as they asked him to come in and do a proper demo, which he did. He went on to work for them on a part time basis, while he continued doing some work for the Civil Service in York.
The versatility with which Kerry can produce rich deep tones or lighter upbeat tones in his voice meant that he was able to be booked for a variety of jobs, giving him a fair bit of terrestrial TV ad, corporate and promo work.
Having received a small lump sum from an injury received in Afghanistan, while serving in the Territorial Army (now known as the Reserves) Kerry, (on advice from his wife, Debs) decided to leave the Civil Service and relocate to Devon, where he invested in a professional voice recording studio.
Moving to Devon has been a dream come true for Kerry and Debs. Kerry remarked that giving up his stable Civil Service role and taking the leap of faith to start his own business has allowed him the opportunity to really seize the day – “carpe diem” (one of this favourite quotes). He says that at the end of our lives, we will only regret what we didn’t do, not what we did, so he wanted to, “grab life, go out there and do it!”
Kerry’s broadcast-quality recording studio, based in Brixham near Paignton, allows him to take on work across the country and currently, he’s enjoying recording radio ads for local radio stations in addition to his product-branding and promo work. He remains flexible, however, finding that sometimes he needs to travel to London to record a voice over. He says that he is open to travelling to where the work is, especially when the client requires more intensive voice overs.
As someone who really values being able to help people, one of the most rewarding voice overs he has done was for Macmillan Nurses. He says he was able to use his empathic voice on the radio ad and he loved the fact that it was providing such a valuable service for a meaningful cause. Kerry is just as passionate in wanting to help local and regional businesses.
With the voice over industry being incredibly competitive, Kerry says that he needs to show range and adaptability with Kerry Voice, as well as constantly upskilling, to keep on top of his profession. He needs to keep in touch with the wider real world beyond the recording booth. In between voice work, Kerry has a side-line job in helping NATO with his Afghanistan experience. He trains people in humanitarian assistance and communication skills. This means he needs to go to Afghanistan twice a year and he also travels to a NATO training school in Poland four times a year, where he voices NATO documentaries and training films. That sounds like a pretty important “side-line job” to me!
If you would like to find out more about Kerry Voice and how he can help to elevate your brand or products with his voice, pop onto his website.