This varies hugely depending on the production and the budget, and how you want the audience to receive it.
One example is this video on a TV studio’s budget. This is a short clip made by the BBC – which, to save money, made the ad-libbing a bit more choppy than normal – to promote a documentary about the BBC.
BBC TV’s creative director Ben Macintyre is shown making up lines from one of the original dialogue recordings into an ad lib, and using it. He did this to introduce viewers to the programme.
He said: “It’s a bit of a joke that I was making up these lines about the Beatles, but it’s funny for the audience because we’ve had one of their songs on our air for years, so they recognise it immediately when they see it.”
And just because you’re trying to get as much money as possible doesn’t mean the ad-libbing should fall by the wayside.
“The truth is you can use it,” says McDonagh, “so long as you’re giving the director credit for it.”
If you really want to work that out, go to one of these forums which offer tips for using ad-libs in television.
Why you should take Ad-Libs seriously
Ad-libbing means more than just trying to sound smarter than your co-star.
The ability to create ad-libs is all about being able to make your message seem more sophisticated than your audience may be used to hearing it.
So, is it really worth all the effort required to create a perfectly pitched voiceover, while the majority of TV ads are too obvious?
Let’s first understand how it’s produced. There are a few different techniques you can use to create this, which will make for better television, if done correctly, but there’s no right or wrong way.
The most common method, if you want some background on how it works, is called “reverse-composing”, which involves recording yourself saying a long and difficult phrase that sounds as if it’s coming from the mouth of someone who has already used the same phrase previously.
By putting a microphone on your face you’re mimicking the vocal style you might use if you really did have to say “it’s a wonderful day” for the first time.
It’s then the voice over writer uses this same idea to come up with a new, unique