Archive for September, 2008

Hollywood’s Voiceover King is dead at age 68. For years, Don LaFontaine’s voice was instantly recognizable to moviegoers enjoying…or suffering through…the coming attractions.  Although he was a legend behind the mic, Don managed to maintain a pretty low public profile. That is, until he became a pop culture icon with his Geico auto insurance commercial…”In a WORRRLD where BOTH of their cars were comPLETEly underWATER!”

Don had a way of making the dumbest Hollywood kak seem epic.  Guys like him make it look easy, which I’m sure is its own special kind of burden, as writers and producers come to depend on him to “bring the magic” to elevate mediocre material.

Sadly, Hollywood isn’t the only place that happens. The world of corporate/ industrial/in-house video production is another place where the VO artist is regularly called upon to rescue a bad script.

I have said before that suffering through bad industrial scripts was the reason I became a writer. Specifically, it was sitting in the sound booth listening to seasoned pros sputter and choke on 57-word sentences of technobabble copy/pasted from user manuals. Take after miserable take, I fantasized about how great it would be to use voice talent like this to make a good script better, rather than make a piece of crap barely tolerable.

The best voiceover artists, or performers in general, will tell you that a great performance starts with a great script.  Providing that firm foundation was my goal when I first picked up the pen, and it was the commitment I made to my VO guys (and gals!)

Besides, “in a WORRRLD where VOICE guys make five HUNDRED dollars an HOUR,” I prefer not to do rewrites in the sound booth.

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