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Women Struggle in Trailer Narration Business

Posted: November 11th, 2008 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
Women Struggle in Trailer Narration BusinessSubmit Comment
Don LaFontaine, the so-called "Voice of God" who held a virtual monopoly over the narration of bigtime movie trailers until his death on September 1st, had a clear idea of who his successor should be -- "God's voice," he said, "should belong to a woman."

"I think women are vastly underrepresented in this area," LaFontaine, who earned $10 million per year doing voice work, told Variety in 2006. "You'd think that for films directly aimed at women, chick flicks, the logical choice would be for a woman to narrate the trailer. But studios hold focus groups and the people in them, women included, seem to prefer the male voice."

Two years later, little has changed. Movie trailers remain largely unaffected by the feminism's march, with growly baritones likely replacements for LaFontaine. Women, who make up a small fraction of the trailer voice talent pool (William Morris reps three female trailer voices compared with 33 males, according to its website), remain almost exclusively confined to TV, radio and DVD trailer spots. The reason isn't so much gender equality, apparently, as it is resistance to change among the moviegoing public -- male and female.

"Audiences, including females, are so used to hearing a male voice that when they hear a female voice they think something is wrong," says Michael Camp, creative advertising executive at 20th Century Fox. "The public is finicky, and it takes them a while to trust voices they aren't used to hearing. And the voice they were used to for many years was Don's."

On the rare occasion that trailer houses suggest using a female voice, studios often nix the idea. "A female voice might take away from the content of the trailer," says producer Christine Peters (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days). "If the industry does transition to more frequently using female voiceovers, I imagine it will take the audience awhile to get used to it."

Do you prefer a man or a woman doing the voice narration?

Source: Variety


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Displaying 3 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
charles_carmen writes:
on November 11th, 2008 at 12:29:33 PM

it totally depends on the content of the film.
Schwasted writes:
on November 11th, 2008 at 3:47:06 PM

At first this subject seems pointless but if you think about it the trailer narrator is an important piece of advertising. Not just in movie trailers, but on tv as well. Except on tv ads a woman's voice is more common to sell a product. In the end, it depends on how enthusiastic the voice is.
PrevalentMind writes:
on November 12th, 2008 at 8:44:12 AM

It's all in our minds- it just seems right to have a calm soothing female voice telling you to buy soap...and a deep voiced male badass telling us we're going to either laugh our asses off or get blown out of our seats. It just doesn't feel right to have a deep voiced man telling you to rub soap all over your 2000 parts.

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