I once gave my friends and colleagues a good laugh when I would launch into an over-the-top voice over delivery one would normally only hear in movie trailers. You know, the larger-than-life, in-your-face, thunder-of-the-gods delivery usually associated with the likes of the late, legendary Don la Fontaine.
I suppose after mimicking the drama and intensity behind such “in a world”-type deliveries for some time you actually become somewhat adept at pulling them off in a more genuine fashion than your initial parodies – and then start to incorporate them into your own voice over repertoire. At least that’s what happened to me.
I started using this gravelly style of delivery as an option when providing audition reads. I started noticing a trend. It was my grittier tone that had clients contacting me and booking me for jobs that I might not have secured otherwise. Actually it kind of made sense considering what the projects turned out to be. Generally the themes were rugged and serious.
I started voicing narrations for everything from Swiss mountain climbing expeditions to American military OPSEC (operations security) CBT (computer based training) programs. I landed an 8-part doc series for History Television on underworld gangs and then another few programs on outlaw bikers.
My most recent gig using my apparently popular down ‘n’ dirty delivery was a voice over similar to the VO in the Chrysler 200 TV commercial from early this year featuring Eminem. This new corporate video for a Seattle financial firm was to mirror the look and feel, not to mention the sound, of the very popular automobile ad focused on the Motor City. Click here to see/hear spot.
I was a huge fan of the Chrysler spot because I simply think it’s one of the coolest commercials ever. Everything about it made it so: the imagery, Detroit, Eminem, the automobile it was subtly suggesting for purchase consideration and…that awesome voice over! So I thought I’d give the corporate audition a try as something of a lark. I was tickled to get a call a few days later stating I had been chosen as the voice talent based on my read.
Even though the project was a creative mimic I was really impressed with how the final video turned out and was quite pleased with my personal contribution – although I’m pretty certain it won’t be shown during the Super Bowl. Click here to listen to the VO
Don may be gone but I thank him for inspiring me to pull something else out of my register and to have fun with it.