As the originator of the movie trailer catch-phrase, “In a world where,” LaFontaine dominated the voiceover industry. He made more than 5,000 trailers in his 33-year career while working for the top studios and television networks…
LaFontaine remained active until recently, averaging seven to 10 voiceover sessions a day.
When I took a voice-over class a few years ago he was held up as the gold standard, living the life everyone aspired to, picked up by limo and delivered from studio to studio to narrate trailers and commercials throughout the day.
That, in any case, was the legend. Computer technology had made such strides that for the last few years LaFontaine could do a lot of his work in his home studio.
LaFontaine worked constantly, in contrast to voice-over students scuffling to land any kind of low-paying radio commercial. There is so much competition in Hollywood that working at all is a degree of success in and of itself. Our instructor had credits, which set her above the wanna-bes — it didn’t matter in the least if the work was announcing weekly sales for Piggly Wiggly.
I have a nice enough voice, but as the late LaFontaine said, it’s the reading, the interpretation, that really counts. No matter how much passion I put into reading copy about ceiling fans, I always seemed to sound like Worf on ST:TNG.
My only quasi-professional voice work has been recording the caller menu for our local office phone system. Unfortunately, I’m well into the last seconds of my 15 minutes of fame. Our office is replacing its phone system with a digital phone network that runs off a server in
However, I did pass an audition and get added to a panel of instructors, some of whom will go back to
Podcast interview with Don LaFontaine