Is the movie trailer voice dead?

I thought this was an interesting piece recently in the Globe and Mail. We rarely get calls for voicing movie trailers so what the article is saying has been my experience:

“Summer movie season is in full swing, but one iconic part of the viewing experience is missing in action: the trailer voiceover.

The gravelly voice that narrates previews – you know the one, he often starts with the words “in a world” – has all but vanished, according to a review of more than 200 blockbuster trailers over the past 20 years by The Globe and Mail. ”

Full article:

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I Am What I Play

So, in addition to running PN Agency and Ethnic Voice Talent, and keeping the masses entertained with this blog, I have also managed to make a feature length documentary on the side. The subject: rock radio DJ’s. It’s called I Am What I Play and here’s the pitch:

I Am What I Play focuses on four well-known North American radio disc jockeys during the heyday of rock radio, when many disc jockeys were given great freedom on the air, had celebrity status, and had a direct connection to the biggest names in rock and roll. As radio became more commercially-controlled and new media has taken hold, these DJ’s have had to carve out a new career space for themselves. Has free-form radio died, or has it reinvented itself in unexpected spaces?

The aim was not to tell some all-encompassing history of rock radio but rather to present four interesting characters whose lives were symbolic of the era and the medium, and who by telling their stories, would essentially guide us through the arc of rock radio.

The movie features music from Velvet Underground, The Ramones, Joni Mitchell, Rush and The Cars, among others.

The movie site is here:

If Facebook is more your style, the film page is here. Lots of updates to come there:


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Ethnic Voice Talent is 10 Years Old!

In 2003, I was proud to represent a solid roster of English and French oral specialists. Quietly, I added some Spanish voices into the mix. Clients started to inquire: Can I get a German man? How about a Japanese woman? Time passed and I finally clued in that these were business questions and I sprung into action.

I set up some meetings with Chinese TV producers, dropped in to the Portuguese radio station, and called up translation companies. I was on the hunt for people who were fluent in languages besides English & French but who also had broadcast experience. The chartered accountant who happens to speak Arabic may be charming but it doesn’t do much good if he has never been behind a microphone.

Slowly I assembled the Germans and Cantonese and Italians and in 2004, Ethnic Voice Talent was born! I was amazed that the business name and URL were available. It lead me to believe I might be getting out in front of something. Clients started to call with corporate videos that needed to be done in three languages because the company also has offices in Berlin and Hong Kong – and radio spots that needed to reach the Chinese and the Italians as well as the English and the French.

Over the last 10 years, at Ethnic Voice Talent (EVT), we’ve done election campaign spots targeting the vote in various ethnic communities, an audio helicopter tour of Niagara Falls in 12 different languages, narrations for documentaries that played on television and film festivals around the world, and my favorite project to date: a major TV campaign for the NBA playoffs featuring play by play commentators from around the world. A number of our talented ethnic voices playing the part of NBA broadcasters of course.

Okay, I know it’s tough to make out the voices but at $3000 per language, who’s complaining!

As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of EVT, I’m reflecting on how cool it has been to get to know all the communities, to learn a bit about different dialects within a language and to see the increased demand for authentic voices and accents of various countries and ethnicities.

In the coming months, I plan to put more energy into growing EVT: more languages, more choices of voice in the languages we do offer, and more outreach to clients who should be open to expanding their message to different audiences. Oral specialists are waiting to serve you in the language of your choice.

For now, thanks to all who have booked a talented ethnic voice these last 10 years and Happy Anniversary EVT!


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Voice Over Canada hits Brazil!

Apparently, we are making an impact in Brazil! An actual comment left on this blog:

“Hello, Roger. I’m a dreaming brazilian boy who is turning 18 this year. I’ve always been passionate about voice-acting and dubbing, I’m finishing my english studies and I’m taking voice-acting/dubbing technique classes this year. I’m willing to live in Canada. Maybe when I get there, i’ll send a demo to you. Love your posts!”

I didn’t set out to capture the imagination of 18 year-old Brazilian boys but it’s nice to have that international reach none the less.

To keep up with the furious pace of the Voice Over industry and get a side order of radio tidbits as well, Follow Voice Over Canada on Twitter:


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Voice Over Times: Secrets of An Agent Man

I’ve been asked to write occasional pieces for Voice Over Times so I took a look back at some of the posts on this blog and wrote kind of a best of piece on What Agents Are Looking For.

Have a look by clicking here:

And check out the rest of the site too. Really well laid out.

To keep up with the furious pace of the Voice Over industry and get a side order of radio tidbits as well, Follow Voice Over Canada on Twitter:


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Random Agent Musings (RAM) #3 – The Audition Process

Some thoughts on auditions:

-If you think you aced the audition, there is very little chance you’re getting the gig! The one you’ve forgotten about from three weeks ago is the one you’ll inexplicably get.

-In light of the above, it’s best to think about auditions as the equivalent of batting practice in baseball. A ball player just needs to get in the cage every day and take practice swings. Keeps you in shape and ready.

-Casting calls are getting vaguer and vaguer. Here is one from last month: “The voice will be male or /female, 30-40 years old. Full voice.” Can’t even narrow it down to the sex yet!

-Casting Directors, by and large, are good at what they do and insightful in terms of direction. But they are sometimes guessing as to what the client wants just like agents and voice talents!

-Anyone who doubts that voice work is a form of acting should attend a casting for a major ad campaign or animated series. And voice talents only have one tool to use. Wardrobe, physical mannerisms, stage presence etc doesn’t work here.

-Casting directors are either super friendly and personable or ruthless dictators – not much in between.

-Your agent shouldn’t be sending you out for everything. See here:

-As an agent, technology has been a mixed blessing. Of course it’s great that we can do home studio/remote auditions but I miss the days of more voice casting directors who saw talents in person and got to know the voices and their abilities.

-My favorite recent line said by a casting director to an actor friend who was auditioning for an on-camera part in a TV spot: “If you get the gig, you’ll be leaving for Uruguay on Sunday.”

To keep up with the furious pace of the Voice Over industry and get a side order of radio tidbits as well, Follow Voice Over Canada on Twitter:


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