We all know the voice. It’s the one you hear when you’re sitting in a darkened movie theater waiting for the feature presentation to begin. The trailers for coming attractions are projected and so is that voice. Deep, diction perfect, clear like a galloping horse in the night, cutting through the lighting fast visuals and overpowering the thundering music. You can hear it right now can’t you?
That voice belonged to Don LaFontaine who passed away this week at the age of 68. He was the voice of the movies, over 5,000 of them and more than 350,000 commercials. Astounding! He was the only game in town, and this was one time a monopoly turned out to be a good thing.
The voice speaks for the brain as well as the heart. It can be calming, alarming, or down right annoying. As an avid moviegoer I have seen hundreds of trailers. If the movie seems intriguing, you hang on his every word. If the film looks stupid, you turn off the visuals and turn up Don in your mind. He was a constant and I will miss him.
Apparently his ego did not grow with the number of films he worked on. He had talent beyond his voice, frequently writing much of the copy himself. It was performance art, a finely honed craft. If he had time he would take a moment and record a voice mail greeting for a friend, or even a complete stranger. Wouldn’t that be a keeper.
The big question is, what will Hollywood do now? Can someone take his place? Highly doubtful. Will people notice? Yes they will. Visit Don Fontaine’s official site here.