Any regular reader of HE knows of my love for the craft of voice acting and voice over, and my respect for the artists that bring our favorite characters and movie trailers to life. So it’s no surprise that the passing of Don LaFontaine has saddened me deeply.
He was a master voice over artist that helped define the movie going experience for multiple generations of film fans. His unmistakable “chainsaw through gravel” baritone could deftly shift from evoking terror to inciting laughter. He voiced more than 5000 movie trailers over the last 40 years and spawned a slew of sound-alike imitators. Despite these accomplishments as a VO artist, I find his personal story equally laudable. This was a guy that could write his own ticket and for that I respect him all the more. When he got tired of going to the studios (in his limo), he made the studios come to him. He set up a home studio and took remote cues from directors miles away. He commanded a million dollars per film, yet remained humble calling himself, “the luckiest man on earth.”
In honor of Mr. LaFontaine, I suggest each September 1st be designated “Talk Like Don Day.” When you order your pizza, or check out at the grocery store through in a few “in a world’s” and “one man’s” here and there. I also suggest we officially coin the phrase “graveltas” (gravel + gravitas) when referring to the way the man spoke.
Here’s to you, Don. Godspeed, you fancy bastard.
No Castcast this week. All the Gearbox peoples will be at a company sponsored alcohol trough.