In a world where people are looking for movies to watch, movie trailer announcers create compelling commercials to drive box-office success.
When most people think of "the movie trailer announcer," they're probably thinking of one man's voice - Don LaFontaine.
LaFontaine began his career in the early 60s as a sound engineer. He joined with Floyd L. Peterson, Inc., one of the first companies to focus on movie advertising. Even before LaFontaine uttered a word into a microphone, he and Peterson had laid the foundation of the modern movie trailer.
In 1965, LaFontaine temporarily filled in for an absent announcer to record a commercial for a new western. The company bought his work, and he was on his way to announcing stardom. Over the years, LaFontaine has worked for other production companies and studios, including Paramount Pictures from 1978-1981, but for the past 25 years he has worked as an independent producer.
LaFontaine has done work on nearly 5,000 movies, including trailers for Batman, Cast Away, The Terminator, Dr. Strangelove, Fatal Attraction, and Chicken Run. In addition to his work as a movie trailer announcer, he has recorded voiceovers for every major network and numerous commercials.
Other Movie Trailer Announcers
Although Don LaFontaine is perhaps the most famous movie trailer announcer, you'll hear a host of other voiceover talent in ads for your favorite movies.
James Arnold Taylor
For over five years, James Arnold Taylor has been the voice of the AOL MovieFone. Some of his movie trailer work includes Magnolia, Deuce Bigalow, Men In Black, Runaway Bride, and The Water Boy. He is also known as the voice of Fox network promotions and for his work in animation and video games, including The Animatrix, Codename:Kids Next Door, and Final Fantasy X.
Rodney Saulsberry was once named "the voiceover man of choice for black cinema" by SAVOY magazine. His work as a movie trailer announcer includes How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Soul Food, Dumb and Dumberer, and Tupac Resurrection. He has been heard announcing award shows, doing commercial voiceovers, and singing - his voice has been featured on soundtracks and two solo albums.
Keri Tombazian is a rare female voice in the world of movie trailer announcers. Getting her start in commercials and network promos, she was the voice of the hit movie Sideways. She has also performed extensive narration work, such as the E! True Hollywood Story of Marilyn Monroe.
John Leader began his career as a movie trailer announcer with promotional work for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Other trailers have included Notting Hill and L.A. Story. He has also appeared regularly in radio, from hosting national countdown programs to local on-air work.
Perhaps most famous for his work in television, Joe Cipriano has voiced promos for Fox, NBC, ABC, and CBS. He has also served as the announcer for several high-profile award shows like the Grammys. His movie trailer work includes Shallow Hal, A Bug's Life, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Movie Trailer Announcer Humor
Using stock phrases like "In a world..." and "one man...", and relying on overly dramatic narration, the nature of movie trailers lends itself to parody. In 2006, Don LaFontaine appeared in a GEICO insurance commercial as "that announcer guy from the movies." As an average customer explained a situation where she needed insurance coverage, LaFontaine turned her account into movie trailer sound bites. An article in The Onion called "Ask A Movie-Trailer Announcer Guy" also lampooned the movie trailer genre. Every "advice columnist" response was written in movie-trailer-speak.