Gone in Sixty Seconds is a rare example where audiences accepted a female voice over during the trailer.
Interesting article in Variety about the almost complete absence of women doing voice overs for movie trailers. Now that the king of trailer voice work, Don LaFontaine, has died, there would certainly seem to be room for a new generation of voices, but that new generation doesn’t seem to include women.
LaFontaine certainly thought it was time, as he told Variety in 2006:
“I think women are vastly underrepresented in this area,” LaFontaine told me in 2006. “You’d think that for films directly aimed at women, chick flicks, the logical choice would be for a woman to narrate the trailer. But studios hold focus groups and the people in them, women included, seem to prefer the male voice.”
Apparently whenever it’s suggested, it just kind of freaks people out. The only successful female trailer voice over that anyone in the article could remember was the voice work done by Melissa Disney for 2000′s Gone in Sixty Seconds. And despite LaFontaine’s idea that women voice artists should do the trailers for women-oriented films, it appears that people are more comfortable with women speaking for high-action films, such as the aforementioned Sixty Seconds. I guess that there’s something about the juxtaposition of a female voce with violence, speed, and action that men find, well, sexy. I think. Men, help me out here.
As for why focus groups seem turned off by the idea most of the time, including women sitting in for women’s pictures, it’s just a deeply ingrained habit that people find hard to break. When people see a trailer, they just expect a man’s voice, though one would hope that that may be changing.
What do you think? Would you be turned off or uncomfortable if movie trailers had more women narrators? Why can’t we hear a woman intoning, “In a world…” I’m up for it.