If you spend as much time watching movie trailers as we do, then you’ve probably come to an interesting conclusion: the voice actors who narrate the previews? They’re predominantly men. Women have made great strides in the workplace over the years, but breaking into the trailer voiceover game is a barrier they still haven’t quite managed to crack.
BBC Magazine recently covered the phenomenon and tried to figure out why trailer narration is still a man’s game. The answers aren’t particularly surprising.
Jeff Danis, a voiceover artist agent, says he thinks the reason women haven’t broken through in the field is because “traditionally, the understanding is that men’s voices cut through more than women’s voices – especially in the theater, and especially when there’s strong, strong action, lots of noise, lots of special effects. The understanding is that men’s voices are stronger.”
While there may be some fundamental truth to that, it doesn’t explain why men are doing voiceovers for films that don’t feature “strong action, lots of noise, and special effects” – why aren’t women narrating trailers for romantic comedies, dramas, thrillers, or countless other film genres?
Danis has an answer for that as well, stating that “science has said that women trust men’s voices more than women’s voices, and certainly men trust men’s voices more than women’s voices. That’s how it has been, but it’s evolving.”
Proof of that evolution can be seen in Tasia Valenza, a female voice actor who provided the narration for the Piranha 3D trailer. Valenza thinks the prevailing attitude in the business is one of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – which makes sense for an industry that would rather churn out sequels and remakes than take a gamble on new and different properties.
Check out the BBC-produced report below – which sheds even more light on the disparity in the number of male trailer narrators to female, and let us know what you think. Do you trust or find a male voice actor more appealing than their female counterparts or would you like to see more diversity in the voice talent employed by Hollywood’s preview makers?