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Voice Overs

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June 25, 2000 | SUSAN VAUGHN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
With his deep, rich baritone, Rob Constantine can make a humble voicemail message sound like a promo for a Hollywood epic. That's a good thing, because Constantine, a 36-year-old video producer, hopes to break into the voice-over business. He has already narrated a few corporate videotapes and audio magazines, but he knows the road ahead is tough.
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SCIENCE
November 1, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Two days after the California Department of Public Health released its new form requiring parents who want to exempt their kids from required vaccinations to speak with a doctor, an association of public health officers is voicing concern over an option on the form that allows parents to easily bypass the requirement. A box parents can check allows them to skip talking to their doctor if they vouch that they're "a member of a religion that prohibits me from seeking medical advice or treatment from authorized healthcare practitioners.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 5, 1998 | ADRIAN MAHER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Voice-over performer Don LaFontaine barrels into a Hollywood recording studio, snatches a page of copy and crouches in front of the microphone. "Don't miss the most gripppping . . . terrrrifying and nail-biiiiting film of the year," he hisses, his rich, smoky baritone imploring an unseen audience of millions of would-be moviegoers into their seats.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 19, 2013 | By Yvonne Villarreal
Susan Bennett, a 64-year-old Zumba-loving Atlanta suburbanite, shocked tech geeks, over-connected teens and men attracted to the sound of her digital voice when she revealed this month that she is the original voice of Siri, the iPhone persona who helped Zooey Deschanel identify the sound of rain and Samuel L. Jackson find organic mushrooms for his risotto. She has a storyline on "The Big Bang Theory" and makes the seemingly far-fetched premise of Spike Jonze's upcoming film "Her," about a man who falls in love with the voice of his phone's operating system, not so unbelievable.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Many actors are finding easy money in doing voice-over work for radio and television commercials. But it is very unlikely that anyone landed an easier gig than Al Pacino, who didn't lift a finger to get a plum voice-over spot with Chrysler Jeep. The unmistakable voice of Pacino can be heard in the new television commercial touting the Jeep Grand Cherokee. In the spot, Pacino is giving an inspired speech about how life is a "game of inches. " If it sounds familiar, it is. The speech comes from a pivotal scene from the 1999 Oliver Stone movie "Any Given Sunday," which stars Pacino as an aging football coach.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 21, 2012 | By Richard Verrier and Ben Fritz
A crew member died on the set of Walt Disney Studios' big-budget film "The Lone Ranger," the Burbank studio said Friday. "We regretfully confirm that a 'Lone Ranger' crew member has passed away after being taken to a local hospital. Our hearts and thoughts are with his family, friends, and colleagues at this time, and our full support is behind the investigation into the circumstances of this terrible event," Disney said in a statement. The incident involved a diver who reportedly drowned while prepping a tank for an underwater shooting scene in the Los Angeles area, and did not occur during filming, the studio said.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 2006 | Susan King
Hal Douglas Voice-over actor for four decades specializing in movie trailers, TV, documentaries, commercials and business films. "It's really narration in all of its own forms. One takes what comes -- that is the working craft, you know." Currently providing the voice-overs for the faux movie trailers in "The Holiday" and for the actual trailers for "Night at the Museum."
ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 2012 | By Joe Flint
The three public television stations that serve the New York-New Jersey region got the greenlight from the Federal Communications Commission to broadcast Wednesday's "12-12-12," which is the concert that Cablevision President Jim Dolan, the Weinstein Co. chief Harvey Weinstein and Clear Channel executive John Sykes are putting together to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Because this is a fundraising event, the noncommercial stations needed permission from the government to telecast it as public TV stations are prohibited from raising funds for organizations other than themselves.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 27, 2012 | By Joe Flint
Discovery Communciations has developed a taste for Middle Eastern food. The cable programming giant whose holdings include Discovery Channel and TLC has struck a deal to acquire Dubai-based Takhayal Entertainment, the parent company of Fatafeat, a popular food network in the region. "The acquisition of Takhayal, the premier company for cuisine and culinary programming in the Middle East, significantly strengthens our portfolio in this important region and adds content in a genre that has proved popular with our viewers around the globe," said  Mark Hollinger, chief executive of Discovery Networks International.  Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but people with knowledge of the transaction put the price at less than $10 million.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 5, 2012 | By Richard Verrier
Hollywood's largest guilds and unions are calling on their members to vote against Proposition 32, a ballot measure they maintain will sharply limit their political freedoms. The Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, Professional Musicians Local 47, Teamsters Local 399 and IBEW Local 40 said they are actively working to defeat the proposition, which would eliminate deductions from members' paychecks for political fundraising. Republican donors, anti-tax activists and business executives have invested tens of millions of dollars in television and radio ads to boost support for the measure, but unions in Hollywood and elsewhere have mounted a campaign to fight the proposition.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 2013 | By Jessica Garrison
The speaker of California's Assembly and two state senators took environmental regulators to task before an angry crowd Tuesday over their failure to regulate a battery recycler in Vernon whose emissions have been deemed a health risk to hundreds of thousands of people. The people in this community feel "completely ignored by those in government," said Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, who arrived midway through the community meeting with regulators including the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 14, 2013 | By Susan King
One in a series of occasional articles about the lives and careers of character actors in Hollywood. Fred Melamed's timing has always been a bit askew. Melamed didn't marry until he was 42. He didn't become the father of twin boys until he was 47. And he didn't get his first substantial movie role until he was 53, in Joel and Ethan Coen's 2009 "A Serious Man. " But Melamed, who was a voice-over superstar for 20 years, has been making up for lost time since he delighted critics and audiences with his villainous turn as the Machiavellian Sy Ableman in the Coens' dark comedy.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 10, 2013 | By Irene Lacher
Actor Lake Bell makes her debut as the writer-director of a feature-length film with this weekend's release of "In a World... " The comedy about a struggling vocal coach, played by Bell, who succeeds in the fierce world of movie-trailer voice-overs earned her the Sundance 2013 Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. You've said that you're obsessed with the voice - over world. Why is that? I think I'm more specifically obsessed with the idea of the blind voice and voice acting, the voice as a tool to express oneself, whether in characterization or in life.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 8, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"In a World…" Sitting on a page staring at you, the words feel flat. Now imagine, if you will, one of those deep baritone voices pouring drama and jeopardy into each syllable, rich tones that resonate to the very marrow. Now pull back and see headphones, the mike and the man, because it usually is a man, with a scarf warming that million-dollar instrument. The one that keeps him at the top of the cutthroat Hollywood subculture of movie trailer voice-overs. That is the world that 30-year-old Carol Solomon (Lake Bell)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 2013 | Steve Lopez
On my first trip to Valley Village, I was thinking up excuses to turn around and go home. But Kristene Wallis had struck me as a lovely person, and I couldn't turn back after she'd generously offered to give me a bit of training. Plus, it was a chance to enter a world I knew little about. Who were all those people doing voice-overs on radio and TV, and how had they learned to speak that way? I'd met Wallis several months ago when she was working on a documentary about Al Martinez, the legendary former Times columnist.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 20, 2013 | By Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times
Tom Jones sits in a cozy booth along one wall of a favorite Beverly Hills restaurant. At 72, his curly hair and neatly manicured mustache and goatee are more salt than pepper after his decision to give up black hair dye a few years ago. But Jones appears dapper as usual, ultra-tan and fit in his smart black suit and dark, ribbed crew-neck shirt. The era-spanning entertainer is here to talk about his new album, "Spirit in the Room," coming out Tuesday. His latest work continues a career rejuvenation that kicked off in earnest three years ago with "Praise & Blame," a collection produced by Kings of Leon producer Ethan Johns.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 29, 2012 | By Joe Flint
CNN has tapped Jeff Zucker as its new leader. Zucker, the former chief executive of NBCUniversal, will succeed Jim Walton as president of CNN Worldwide. Walton announced in July he would leave at the end of this year and Zucker will take over starting in January. A former producer of NBC's highly successful morning news program "Today," Zucker was the front runner to succeed Walton as head of the cable news channel. He will report to Phil Kent, the president of Turner Broadcasting, the Time Warner unit that houses CNN. "Jeff's experience as a news executive is unmatched for its breadth and success," said Kent in a prepared statement.  "He built and sustained the No. 1 brand in morning news, and under his watch NBC's signature news programming set a standard for quality and professionalism.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 5, 2012
Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, mother of News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, has died at her home in Australia at the age of 103. Murdoch was well known for her philanthropy and remained active late into her life. "Throughout her life, our mother demonstrated the very best qualities of true public service," Rupert Murdoch said in a statement published in the News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal. "Her energy and personal commitment made our country a more hopeful place and she will be missed by many.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Many actors are finding easy money in doing voice-over work for radio and television commercials. But it is very unlikely that anyone landed an easier gig than Al Pacino, who didn't lift a finger to get a plum voice-over spot with Chrysler Jeep. The unmistakable voice of Pacino can be heard in the new television commercial touting the Jeep Grand Cherokee. In the spot, Pacino is giving an inspired speech about how life is a "game of inches. " If it sounds familiar, it is. The speech comes from a pivotal scene from the 1999 Oliver Stone movie "Any Given Sunday," which stars Pacino as an aging football coach.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 2012 | By Joe Flint
The three public television stations that serve the New York-New Jersey region got the greenlight from the Federal Communications Commission to broadcast Wednesday's "12-12-12," which is the concert that Cablevision President Jim Dolan, the Weinstein Co. chief Harvey Weinstein and Clear Channel executive John Sykes are putting together to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Because this is a fundraising event, the noncommercial stations needed permission from the government to telecast it as public TV stations are prohibited from raising funds for organizations other than themselves.
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