By Lin Parkin
August 13, 2013
Are you ever asked to perform in a vocal style that drives you up the wall?
Do you have a pet peeve about uptake speech patterns?
Actress Lake Bell can relate. In her new film "In a World" the audience follows Carol Solomon (played by Bell) as she competes for "voice of God" roles rarely bestowed upon women in the movie trailer voice-over niche.
A running joke in the film is the characters' annoyance that so many young women speak in the uptake voice, or, in other words, sound like they're asking a question at the end of every sentence.
In many recent interviews Bell reveals that, like her character, she can't stand hearing young women speak that way. Understandably so. It is a learned dialect, akin to the "valley-girl," combining a light vocal pitch with an attitude of ambivalence.
It's difficult to understand why anyone would try to sound clueless on purpose. A light and airy "Marilyn Monroe" type of vocal pitch may be natural for some, but even Marilyn didn't sound like she was asking a question at the end of every sentence.
Interestingly, while the "valley-girl" voice may have a gender parallel in the "surfer dude" male voice, there is not an equivalent for female voice talent when it comes to movie trailer voice-overs. This is particularly true with major motion pictures, as they are more likely to stick with a formula that is perceived to sell the film.
The authoritative, booming male announcer voice seems to say "you must see this movie." Having said that, anyone with a mother who could get you to sit down and behave as a child with just the glare of her eye knows that women can be the voice of authority just as well.
Although it is not common place yet, we are seeing more women cast as the movie trailer voice for independent films. But will it cross over into the mainstream?
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All the best,
©iStockphoto.com/EdStockRelated Topics: child, female, In a World, Lake Bell, male, movie trailer voices, surfer dude, Valley-girl, Voice of God, voice talent