Lake bell has lost her voice.
The actress calls from New York with laryngitis, which is kind of ironic considering she plays the daughter of a famous trailer narrator who aspires to become that industry’s first successful female voiceover artist in her directorial debut, “In a World. . .,” which won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance.
Though the daddy issues are made up, Bell truly is obsessed with accents and vocal trends in general. After attending drama school in England, “I came out to L.A. with this really fat demo CD of all the voices I could do,” she recalls.
“In a World” pays homage to the insular community of trailer narrators. The title refers to the iconic intro associated with the late V.O. legend Don LaFontaine. The cast includes such V.O. pros as Fred Melamed, Joe Cipriano, Mark Elliott and Marc Graue; and the climax takes place at the Golden Trailer Awards.
Lately, the trailer biz is trending away from narration. In the early days, shrill voices spewed hyperbole like carnival barkers. “Then Don created this whole trend of the booming, omniscient, bassy, sexy, powerful, authoritative male voice,” says Bell, who adds that an even newer “everyman” trend has replaced it — “no longer the voice of God, but the voice of your next-door neighbor.”
During her research, Bell met with Melissa Disney, “the only gal who did a movie trailer” (for “Gone in 60 Seconds” 13 years ago). “I thought, ‘What’s the new thing that nobody’s done before?’ ” Bell says. “So a female voice doing voiceover becomes the new trendy thing.”