- Wednesday, Jul. 2, 2014
In a world filled with technological leaps that seem to arrive at light-speed, voice-over icon Don LaFontaine knew that staying on the cutting edge was paramount to his craft. In honor of LaFontaine, Source Elements has joined with the Screen Actors Guild Foundation to offer the Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab Spirit Award to deserving voiceover artists who seek to emulate Don’s strong commitment, talent and desire.
The Source-Connect software that LaFontaine used while holed up in a castle in Scotland to record the trailer for The Simpsons Movie “is like Skype on steroids,” says Rebekah Wilson of Source Elements. “It sounds as if you’re in the same room with someone. So, imagine you’re talking to someone halfway across the world and you can hear the birds outside. You can hear the lawn mower around the corner. As voice actors, what’s really important is that your performance is heard as it is by the person who is directing you or recording you, all of the nuances.”
Wilson discovered LaFontaine’s license for the software by happenstance while clearing out old records. She contacted Joe Cipriano, of the SAG Foundation's Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab, and the decision was made to offer that license – LaFontaine’s very own – to a deserving voiceover artist, and to create an annual award for a new license to be handed out each year.
The first recipient of this prestigious award is Rebecca Davis, who’s not only a Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab regular, but who’s amassed a solid voiceover resume in animated features and video games. She received the honor on June 26 – much to her surprise.
“This Lab has truly given me so much,” Davis said at the presentation. “I mean truly propelled my career in ways that I’m so grateful and so thankful for. I had a goal many years ago and I actually reached that goal because I had access to this Lab and everything it has to offer.”
Presenters at the inaugural Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab Spirit Award ceremony included Executive Director of the SAG Foundation Jill Seltzer, Co-Founders of the SAG Foundation’s Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab Joe Cipriano, Paul Pape and George Whittam, and Co-Founder of Source Elements Rebekah Wilson who announced the award recipient.
“We wanted to identify someone who uses the Lab to the extent we always hoped it would be used,” said Joe Cipriano. “Rebekah Wilson knew that Don wouldn’t want his license sitting around gathering dust, and our first recipient, Rebecca Davis, embodies the talent, commitment, and spirit that is the mission of the Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab.”
“It’s a very significant gift,” said Paul Pape. “It’s a technology that is taking place now in the voiceover world and to have Source Elements embracing our mission allows both organizations to move forward. We are so grateful they have pledged to continue this award as our partner. It is going to mean a lot to the artists who receive it year after year.”
The SAG Foundation’s Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab is a state-of-the-art recording facility that provides educational programming and instructional support for voiceover actors. The Lab is a place of discovery and growth, where actors of various levels of experience can flourish. The Lab provides a safe, creative environment with an aim to cultivate a strong sense of community and mutual respect. Its mission of paying it forward and assisting others derives from the actions and spirit of the late Don LaFontaine. The Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab Spirit Award is a Source-Connect license along with an award certificate.