Wednesday, August 12, 2015

It's Oh So Quiet

There's something that's struck me a couple of times during Summer Under the Stars. After each film there's usually a screen showing the next three features coming up on TCM, with some guy doing a voiceover that can include some subtle humor. However, I've noticed when I've stayed past the end of a movie so far this month, that the announcement of the next three movies is visual only. The man who normally does the voiceover isn't there.

It's one of those little things, but it's one of those things that's made TCM TCM over the years, I think. Presumably, whoever handles/handled the voiceover duties came in and did a whole bunch in one go. I'm not certain if a talented voiceover artist could go through the thing more quickly than Robert and Ben can do their intros and outros. After all, they're shorter, but the voiceover man has more of them to do. But I'd assume that he could knock off a month of announcements in a week the way Ben and Robert can do all their intros and outros one week a month.

There have, if memory serves, been some silent upcoming movie announcements before, most commonly when TCM is running a tribute to a recently deceased star. Since those tributes are scheduled fairly shortly in advance, the voiceover man might not have the time to come in and do them, or might not be avaiable at all. After all, since the voiceover guy isn't on camera, he doesn't have to go to Atlanta to do the voiceovers. He can have a home studio and literally phone them in from there. Don Pardo worked into his mid-90s and, as far as I know, did a lot of the Saturday Night Live announcing from his home in Arizona. Nice work if you can get it.

But I also wonder whether these silent announcement are a permanent thing and a sign of further belt tightening at TCM.

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