Friday, March 09, 2007

Welles & Shatner: Voiceovers

Some years back, I was at my Dad's when he announced, "Listen to this." And he played a cassette tape of Orson Welles going through a painful recording session. Welles was complaining about the insipid writing of the commercial he was taping and driving the director nuts. It was highly entertaining and, despite my questions, Dad never revealed where he got the tape. It was, so it seemed, his little secret.

Or so I thought! The recording, of this long-ago session, is, in some areas of the Web, well-known in Welles circles. I had no idea that other people out there knew about it and some knew it by heart and some even converted it to MP3 files!

So: a couple of behind the scenes links are here of actors William Shatner and Orson Welles harassing voiceover directors -- a couple of decades apart, natch.

A longer version of the Welles recording is here, and there's a nice writeup on him and the lost AMBERSONS footage. There's a terrific site devoted to THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS here.

Hat tip to Mark Anderson for the initial heads up, as well as THE BEAT.


Brian Fies said...

Oh yeah, I love that Orson Welles frozen peas spot. "I wouldn't direct any living actor like this..." "In the depths of your ignorance, what is it you want?!" Hilarious.

Did you ever see the Pinky and the Brain episode in which the Brain (whose voice actor, Maurice LeMarche does a great Welles) parodies the peas piece? I read an article about the creation of that episode that called it the most expensive in-joke ever made.

Never heard the Shatner one before. What a magnificent jerk! But we already knew that....

Thanks for sharing.

Brian Fies said...

Here you go:

You'll find some way to thank me.