In these, the last few hours of International Women's Day, we should point out at least one industry that women are still largely shut out of: the movie trailer voice-over racket. Despite research that suggests people prefer the soothing cadence of a woman's voice to a man's voice, — hence the nearly ubiquitous British lady monotone on GPS devices — a man's voice apparently sounds more credible, an important characteristic if you're a studio head trying to convince people that your new movie isn't just a big bag of shit.
Jeff Dannis, the bespectacled voice-over authority featured in this BBC clip, confirms that men are perceived by the people hawking movies as holding more sway over potential audiences. "Science," he says, "has said that women trust men's voice more than women's voices, and certainly men trust men's voices more than women's voices. That's how it's been, but it's evolving." To be fair, Dannis, after he's done citing vague scientific findings, and everyone else in this clip seem pretty upbeat about women's voice-over prospects in the future, if for no other reason than studios are dying for ways to fill increasingly vacant theaters. Even if it means having a woman tell you, over the cacophony of digital monsters, that Wrath of the Titans is the must-see movie event of the doldrums stretching between award season and summer.
Do you hear that? It's the gravelly baritone of the patriarchy telling you to go see a movie, any movie, this weekend.
Why Don't Women Narrate Trailers? [Movie Line]
Why Men Will Always Tell You to See Movies [NY Times]