Emily S. Whitten: “I Know That Voice” Premiere(s)!
How often does one get to go to both the West and East Coast premieres of a movie – if you’re not involved in it, that is? Probably not that often. But I just did, and that was pretty darned cool. This past week, I got to experience the world premiere of I Know That Voice at Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood; and then two days later, the East Coast premiere of the voice acting documentary at The National Press Club right here in D.C.
If you read my columns at all, you’ll know I’m a big fan of the talents of the voiceover industry and of this documentary. So it was a ton of fun to go to the world premiere, because literally 80% of the extensive cast was in attendance, and everyone was really happy to be there.
It was fun to watch the red carpet go by before the show, particularly since everyone was having such a great time and a lot of folks were goofing off for the photographers (and I did take some pictures, but was mostly enjoying the atmosphere). And it was a total trip to sit there and watch the documentary with all of the folks in the film – who cheered the first time each of their peers appeared on the screen, and I cheered right along with ‘em. The theater was full of the happy, positive energy of a group of people who were really excited to be featured in this one-of-a-kind film; and once the film got rolling, the room was also full of laughter, since there are a lot of great funny bits in the documentary. It was a good time all around.
After the screening, director and producer Lawrence Shapiro and producers John DiMaggio and Tommy Reid were joined at the front by Andrea Romano, Rob Paulsen, Maurice LaMarche, and Tom Kenny for a question and answer session; and that was a different kind of experience too, given that the voice actors were asking each other questions at this particular Q&A, with predictably great results. At one relevant point in the conversation, John DiMaggio also pointed out June Foray, who was in attendance sitting just a couple of rows in front of me, and the entire theater gave the accomplished thespian, still working at the age of ninety-five, a well-deserved standing ovation.
And, then, of course, there was the afterparty – where I barely ate any of the lovely food that was available, despite being super hungry, because there were so many fun conversations to be had. Rob Paulsen, always a delight, mentioned a project he’ll soon be working on for which he’s been hired primarily as a singer (Hurrah!). Carlos Alazraqui shared that although Off the Curb is no longer in production at this time, he’s working on a new independent animated project that we may hear more about shortly. Jess Harnell introduced me to his lovely fiancée, Christine (Congrats! You guys are too cute!). Bill Farmer was happy to hear that I’d enjoyed his appearance on Rob Paulsen’s live show, and was all around the warmest, nicest human being you could possibly want to talk to. And so was Fred Tatasciore, who is happily less imposing in person than one of the main voices he’s known for, The Hulk.
I discovered that Tom Kenny is a most excellent conversationalist, of the sort one could talk with for hours; and if you are lucky enough to be in conversation with both Dan Povenmire and Dee Bradley Baker, you will automatically feel more intelligent just for being there, and probably learn something, too. It was great to talk with Maurice LaMarche again, who I’d last chatted with after midnight in a diner at Dragon Con (ah, conventions), and James Arnold Taylor, looking as dapper as when we met at SDCC. And of course it was wonderful to see John DiMaggio, Larry Shapiro, and Tommy Reid enjoying the success of the project they’ve poured so much of their time and energy into.
And to top it all off, I got to meet a couple of excellent Twitter friends in person, a.k.a. Hayley, and Kristy of Voice Chasers, who became my premiere-buddy for the evening, and also took some really great photos. I really couldn’t have asked for a better night.
And then… two days later… it was time to see John and the film again for the East Coast premiere, which I was happy to have put together at The National Press Club. We had a great crowd, and it was really neat to be able to experience a fan audience reacting to the documentary and laughing in all the right places. I don’t have to speculate as to whether they enjoyed the film because, at the end, they gave John and the film a standing ovation!
But before that, he also answered questions, about topics like the process of recording your lines with a cast or by yourself; the weirdness and wonderfulness of Adventure Time; and my favorite, what a conversation between Bender and Barry White would sound like. And then he talked about the origin of Barbados Slim and sang the Bacon Pancakes song while signing autographs for the fans. Whattaguy.
I know I’ve devoted several columns to this documentary over the past few months; but that’s only because it really is worth watching – so check it out this December, when it will be available on Video On Demand, iTunes, and DVD.
And until next time, Servo Lectio!
TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis
WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold