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Oh What A Night! The Don LaFontaine
Voice-Over Lab Opens In A Grand Way
Note: The Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab has officially opened at the SAG Foundation Actors Center in Los Angeles, created as a tribute to voice over legend Don LaFontaine (pictured), who passed away in 2008. Envisioned as a voice over community center, it features two state-of-the-art recording booths and classroom.
This article's author is the Lab's co-founder, designer, installer and major cheerleader. He had also designed and installed the Don's personal home studio. 
By George Whittam
Eldorado Recording Services
“How was the big party on June 25th for the Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab!?”
Everyone seems to want the scoop on the big night, so here it goes.

My wife Amy and I arrived just after 7 p.m. and felt like a couple of celebrities at the Oscars.
Well over 300 people were in attendance at the SAG Foundation event, so everyone was quite cozy in the corridors, with nothing else to talk about except what a stunning achievement the Lab turned out to be.
Reps from Marshall Electronics, Sennheiser-Neumann, and Tim Schweiger, BSW president were there and beaming with pride for the installation.
It was almost hard to believe the night had finally arrived, and that the Lab's doors were opened to the world.
People were getting excited to be the first ones to try out the Don’s old Sennheiser 416 shotgun mic in the solo booth, or his Manley preamp in the classroom console. (Joe Cipriano took that honor on June 30 while I engineered a session for him.)

Jo Beth Williams and Nita Whitaker did the honors cutting the big blue ribbon on the Lab door, with camera phones and flashes firing off like the paparazzi!
Guests took turns posing for photos in front of the donor wall and sign in the reception area. Even a few iPhone 4's made appearances, but I digress ...

There were quite a few people watching from home, as well, because Eldorado Recording Services and the SAG Foundation streamed the event online. (Click here for a recording of that feed, and more about the Lab:
Screened were video loops of presentations produced by Red Wall Productions and Casey Lewis with Jeff Reed.
But the highlight of the night was when Paul  Pape, Joe Cipriano and I addressed the capacity crowd with our gratitude for a job well done and loving memories of Don.
Almost the entire DLF VO Lab Advisory Board (listed below) was in attendance and shared the stage for a big round of applause.
Great job everyone!
The Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab Advisory Board members are:
Joe Cipriano, Paul Pape, George Whittam, Townsend Coleman, Joshua Daugherty, George DelHoyo, Kevin Gershan, Vanessa Gilbert, Stew Herrera, Adam "Aejay'e" Jackson, Ben Patrick Johnson, Nita Whitaker LaFontaine, David Marc, Bill Ratner, Tony Rodgers, Rino Romano, Scott Rummell, Jim Tasker, Randy Thomas, Steve Tisherman, Sylvia Villagran, and Beau Weaver.
George Whittam is owner of Eldorado Recording Services, a full service studio consulting company dedicated to serving the voice over industry. ERS provides advice, design, installation, maintenance and tech tutorial to voice actors, as well as support for voice over studios and agencies. At the June 5, 2010 VOICE 2010 conference Celebrity Banquet, he was honored for his tireless dedication and work in creating the Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab.
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Comments (1)
Linda Ristig
7/9/2010 at 10:10 AM
Thanks, George, for all your efforts along with the team that helped to develop the DLF Lab. What a truly inspiring and honorable way to give back to the VO community!
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