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In A World: An Incredibly Funny Film,
True To The Voice Over Profession

August 15, 2013

Lake Bell's new movie, In A World, is now playing in New York, Los Angeles and other cities, including (by this weekend) San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, San Diego, Minneapolis and Phoenix.

By Heather Costa
Voice Actor

I had the pleasure of attending the New York premiere of In A World (click for trailer) on Friday evening, August 9th at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema in Manhattan. I was joined by fellow Voxy Ladies Suzanne Roberts and Melissa Exelberth and other professional voice actors  Andrew Danish and Christian Rosselli.

We had an amazing time!

Written, directed by and starring Lake Bell, the film is not only true to the voice over profession - from focusing on the male dominated movie-trailer niche, to showing even top talent having to audition for roles - but it is also incredibly funny!   

Pictured at Los Angeles premiere are cast members (l-r) Alexandra Holden (plays Jamie), Fred Melamed (plays Sam Soto), Ken Marino (plays Gustav Warner), voice actor Joe Cipriano, Lake Bell (plays Carol) and voice actors Marc Graue  and Mark Elliot.

Earlier this year, the film was a hit at the Sundance Film Festival, winning the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for outstanding screenwriting.


Christian Rosselli, who agrees with the film's focus on balancing out the gender roles for movie-trailers, said,

"In A World is such a watershed film in that it will hopefully open more doors for female voice talents to be considered in a predominately male-oriented sector of the industry. Lake Bell has started a revolution for the working female VO artist and a smart and highly enjoyable comedy for the masses."  


Lake Bell's character, Carol, is a part-time vocal coach who has spent her life in her father's shadow - the king of movie trailer voices.

With no encouragement from him, she finds herself with an amazing opportunity to show off her skills as a voice over actor.

As the movie progresses, you see her journey in finding her voice and taking on the role of helping to move female actors onto a more even playing field in the movie trailer business. That's a reality that's not too far off!


In a recent article in TIME Magazine, the Voxy Ladies are featured discussing this current uneven balance.

"Society believes that men’s voices convey authority and trust - attributes that can sway consumers," noted Lisa Biggs, the founder of the Voxy Ladies.
"She (Lisa) hopes that the movie might help change the status quo, shifting a balance that’s already on its way. Outside of the U.S. women are gaining in promo work - one of the Voxy Ladies (Diane Merritt) is the voice of the WB network in India and Pakistan."  
Voxy Lady Jennifer Knight is also in the article, discussing male and female voices.
"There are many studies showing the social advantages of a deep voice. At the same time, it’s possible that moviegoers like trailers with male voices because they’re used to trailers with male voices, a classic chicken-and-egg dilemma - and one that’s amplified, Knight says, by studios’ reliance on focus groups.
"Focus groups aren’t asking for change,” she says, "but we’re not giving them anything to ask for.”  

Pictured at the New York premiere are (l-r) Suzanne Roberts, Heather Costa, Lake Bell and Melissa Excelberth.

Fans of Lake Bell will love her distinctive acting style, as she owns the role. The timing of the comedic lines makes each one of them truly funny.

At the New York, premiere, you could hear the audience laughing in unison as we fell in love with  Lake's character.

"What I appreciated about the movie,” said Andrew Danish, "was how it simultaneously was able to showcase both the glamorous side of the business as well as the not-so-glamorous side. Which I thought was an important note to hit since this was a movie that was trying to introduce the VO industry to a mainstream demographic.”


Most people in the audience on Friday night were not voice actors. This was evident in their awe and feedback when Lake Bell surprised all of us by showing up during the ending credits for a Q&A!

Lake proudly told us, "This is the first time this is being shown to a popcorn buying audience!"

As a voice over actor and as a woman, I was so proud for her!   


Melissa Exelberth said it perfectly when she described the film as "Excellent. Well written, the casting was spot on, moved along well - and funny! It really was fantastic.

"Broad appeal too. It was the perfect balance - making it a funny romantic comedy that brings a general audience along into the 'VO world' instead of being a VO movie that's a comedy. Definitely a win."   

That's what I think is the film's biggest advantage in being a rock star production - it appeals to the general audience.

Lake created a wonderful cast of actors to showcase her story - a story she had in her heart to write, reflecting back on her early journey to LA with dreams of becoming a voice actor. And I'd say she's made a pretty incredible career for herself - acting, writing, directing!


Pictured at the Los Angeles premiere are (l-r), Anne Ganguzza, Lake Bell, Katie Leigh and Tami Romani.

Voxy Lady and founder of the VO Peeps voice over group, Anne Ganguzza, couldn’t agree more.

"In A World is simply incredible - entertaining, funny, and so on target for this industry. Lake Bell is a veritable powerhouse of talent who brings a voice to the ladies of voice over.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your generous spirit with the Voxy Ladies (in the new Girls Guide To VoiceOver) and empowering us with this movie!”   


Sharing the screen with Lake in this film are amazing actors Michaela Watkins, Rob Corddry, Fred Melamed, Ken Marino, Demetri Martin and Alexandra Holden - accented by a small but powerful role by Geena Davis.   

Voice over favorites Joe Cipriano, Marc Graue and Mark Elliott are also in the movie, which not only creates excitement for VO fans watching, but also adds a realistic purity to the film.

VO talent are empowered to see their faces on the big screen, and it's nice for the world to see some of the amazing talent step out from behind the mic!

Joe Cipriano shared with me his favorite line of the movie:

"Voice Over MATTERS ... everyone in the world hears voice overs for movie trailers, commercials on TV and radio ... and that is ... POWER."      


Suzanne Roberts not only connected with the film as a pro VO talent, but also as a woman:

"I found Lake Bell's very hysterical writing beyond clever. She found a way to take a real heavy issue such as sexism, that rears its head in the niche of VO movie trailers, and deal with it in a very appealing and more importantly, hopeful way.

"As talent, we can voice what people find MOST appealing. In fact, most talent that I know are always rooting for each other. It’s typically a very supportive community, regardless of competition or gender.

"The entire cast was a joy to watch! The professional voice over artists in the film are all voices I've listened to in awe, and I got goose-bumps seeing them on film!"  


Voxy Lady Rebecca Davis was recently interviewed by Benztown about this film, and she shared:

"My hope is that In A World paves the way for more high profile jobs for female voice over artists, specifically in the trailer world.

"In fact, I just had my first audition for a film teaser, so it might already be happening. I believe In A World will plant the idea in people's minds, 'Oh yeah, of course a woman can do this too!' "  

And Voxy Lady Katie Leigh, who saw one of the LA premieres, said:

"It was so good on so many levels! It made me feel proud to be a female VO artist."  


Thank you, Lake Bell, for creating such an awesome film. You have made voice actors around the world speechless, which is tough to do ;).

We truly appreciate everything that you have done for women in VO!
Heather Costa is a full-time voice over talent and a member of the Voxy Ladies. Her voice over credits include Finish Line, Clear Channel, PetSmart, Chase Banking Corporation, Comcast, Prentice Hall, Carrier, the Educational Testing Service, the Village Voice and eBay


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Comments (5)
8/21/2013 at 3:24 PM
A great movie! And a well written review! This article brings a lot of insight into the inner workings of the industry. The awesomely savy Suzanne Roberts makes a great point in mentioning that even though the story arc in this film focuses on a woman trying to claw her way into a niche that is dominated by men, VO talent across the board are very supportive of each other regardless of gender.
Lisa Rice
8/18/2013 at 3:07 PM
Wow, Heather! Excellent article. Your research and first-person interviews are appreciated. I can't wait to see this movie.
Fred Humberstone
8/18/2013 at 10:52 AM
Even the trailer is hilarious. I can't wait for the movie to come to the Tampa Bay area of Florida. I want to see more of Lake Bell's "World". Thanks, Heather.
Jane Ingalls
8/16/2013 at 2:54 PM
Heather, if you are not writing regularly about our profession, you should be! Your insights sum up the event perfectly. (I was fortunate to see a preview in Washington, DC. and the theater was packed!)
Thanks for the fabulous review. Keep writing!
Sharon Young
8/15/2013 at 4:41 PM
Great article, Heather!
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