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An Amazing Tribute to Peter Thomas

 
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Dan-O
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 1561

PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2020 9:24 pm    Post subject: An Amazing Tribute to Peter Thomas Reply with quote

Documentary filmmaker David Hoffman talks about his old friend and plays some great clips

https://youtu.be/XTiLt25nu0k
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FinMac
DC


Joined: 14 Jan 2013
Posts: 634
Location: In a really cool place...Finland!

PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 3:53 am    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Wow! Really great stuff, thanks for posting that !
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Mike Harrison
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 03 Nov 2007
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Location: Equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia, along the NJ Shore

PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Dan.

Peter's ability to draw us in with his delivery was due to his father teaching him early on to see in his mind what he was talking about; mental imagery. After returning from WWII, Peter returned to radio but then quickly moved to CBS TV news and began doing medical and documentary narrations and, soon after, commercials. We can hear his relationship with the words in everything he reads, such as in this 1964 commercial; prior to Pillsbury's introduction of their animated Dough Boy character.

As some of you may know, Peter Thomas' work generated the spark for voice-over in me that same year, when my family visited the New York World's Fair and a historical exhibit he narrated. The images in this 11:40 video are paintings of the exhibit's life-size 3-dimensional dioramas.

Most recently, he is known as the narrator of TV's "Forensic Files," in which his was the first name to appear in the credits at the end of each episode, before even that of Executive Producer Paul Dowling, who referred to Peter as "the franchise." In May 2007, in his hometown of Naples FL, Peter shared, with a live orchestral accompaniment, his vivid recollections of landing at Normandy on June 6, 1944.

While there are other excellent narrators, I don't think anyone had quite the same amount of expressiveness Peter Thomas had.
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Mike
Male Voice Over Talent
The first step, they say, is admitting it: I am an O.A.V. And proud of it.

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Jack Daniel
Backstage Pass


Joined: 23 Jun 2016
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Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dan. The last few days, I've been searching for good examples of narration to analyze, and it's been slim pickin's. I've always loved Thomas's voice and style.
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Jack Daniel
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JohnV
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Joined: 25 Feb 2016
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Location: Md/DC

PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ken Nordine was much more known for his short-form commercial work and his own special WordJazz material, but he did some narration work, worth putting an ear to...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8DwNZBe7GY
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FinMac
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jack Daniel wrote:
I've been searching for good examples of narration to analyze, and it's been slim pickin's. I've always loved Thomas's voice and style.


Alex Jenkins and Paul Scofield come to mind, at least as audio book narrators, and Liev Schreiber is worth giving a listen. David McCullough has a unique style, which I've been told, people either love or hate.
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Mike Harrison
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 03 Nov 2007
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Location: Equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia, along the NJ Shore

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two other favorites of mine: Peter Coyote and the late Edward Herrmann.
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Mike
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Lee Gordon
A Zillion


Joined: 25 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Among the dearly departed great narrators is Alexander Scourby, and from the ranks of present day celebrity narrators, MVO Jay O. Sanders, and FVOs Sigourney Weaver and Allison Janney.
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Dan-O
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 17 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And feel free to completely steal their styles. Your voice is different enough it will never be confused with the original, however the style is comforting, familiar, but new to the audience. The same, but different.

We all have Influences. The combination of those influences create your style. And your style will influence someone else.

Here's Liev Schreiber stating he's just trying to rip off NFL Films legend, John Facenda:

https://youtu.be/_SlU0pc0Iiw
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Jack Daniel
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Joined: 23 Jun 2016
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Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And to your point, Dan, there is no way anyone could confuse Schreiber with Facenda.

There is so much urging--among coaches and VOs of all levels--to "be yourself." But all the greats of music, acting, and whatever cite their influences and how they tried to "be" them until they found their signature style. Imitation was their foundation.
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Jack Daniel
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