Monday, May 18, 2015

The real story behind Mad Men's finale or how Don Draper saved Coca-Cola

Peace and Harmony

"I'd like to teach the world to sing...", it's a song many boomers know from their youth. The Mad Men finale suggested, via Don Draper's smile while on the hilltop in his mediation class, that he had created the Coke commercial. Just what Don needed to restart his life; a dash of Ad Man nirvana!
Mad Men's Don Draper meditating about Coca-Cola
Don's smile and the Coca-Cola ad gave us a positive feeling after a finale that seemed rushed and incomplete. I'd hoped it'd been a two hour show to add some finality and give us a bit more than a few seconds or minutes with each character. (Though yay for Peggy's new love!)

Don's breakdown at the retreat seemed to renew him and led viewers to believe he was inspired to return to McCann-Erickson Advertising Agency in New York and create some timely branding for Coca-Cola (One of his goal accounts). The message in the spot was what was needed in a post-60's America, especially after the turmoil and violence from the late 60's, not only in the USA, but around the world as well.

The Real Story about the Real Thing in 1971...

What's the true story behind this Mad Men moment?

From the Coca-Cola Company:
"I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke" had its origins on January 18, 1971, in a London fog. Bill Backer, creative director on the Coca-Cola account for the McCann Erickson advertising agency, was flying to London to meet up with Billy Davis, the music director on the Coca-Cola account, to write radio commercials with two successful British songwriters, Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway, to be recorded by the New Seekers, a popular British singing group. The heavy fog in London forced the plane to land in Shannon, Ireland. Passengers had to remain near the airport in case the fog lifted. Some of them were furious about their accommodations. By the next day, Backer saw some of the most irate passengers in the airport cafe. Brought together by a common experience, many were now laughing and sharing stories over snacks and bottles of Coca-Cola. Backer wrote of the scene: "In that moment [I] saw a bottle of Coke in a whole new light... [I] began to see a bottle of Coca-Cola as more than a drink that refreshed a hundred million people a day in almost every corner of the globe. So [I] began to see the familiar words, 'Let's have a Coke,' as more than an invitation to pause for refreshment. They were actually a subtle way of saying, 'Let's keep each other company for a little while.' And [I] knew they were being said all over the world as [I] sat there in Ireland. So that was the basic idea: to see Coke not as it was originally designed to be -- a liquid refresher -- but as a tiny bit of commonality between all peoples, a universally liked formula that would help to keep them company for a few minutes."
Hilltop Singers in Coke Ad
The Coca-Cola Hilltop Singers in Italy
When he finally arrived in London, Backer told Billy Davis and Roger Cook what he had seen in the airport café. After he expressed his thoughts about buying everybody in the world a Coke, Backer noticed that Davis's initial reaction was not at all what he'd expected and asked him, "Billy, do you have a problem with this idea?" Davis slowly revealed his problem. "Well, if I could do something for everybody in the world, it would not be to buy them a Coke." Backer responded, "What would you do?" "I'd buy everyone a home first and share with them in peace and love," Davis said. Backer said, "Okay, that sounds good. Let's write that and I'll show you how Coke fits right into the concept."
Read more and see the original video here:

Thanks for the memories Mad Men and Women! 

Thanks to the outstanding performers, artists, writers, directors...everyone involved on the set and behind the scenes at AMC's Mad Men. It was well worth the ride.


How soon before "The Adventures of Don Draper - Ad Man"? - Tom

Main Cast of Mad Men
Main Cast of Mad Men

Thomas Rohe is President of SunSpots Productions. He's the former professionally named, Tom Cassidy, whose career was sidetracked by a dental injury causing lingual dystonia. Today he "speaks" online leading SunSpots web presence and keeping his dog, Buzzy, amused. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

5 Great Gift Ideas for Mother's Day

Mother Tattoo image

Mother's Day is soon!

We've put together some gift ideas for your special Mom. One even includes a voiceover idea!

No matter Mom's age she'd love a visit to a local spa with massage, hot stone treatment, an herbal bath and more. Plus a glass of her favorite wine. That'll make the day really special! How to choose the right spa treatment.

Too much money for a spa? Doesn't take much to create a beautiful annual/perennial basket for her porch or a sunny window. Find plants that don't grow too large and pack it full of color! It'll last much longer than any cut flowers. Ideas for container gardens.

Is Mom a book lover? She can put hundreds of books and magazines on a Kindle from Amazon. The Kindle even comes in versions that are perfect for the beach with no glare screens! Here's the less pricey version: Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High-Resolution Display (212 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers

Give her the gift of time. No, not a watch. What about chores at her place? Maybe detailing her car? Cleaning her floors? Doing yard work for her? Helping pack up goods to give to a charity. You'll help her out (giving her more time for that spa visit) and have some quality bonding too.

Here's one we bet she doesn't have, a Personalized Voiceover Alarm Clock! Imagine having Mom's child's voice wishing her goodnight or starting her quiet Sunday morning with something like this...

You could have a professional voice talent from SunSpots Productions record special messages for her! (Of course we can do that!)

There's a few imaginative ideas to give Mom a very special Mother's Day this weekend! Happy Mother's Day to all those Moms doing their best and loving their children of all ages.

Happy Mother's Day from your friends at SunSpots Productions!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015 Oscar Nominations Announced

Here's the list of nominees for this year's Oscars. How many of the films have you seen? I think the Theory of Everything will win best picture and Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl gets best actress. We'll see...good luck to them all! - Tom

The Theory of Everything
The Theory Of Everything
Best Picture:
American Sniper

The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Best Actor:
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
"What are you thinking?" Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
Best Actress:
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Best Supporting Actor:
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress:
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Scene from The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Directing:
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Best Animated Feature:
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Edward Snowden in Citizen Four

Best Documentary Feature:
Finding Vivian Maier

Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth

Best Foreign Language Film:
Ida (Poland)
Leviathan (Russia)
Timbuktu (Mauritania)
Wild Tales (Argentina)

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Jason Hall, American Sniper
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice
Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Best Original Screenplay:
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler

Birdman Poster with Michael Keaton

Best Cinematography:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mr. Turner


Best Original Song:
"Lost Stars" from Begin Again
"Glory" from Selma
"Everything Is Awesome" from The Lego Movie
"Grateful" from Beyond the Lights
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from Glenn Campbell...I'll Be Me

Best Original Score:
The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game
Mr. Turner
The Theory of Everything

Scene from American Sniper

Best Film Editing:
American Sniper

The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game


Best Production Design:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

Best Costume Design:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

Best Sound Editing:
American Sniper
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


Best Sound Mixing:
American Sniper


Best Visual Effects:
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Guardians of the Galaxy
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

Best Short Film (Live Action):
Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp
The Phone Call

Best Documentary, Short Subject:
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Our Curse
The Reaper (La Parka)
White Earth

Best Short Film (Animated):
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

Read more: 

Monday, January 13, 2014

They're Alive!! (The Voice Talent that is...)

You Want Your Voiceover Now

Say you're a creative director at an ad agency and you've got some broadcast audio to produce. As usual, you're on a tight deadline. The client wants it right away and your boss wants it even sooner and...everyone wants it done cheaply.

You look online and find the talent you want either directly or through some service. You want to direct the session live and get the audio immediately. Well... "I offer 24 hour service", says one talent. Another says, "I can hook up via Skype and we can see each other, then I record and you listen. Then I'll edit some files together and send those to you in a few hours...if my internet is stable."

You know where this is going, don't you?

The SunSpots Difference

What SunSpots Productions offers is immediate, high quality audio interaction between you and the voiceover talent and supervision and recording by professional audio engineers. Want to hear take 4's intro married to the end of take 9? Done. Need to choose music and sound effects during the session? Done. 

Our thing, if you will, our reason for being, is to provide you with the most professional creative audio experience you'll find in real time and affordably. Wherever you are, we can connect. We can conference call to bring your other creatives and client (if you dare) in to the session too.

Will you save money elsewhere? Yes, you will save money initially. Will you get the product you want? If you need it fully produced today with multiple regional tags and multiple voice talent performing...probably not. And you'll be throwing good money after bad as you recast or regroup or reevaluate that creative director position you fought so hard for.

I Want it Cheap!

(Hey I wanna be thin...)
Quality doesn't come cheap. Neither does it have to cost a fortune. When you're working with a team like SunSpots you know you've hired the right voices and right producers at the right price, to make your product sing or talk or giggle or do whatever it's been written to do. 

SunSpots Productions Voice Talent Noah Schnacky
Noah Schnacky, a real, live talent in session.
Think about that.

Real time direction. You are interacting one on one. 
Multiple talent available in real time from almost anywhere in the World. 
Music customized for your specific project.
Sound effects of all kinds, even the ones that sound like...well you know...
And turnaround? C'mon. Depending on the project it could be back to you within the same hour that we recorded your voice talent. 
Yes, our audio engineers are just that damn good.

We've been working with clients and talent live, in real-time sessions for nearly 20 years. With a hundred thousand recordings under our digital belt.

Call us at 800-355-SPOTS(7768) so we can start some creative audio fun, all in real time, right now.

To Happy Sessions!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Actor Lake Bell talks about her voiceover film "In A World" on NPR

Lake Bell and co-star Fred Melamed are in Bell's film "In A World" which played nationally last year.  They both were featured on NPR's Fresh Air with host Terry Gross discussing the film, the male dominated voiceover world and the master of the male voice-over, Don Lafontaine.

Here's an excerpt from the interview on what drew them to voiceover work:

Bell: "I always wanted to be an actor, [and] I guess it seemed like the ultimate acting to me. You know, the idea of blind voice was very alluring — because in a way you weren't judged by what you looked like, you could be any character and create any characterization. ... It's the only medium where you can be anyone, any social [level], any nationality, any gender, for that matter."
Melamed: "I always felt, frankly, I couldn't stand the way I looked, and voice-over was an opportunity to play anything. ... [Voice-over acting] has always been my waitress job. I got out of drama school in 1981 ... and I've never had to have another job outside of being a performer. ... And it's strictly because I do voice-overs that I was able to tough it out through the periods [when] there was scant work, which is something that happens to all actors."
Read more and hear the entire Fresh Air episode.

Funny or Die's Don LaFontaine "tribute"...IN A WORLD.....

Being able to play so many roles behind the mic is what draws many of us to the voiceover business. How about you? What made you decide to make the leap from normal job to getting paid for speaking for a living? Sometimes, speaking funny for a living. Even better, making an enormous living as a voice actor.

For me, it was the natural progression from goofball dj and radio salesperson creating spec spots for clients and local theater acting gigs to being lucky enough to play behind the mic on an international level.  
Tom "Cassidy" Rohe

Monday, October 14, 2013

Voiceover world is rocking with SunSpots changes

Subscribe to our Email updates

We've got many irons in the fire, things in the works, monkeys with wrenches (good lil monkeys with tiny wrenches) and many changes coming to SunSpots Productions in the coming weeks. We'd like you to be a part of it all whether you're a voice talent, agency creative or voiceover and advertising fan. 

Speaking of that a new logo below that keeps popping up around the web and Faffcon? Yessssssss it just might be. See, changes happening right before your eyes! Bazinga!

Just enter your info in the form below and hit "Sign Up" so you can keep up with new voiceover talent who've joined our roster of pro voice actors, talent news, ad industry updates and more.
Items with check marks are required, the others, it'd be nice if you did input that data, so we can see where on this big blue marble you're located. You can always opt out easily and of course, your email address will never be sold or used for diabolical purposes. 

Thanks, talk to you soon!
Jefe de Webby
SunSpots Productions

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Susan Bennett - The Voice of Siri

SunSpots Voice Talent Susan Bennett
"Siri, who's the voice of Siri?"
"Susan Bennett!", Siri replies with a wink.

And Susan recently confirmed it as true to reporters at CNN. " seemed like everyone was clamoring to find out who the real voice behind Siri is, and so I thought, well, you know, what the heck? This is the time."

Susan's an active voice talent with SunSpots and we were thrilled when she let the iPhone voice mystery out of the case. Her announcement was a response to a video on that gave viewers the impression that someone else (voice actor Allison Dufty) was the voice of Siri. That's what prompted Susan to speak up. It's become such a national news event that she voiced David Letterman's Top 10 "Things you don't want to hear on your iPhone", on Monday, October 7th.

The Siri Recording Sessions

She recorded bits and pieces of sentences and phrases in July 2005, spending over 4 hours a day working out the various verbiage that editors would later edit to create the now familiar semi-synthesized sounding voice.

Story from CNN

By Jessica Ravitz
SANDY SPRINGS, Georgia (CNN) — For the past two years, she’s been a pocket and purse accessory to millions of Americans. She’s starred alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Zooey Deschanel. She’s provided weather forecasts and restaurant tips, been mocked as useless and answered absurd questions about what she’s wearing.
She is Siri, Apple’s voice-activated virtual “assistant” introduced to the masses with the iPhone 4S on October 4, 2011.
Behind this groundbreaking technology there is a real woman. While the ever-secretive Apple has never identified her, all signs indicate that the original voice of Siri in the United States is a voiceover actor who laid down recordings for a client eight years ago. She had no idea she’d someday be speaking to more than 100 million people through a not-yet-invented phone.
Apple won’t confirm it. But Bennett says she is Siri. Professionals who know her voice, have worked with her and represent her legally say she is Siri. And an audio-forensics expert with 30 years of experience has studied both voices and says he is “100%” certain the two are the same.
Bennett, who won’t divulge her age, fell into voice work by accident in the 1970s. Today, she can be heard worldwide. She speaks up in commercials and on countless phone systems. She spells out directions from GPS devices and addresses travelers in Delta airport terminals.
Until now, it’s been a career that’s afforded her anonymity.

Full Interview with CNN:

But a new Apple mobile operating system, iOS 7, with new Siri voices means that Bennett’s reign as the American Siri is slowly coming to an end. At the same time, tech-news site The Verge posted a video last month, “How Siri found its voice,” that led some viewers to believe that Allison Dufty, the featured voiceover talent, was Siri. A horrified Dufty scrambled in response, writing on her website that she is “absolutely, positively NOT the voice of Siri,” but not before some bloggers had bought into the hype.
And there sat Bennett, holding onto her secret, laughing and watching it all. For so long she’d been goaded by others, including her son and husband, to come forward. Her Siri counterparts in the UK and Australia had revealed their identities, after all.
So why not her? It was her question to wrestle with, and finally she found her answer.
“I really had to weigh the importance of it for me personally. I wasn’t sure that I wanted that notoriety, and I also wasn’t sure where I stood legally. And so, consequently, I was very conservative about it for a long time,” she said. “And then this Verge video came out … And it seemed like everyone was clamoring to find out who the real voice behind Siri is, and so I thought, well, you know, what the heck? This is the time.”
The Siri surprise
The story of how Bennett became this iconic voice began in 2005. ScanSoft, a software company, was looking for a voice for a new project. It reached out to GM Voices, a suburban Atlanta company that had established a niche recording voices for automated voice technologies. Bennett, a trusted talent who had done lots of work with GM Voices, was one of the options presented. ScanSoft liked what it heard, and in June 2005 Bennett signed a contract offering her voice for recordings that would be used in a database to construct speech.
For four hours a day, every day, in July 2005, Bennett holed up in her home recording booth. Hour after hour, she read nonsensical phrases and sentences so that the “ubergeeks” — as she affectionately calls them; they leave her awestruck — could work their magic by pulling out vowels, consonants, syllables and diphthongs, and playing with her pitch and speed.
These snippets were then synthesized in a process called concatenation that builds words, sentences, paragraphs. And that is how voices like hers find their way into GPS and telephone systems.
“There are some people that just can read hour upon hour upon hour, and it’s not a problem. For me, I get extremely bored … So I just take breaks. That’s one of the reasons why Siri might sometimes sound like she has a bit of an attitude,” Bennett said with a laugh. “Those sounds might have been recorded the last 15 minutes of those four hours.”
But Bennett never knew exactly how her voice would be used. She assumed it would be employed in company phone systems, but beyond that didn’t think much about it. She was paid by the hour — she won’t say how much — and moved on to the next gig.
The surprise came in October 2011 after Apple released its iPhone 4S, the first to feature Siri. Bennett didn’t have the phone herself, but people who knew her voice did.
“A colleague e-mailed me [about Siri] and said, ‘Hey, we’ve been playing around with this new Apple phone. Isn’t this you?’”
Bennett went to her computer, pulled up Apple’s site and listened to video clips announcing Siri. The voice was unmistakably hers.
“Oh, I knew,” she said. “It’s obviously me. It’s my voice.”
It certainly does sound like Bennett. But proving who supplied the voice of Siri isn’t easy. It’s not like Steve Jobs sent Bennett a thank-you note, or a certificate to hang on her wall.
There are others who vouch for her. But the tech world — and specifically the text-to-speech, or TTS, space — is a complicated business, one that’s shrouded in secrecy and entangled in a web of nondisclosure agreements.
Bennett is not bound by such restrictions, which is why she’s talking. But the industry has a vested interest in keeping their voices anonymous.
“The companies are competing to create the best-sounding and functioning systems. Their concern is driving revenues,” said Marcus Graham, CEO of GM Voices. “Talking about the voice talent, from their perspective, is likely seen as a distraction.”
Bennett’s attorney, Steve Sidman, can’t breach attorney-client privilege to share documents and contracts, but since he began representing Bennett in 2012 he’s been intensely aware of her connection to Siri.
“I’ve engaged in substantial negotiations — multiple, months-long negotiations — with parties along the economic food chain, so to speak, that involved her rendering services as the voice of Siri,” he told CNN. “It’s as simple as that.”
Graham won’t divulge details about any deals he made back in 2005. But he has worked with Bennett for 25 years, has recorded “literally millions of words with Susan” and has installed her voice with clients across the globe. He knows her voice as well as anyone, and he doesn’t hesitate when asked if she and Siri are the same.
“Most female voices are kind of thin, but she’s got a rich, full voice,” he said. “Yes, she’s the voice of Siri. … She’s definitely the voice.”
A ’100% match’
In October 2005, a few months after Bennett made those recordings, ScanSoft bought and took on the name of Nuance Communications. Nuance is the company widely accepted to have provided to Apple the technology behind Siri.
When CNN contacted Nuance to try and confirm Bennett’s identity as a voice of Siri, a Nuance spokeswoman said, “As a company, we don’t comment on Apple.”
Apple, too, declined to comment.
So CNN took the investigation one step further by hiring an audio forensics expert to compare Bennett’s voice with Siri’s.
Ed Primeau, of Rochester Hills, Michigan, has been doing this work for three decades. He’s testified in courts, analyzed “hundreds, if not thousands” of recordings and is a member of the American Board of Recorded Evidence. He spent four hours studying our “known voice” — in this case Siri — with the unknown voice of Bennett.
“I believe, and I’ve lived this for 30 years, no two voices are the same,” he said, after finishing his analysis of the Siri voice and Bennett’s. “They are identical — a 100% match.”
To reach his conclusion Primeau created back-to-back comparison files, lifted and listened to consonants and reviewed deliveries. He took the hiss off the Siri sound, created in recording from a phone, and dropped it into Bennett’s file.
After studying Bennett’s normal speaking voice, he was about 70% certain of the match. But once he had audio of her saying the same words as Siri, he knew his work was done. Even so, he said he asked a colleague for a second opinion.
“I understand the importance of accuracy,” Primeau said. “Rest assured: It’s 100% Susan.”
How CNN got this story
This isn’t the sort of story I’d naturally go after. Technology is far from my beat. In fact, the first time I ever spoke to Siri was on my work phone — the kind that’s plugged into a wall jack and has a tangled cord attached to the handset.
Bennett was a voiceover artist I was interviewing for a CNN special project on the world’s busiest airport — Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International — scheduled to come out next month. I was tracking down the airport’s voices, and she, a voice of Delta terminals, was one of them.
In the course of our phone conversation, I asked her to rattle off some jobs she’s had over the years. She gave me a quick and general rundown and then added that she’s done a lot of IVR work.
“IVR?” I asked.
“Interactive voice response,” she answered. “The sort of thing you hear on a company’s phone system.”
For reasons I can’t explain — I was still struggling to understand my first iPhone — I blurted out, “Hey, are you Siri?”
She gasped. And then I gasped.
“Oh my God,” I said. “You’re totally Siri, aren’t you?”
What followed was a short, panicked flurry of non-denials and non-confirmations, and a promise from me that I wouldn’t do or say a thing.
That was months ago. About two weeks ago, after the confusion over the Verge video, Bennett reached out to me. She was ready to speak as herself and set the record straight.
‘My career as a machine’ (Listen to Susan Bennett's SunSpots voiceover demos.)
As a child, Bennett’s favorite toy was a play phone-operator system, a big red block with a receiver and lines she could patch in to help imaginary callers make their connections.
Years later, while singing jingles, she was tapped to be the radio and TV voice of First National Bank’s “Tillie the All-Time Teller,” the first ATM machine. Though that was about 40 years ago, she can — and does — still break seamlessly into the high-pitched song.
“I began my career as a machine many years ago,” Bennett said. “I’m sure that you hear my voice at some point every day.”
But the way she is heard was a surprise even to her.
SunSpots Talent Susan Bennett
Music and singing had always been a part of Bennett’s life. At Brown University, she sang in a jazz band and also with another group at the Berklee School of Music. After graduating, she toured as a backup singer with Burt Bacharach and Roy Orbison. Today, she and husband Rick Hinkle — a guitarist, composer and sound engineer — still play in a band, mostly at private events.
She fell into voiceover work by chance in the 1970s when she walked into Atlanta’s Doppler Studios for a jingle job and the voiceover talent was a no-show. The studio owner looked around and said, “Susan, come over here. You don’t have an accent. Go ahead and read this.”
She did, and a new career path was born.
Bennett wasn’t always accent-free, though. She was born in Vermont and grew up all over New England. Her voice — dropped Rs and all — was “SNL”-skit ready. Can she imagine Siri as a New Englander? “Neva! Neva!”
A stint in upstate New York helped her lose the accent. By the time she arrived in Atlanta in 1972, with her first husband, former NHL player Curt Bennett of the Atlanta Flames, she was ready to fight off the Southern twang. She fell in love with Atlanta and, after that marriage ended, stayed.
Even though her voice can be heard everywhere, she’s enjoyed being out of the spotlight.
“You have a certain anonymity which can be very advantageous,” she said. “People don’t judge you by how you look … That’s been kind of freeing in a lot of ways.”
‘Part of history’
The idea of coming out as the voice of Siri was one she pushed aside. It probably wouldn’t
have even occurred to her if not for the goading of others, including her 36-year-old son — whom she, and he, jokingly refers to as “Son of Siri.”
“Her voice has been everywhere throughout my life. I’d call my bank while I was in college in Colorado, and it was my mom telling me I had $4,” said Cameron Bennett, a photographer in Los Angeles.
He first found out she was the voice of Siri while watching an iPhone 4S commercial on TV. There, on the screen, was director Martin Scorsese talking to his mother. When Cameron bought the phone himself, she began barking at him through its GPS feature, prompting him to yell, “Mom, stop!”
“She’s part of history,” he said. “It was funny trying to explain to her how big it was. She uses her cell phone for 8% of what it can do.”
When Bennett upgraded her phone and first talked to … well, herself, she says she was a little horrified. It was weird, to say the least. But she was blown away, she said, to play a part in such a technological feat.
Being the voice of Siri, though, doesn’t mean she’s immune to the sorts of frustrations others sometimes have with the technology.
“But I never yell at her — very bad karma,” Bennett said. That said, she knows not everyone is as gracious: “Yes, I worry about how many times I get cursed every day.”
Now, though, with iOS 7 she is passing the telephonic torch to a new Siri. Bennett would be lying if she said she wasn’t a bit disappointed, but in her field of work she’s learned to expect evolution — and even revolution.
As technology improves, and the concatenation process becomes less robotic and more human, Bennett thinks anything will be possible.
“I really see a time when you’ll probably be able to put your own voice on your phone and have your own voice talk back to you,” she said. “Which I’m used to, but maybe you aren’t.”
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Congrats Susan! 

Understandably, she's a bit busy right now...very busy, but you can still listen to Susan Bennett's voiceover demos at SunSpots and get information about booking her for your audio projects.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Voice Talent Scott Whittemore Gets Spooked

Voice Talent Scott Whittemore Gets Spooked!

SunSpots voiceover talent, Scott Whittemore, gets spooked in this video for Walt Disney World's Not So Scary Halloween Party. Lookout as the Headless Horseman gallops up to him wanting a treat OR his head!

Voice Actor Since Childhood

Far from the land of fairy dust and magic castles, Scott began his professional voice talent career when he was just a child. Since then, he's voiced hundreds of spots doing commercial voices for clients of every size. Here's Scott's voiceover demo with SunSpots!

Look for Scott performing at Walt Disney World next time you're in Central Florida. And...bring a treat...he might need one after that spooky encounter with the Headless Horseman!

ISDN and ADR Connection for Voice Talent

Also if you're a voiceover talent vacationing in the Central Florida attractions area please consider SunSpots Productions location near Orlando as your home away from home studio. We often help connect talent back to their client or any recording studio or film/television production company in the world via ISDN or Source Connect. Call us at 800-355-SPOTS for more information about that and ISDN ADR recording services too...all just minutes from the magic...or the splashing...or the robots!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sound Emmy Nominees Announced

The 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards nominees were announced today by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

The 64th Annual Emmy Awards will be held September 23rd in LA at the Nokia Theater, broadcast on ABC and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

The 2012 Primetime Emmy Nominees for sound production are:


Boardwalk Empire • Gimcrack And Bunkum • HBO
Fred Rosenberg, Supervising Sound Editor
Jeffery Stern, Dialogue Editor
Ruy Garcia, Sound Effects Editor
Annette Kudrack, Music Editor
Steve Visscher, Foley Editor
Igor Nikolic, Sound Editor
Heather Gross, Sound Editor
Marko Costanzo, Foley Artist

Breaking Bad  Face Off • AMC 
Nick Forshager, Supervising Sound Editor
Jason Tregoe Newman, Music Editor
Kathryn Madsen, ADR Supervisor
Mark Cookson, Sound Effects Editor
Cormac Funge, Sound Effects Editor
Jane Boegel, Dialogue Editor
Jeff Cranforn, Sound Editor

CSI: Miami  Blown Away • CBS 
Timothy I. Kimmel, Supervising Sound Editor
Brad Katona, Sound Effects Editor
Ruth Adelman, ADR Editor
Todd Niesen, Dialogue Editor
Skye Lewin, Music Editor
Joseph Sabella, Foley Artist
James Bailey, Foley Artist

Game Of Thrones • Blackwater • HBO
Peter Brown, Supervising Sound Editor/Sound Design
Kira Roessler, Dialogue/ADR Supervising Sound Editor
Tim Hands, ADR Editor/Co-Supervisor of ADR
Paul Aulicino, M.P.S.E., Foley Editor/Supervising Foley Editor
Stephen P. Robinson, Sound Effects Editor
Vanessa Lapato, Dialogue Editor
Brett Voss, Foley Editor
James Moriana, Foley Artist
Jeffrey Wilhoit, Foley Artist
David Klotz, Music Editor

The Walking Dead  Beside The Dying Fire • AMC 
Jerry Ross, Supervising Sound Editor
Lou Thomas, Dialogue ADR Editor
Tim Farrell, Sound Effects Editor
Phil Barrie, Sound Effects Editor
David Lee Fein, Foley Artist
Hilda Hodges, Foley Artist

American Horror Story  Piggy, Piggy • FX Networks 
Gary Megregian, Supervising Sound Editor
David Klotz, Music Editor
Steve M. Stuhr, Dialogue Editor
Jason Krane, Dialogue Editor
Jason Lezama, Dialogue Editor
Timothy Cleveland, Sound Effects Editor
Bruce Tanis, Sound Effects Editor
Simon Coke, Foley Editor
Zane Bruce, Foley Artist
Jeff Gunn, Foley Artist
Lance Wiseman, Dialogue Editor

Hatfields & McCoys • HISTORY
Tom Bjelic, Supervising Sound Editor
John Laing, Supervising Sound Editor
John Smith, Sound Editor
Mark Dejczak, Sound Editor
Michael Mancuso, Sound Editor
Dermain Finlayson, Sound Editor
Kevin Banks, Music Editor
Darrell Hall, Music Editor
Alex Bulick, Sound Editor
Nathan Robitaille, Sound Editor
Dan Kiener, Sound Editor
Emilie Boucek, Sound Editor
Steve Baine, Foley Artist

Douglas Murray, Supervising Sound Editor
Peter Horner, Sound Designer
Kim Foscato, Dialogue Editor
Steve Boeddeker, FX Sound Editor
Casey Langfelder, FX Sound Editor
Andrea Gard, FX Sound Editor
Pat Jackson, FX Sound Editor
Daniel Laurie, ADR Editor
Goro Kayama, Foley Artist
Andy Malcom, Foley Artist
Joanie Diener, Music Editor

The River  Doctor Emmet Cole • ABC 
Paula Fairfield, Supervising Sound
Jill Purdy, Dialogue Editor
Carla Murray, Sound Editor
Shelly Roden, Foley Artist
Gregg Barbanell, Foley Artist

Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia (Masterpiece) • PBS
Jeremy Child, Sound Effects Editor
Doug Sinclair, Supervising Sound Editor

The Amazing Race Let Them Drink Their Haterade (Lake Manyara, Tanzania) • CBS 
Eric Goldfarb, Sound Editor
Julian Gomez, Sound Editor
Andrew Kozar, Sound Editor
Paul C. Nielsen, Sound Editor
Jacob Parsons, Sound Editor
Rich Remis, Sound Editor
Jennifer Nelson, Sound Editor
Michael Bolanowski, Sound Editor
Bryan Parker, Sound Editor
Graham Barclay, Sound Editor

Frozen Planet • Ends Of The Earth • Discovery Channel
Kate Hopkins, Dubbing Editor
Tim Owens, Sound Editor
Paul Fisher, Sound Editor

Philip Stockton, Supervising Sound Editor
Al Zaleski, Sound Effects Editor
Jennifer Dunnington, Music Editor

Paul Simon's Graceland Journey: Under African Skies • A&E 
Tom Paul, Supervising Sound Editor

Prohibition  A Nation Of Hypocrites • PBS 
Dan Korintus, Dialogue Editor
Marlena Grzaslewicz, Dialogue Editor
Ira Spiegel, Sound Effects Editor
Dave Mast, Sound Effects Editor
Erik Ewers, Sound Effects Editor
Jacob Ribicoff, Music Editor

Breaking Bad  Face Off • AMC 
Darryl L. Frank, Production Mixer
Jeff Perkins, Re-Recording Mixer
Eric Justen, Re-Recording Mixer

Downton Abbey  Episode 1 • PBS
Nigel Heath, Re-Recording Mixer
Alex Fielding, Assistant Re-Recording Mixer
Oliver Brierley, ADR Mixer
Keith Partridge, Foley Mixer

Game Of Thrones • Blackwater • HBO
Matthew Waters, Re-Recording Mixer
Onnalee Blank, CAS, Re-Recording Mixer
Ronan Hill, CAS, Production Mixer
Mervyn Moore, Production Mixer

Homeland • Marine One • Showtime
Larry Long, Production Sound Mixer
Nello Torri, Re-Recording Mixer
Alan Decker, Re-Recording Mixer
Larold Rebhun, Scoring Mixer

Person Of Interest  Pilot • CBS
Frank Morrone, Re-Recording Mixer
Scott Weber, Re-Recording Mixer
Keith Rogers, Re-Recording Mixer
Noah Timan, Production Mixer

American Horror Story  Piggy, Piggy • FX Networks
Sean Rush, Production Sound Mixer
Joe Earle, Dialogue/Music Re-Recording Mixer
Doug Andham, Sound Effects Re-Recording Mixer

Game Change • HBO 
David MacMillan, Production Mixer
Leslie Shatz, Re-Recording Mixer
Gabriel J. Serrano, Re-Recording Mixer

Hatfields & McCoys  Part 1 • HISTORY
Dragos Stanomir, Production Mixer

Hemingway & Gellhorn • HBO
Nelson Stoll, CAS, AES, Sound Mixer
Lora Hirschberg, Re-Recording Mixer
Peter Horner, Re-Recording Mixer
Douglas Murray, Re-Recording Mixer

Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia (Masterpiece) • PBS 
Howard Bargroff, Dubbing Mixer

Entourage  The End • HBO 
Tom Stasinis, Production Mixer
Dennis Kirk, Re-Recording Mixer
Todd Orr, Re-Recording Mixer

Modern Family  Dude Ranch • ABC 
Stephen A. Tibbo, Production Sound Mixer
Dean Okrand, Re-Recording Mixer
Brian R. Harman, Re-Recording Mixer

Nurse Jackie  Handle Your Scandal • Showtime
Jan McLaughlin, M.P.S.E., Production Sound Mixer
Peter Waggoner, Re-Recording Mixer

Parks And Recreation  End Of The World • NBC 
John Cook, Re-Recording Mixer
Peter Nusbaum, Re-Recording Mixer
Steve Morantz, Production Mixer

30 Rock  Live From Studio 6H • NBC
Robert Palladino, Audio
Martin Brumbach, Music Editor
Josiah Gluck, Music Mixer
William Taylor, Sound Effects

84th Annual Academy Awards • ABC 
Paul Sandweiss, Audio Director
Tommy Vicari, Orchestra Mixer
Pablo Munguia, Protools
Kristian Pedregon, Show Post Audio

ACM Presents: Lionel Richie And Friends – In Concert • CBS
Paul Sandweiss, Post Production Mixer
Biff Dawes, Music Mixer
J. Mark King, Production Mixer

American Idol  1144 • FOX
Brian Riordan, Packages Mixer
Ed Greene, Audio Mixer
Randy Faustino, Music Mixer
Michael Parker, Monitor Mixer

The 54th Annual Grammy Awards • CBS
Thomas Holmes, Broadcast Production Mixer
John Harris, Broadcast Music Mixer
Eric Schilling, Broadcast Music Mixer
Paul Sandweiss, Package Mixer
Eric Johnston, Playback Mixer
Mikael Stewart, House Production Mixer
Ron Reaves, House Music Mixer
Tom Pesa, Stage Mixer
Michael Parker, Stage Mixer
Pablo Munguia, Playback Mixer
Bob Lamasney, Audience Supplemental Mixer

The Amazing Race  Let Them Drink Their Haterade (Lake Manyara, Tanzania) • CBS 
Jim Ursulak, Lead Audio
Dean Gaveau, C.A.S., Audio
Jerry Chabane, Audio
Troy Smith, Re-Recording Mixer

Deadliest Catch  I Don't Wanna Die • Discovery Channel
Bob Bronow, Sound Design/Re-Recording Mixer

Frozen Planet  Ends Of The Earth • Discovery Channel
Graham Wild, Dubbing Mixer
Archie Moore, Sound Mixer

George Harrison: Living In The Material World • HBO 
Tom Fleischman, C.A.S., Re-Recording Mixer
Bob Chefalas, Additional Re-Recording Mixer

Paul Simon's Graceland Journey: Under African Skies • A&E

Tom Paul, Re-Recording Mixer
Emmy Awards

Who do you think will win? I'm betting on George Harrison, Walking Dead, CSI and 30 Rock. Congrats to the audio pros that were nominated!