Jon has been a professional voice artist since 2009. He also narrates real trailers and voices characters in movies and games. Some of his voice roles include Torch Man in the game Mega Man 11, Council Spokesperson in the game XCOM, and Shockwave/Soundwave in the film Bumblebee.
Jon took over from previous narrator Gannon Nickell in late-2012, after Nickell enlisted in military service. Jon's first appearance was in the Honest Trailer for The Lord of the Rings, uploaded to YouTube on 11 December 2012. He has provided the voice-over ever since, with a few exceptions such as Every Wes Anderson Movie which required an Alec Baldwin style voice-over.
Jon also has his own Youtube channel, which is appropriately named "Epic Voice Guy".
In an interview with Business Insider, Bailey explained his career:
“I was working as a forklift driver for a warehouse, I was working as a kitchen manager for a local burger place,” says Bailey. “Somewhere around 2009 I started doing professional voice over work part time. Then at the end of 2011, the company I was working for full-time went bankrupt and they closed the warehouse I was in so I started auditioning full-time for voice over. That’s right around the time where everyone started finding me on YouTube.”
Now, Bailey has been doing voice overs full-time for three years. All together, he has voiced more than 100 movie trailers including TV and DVD trailers as well as network promos for series including “Community,” "Breaking Bad," and “Justified.” (Kirsten Acuna, How YouTube's Funniest Movie Parody Series Found Its Epic Trailer Voice June 27, 2014, Business Insider)
Voiceover style Edit
Bailey first became known on YouTube for his voice-over impersonations, particularly those resembling voice artists Hal Douglas and Don LaFontaine. Celluloid Junkies described Bailey's voice as "bass-heavy." The site noted that "Bailey readily admits he’s a fan of Douglas, LaFontaine and a host of other well known voice-over artists like Peter Cullen and Jim Cummings. Though close in style and range, Bailey’s work is a bit lighter in its delivery and softer in its presentation, without delving into the gravely deep bass register Douglas was famous for."
The style Bailey initially used for Honest Trailers was much closer to standard trailer voiceover style. However, his delivery quickly became more parodic. Bailey explains:
“Our first one together was 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy and I was so used to doing normal, regular movie trailers,” says Bailey. “A lot of people were saying this looks like a movie trailer. They wanted more of a parody version so we basically went back and forth with it a little bit until we got a feel for it and then it became it’s own version of a movie trailer voice but not a standard movie trailer voice.”
Fans of the trailers know Bailey changes up his voice depending on the genre. There’s a “romantic comedy voice” used for "The Notebook," a “family voice” for "Home Alone" and "The Lion King," and then there’s a more iconic voice reserved for action movie trailers. Bailey says the classic “in a world” type voice popularised by voice actors Don LaFontain and Hal Douglas is used for the rest of the videos. (Kirsten Acuna, How YouTube's Funniest Movie Parody Series Found Its Epic Trailer Voice June 27, 2014, Business Insider)
Recording Honest Trailers Edit
Jon Bailey records his narration from the recording booth in his home in Tennessee. One of the Screen Junkies producers is on the phone with him during the recording session, giving him directions. The script Jon receives contains lots of alternate lines in order to make it easier for the production team to swap out jokes that aren't working. Jon also records multiple takes on the same lines to give the editors more options. Jon also improvises some lines. In the early days, Bailey took up to an hour to record his narration, but has got that time down to around 20 minutes, depending on the length of the script.
Other Screen Junkies appearances Edit
- Jon also does the voiceover intro for some other Screen Junkies shows including Movie Fights.
- Jon Bailey also appeared as a contestant in one episode of Movie Fights, during 2015.
- Jon has also appeared in several episodes of The Screen Junkies Show, including events including ComicCon.