BURBANK, CA—During a recording session earlier this week, technicians at ProSound Studios found they were able to obtain a perfectly lush, heady voice-over resonance by hanging actor Donald Sutherland upside down from the railing of an empty staircase. "We tried lowering him into an old smokestack, but you lose some of the subtlety in his lower register that way," audio engineer Kevin Coe said as he loosened Mr. Sutherland's leg buckles and eased him down onto the landing. "Toyota is very specific about the sound they want, and we found that hanging Donald upside down in this staircase and muffling him slightly by stuffing socks into his mouth produced exactly the sort of warm, comforting inflections the client just loves." Coe said the recordings, which effectively showcased Mr. Sutherland’s full, powerful timbre, were some of the best work he's done, though Toyota ultimately decided to go with a more ragged, gravel-toned Gene Hackman voice-over instead.
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