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Old 09-01-2004, 12:12 PM   #1
RKBentley
 
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Default VO vs OS vs OC...

For dialogue specifically, when should VO or OS or OC be used?
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Old 09-01-2004, 12:20 PM   #2
jimjimgrande
 
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VO= voice over - used for narration

OS= off stage - meaning we hear them but don't see them

OC= off camera - pretty much the same as OS

(OS= off screen)
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Old 09-01-2004, 12:40 PM   #3
refriedwhiskey
 
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It's pretty flexible. I've seen (V.O.) used for dialogue from a character speaking on a telephone or radio, or a television that's not onscreen.
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Old 09-01-2004, 02:07 PM   #4
altoption
 
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INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
Marge and Joe stare at the answering maching. A BEEP, then a YOUNG WOMAN'S breathy voice over the machine:

YOUNG WOMAN (V.O.)
Hello? Are you there? It's Eugenie...

MARGE
Eugenie?

JOE
I swear. I don't who she is.

YOUNG WOMAN (V.O.)
I know I shouldn't call at home, it's
just, God, Joe, I miss your smell.

Marge quietly turns and walks off into the bedroom. She closes the door shut behind her.

JOE
Please, Marge. Come out. I can explain.

The distinctive SOUND of a shell being jacked into the chamber of a pump shotgun.

MARGE (O.S.)
Be right there!
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Old 09-01-2004, 02:38 PM   #5
jimjimgrande
 
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personally - I don't like to see VO used for anything but a voice over. I think it's easier and better to accurately describe the source of the voice as (on machine) (on radio) (on walkie) (on tape) if you think it's necessary for the reader to be reminded on every line where the voice is coming from.

OS and OC are interchangeable as far as I can see, but V.O. is something outside the context of what's happening within the scene.
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Old 09-01-2004, 03:16 PM   #6
altoption
 
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I seem to recall that Cole and Haag say just the opposite.

V.O. for telephones, answering machines, mechanically produced sounds, etc.

O.S. when the person is on set, but not being filmed. The point being, in a shooting script, if you write O.S., the actor should be on set. Not the case with V.O. Typically you wouldn't schedule actors for phone calls if they're not needed in front of camera. The script person will usually read the missing actor's lines. The costs of carrying extra actors adds up pretty quickly. Something to avoid.

O.C. comes from television. You do see it, but it's not the standard for film.

But... The fact is, other than production managers, no one really cares about this. Certainly not in a spec script. Not something to lose any sleep over.
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Old 09-02-2004, 01:22 PM   #7
altoption
 
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Aw, hell. You made me dig it out.

From THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO STANDARD SCRIPT FORMATS, Part I: The Screenplay by Cole/Haag...

Page 75:

Use of (V.O.) and (O.S.)

(V.O.) or VOICE OVER means the character is not usually seen on screen but we hear his voice conveyed over some kind of mechanical contrivance such as a telephone or tape recorder. The situation may be one where the character is thinking out loud. We will hear that character's voice on a pre-recorded sound tape while the camera is on the character. When someone is talking over the other end of the telephone, we would not see that person.

(O.S.) or OFF SCREEN or OFF STAGE means that the character is not seen on the screen but we hear him talking from another room in a house or from some adjacent area. In an (O.S.) situation the character is readily available to be on camera. Both (V.O.) and (O.S.) appear capitalized in parenthesis, abbreviated after the character cue.

So, there.
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Old 09-03-2004, 02:41 PM   #8
TwoBrad Bradley
 
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BRADLEY'S VOICE
I'm talking but you can't see me. I
could be in another room or on the other
end of a telephone. I could be on TV or
the radio. I could also be narrating.
(beat)
I could just be thinking out loud. But then
you could see me.
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Old 09-04-2004, 08:51 PM   #9
Queen Uhuru
 
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That's an interesting take on it, that V.O. is used for a mechanical device that is still "inside" the actual scene. I thought ALL sound sources (actors talking, TV, whatever) that ocurred on camera were not V.O. material because V.O. indicated a "disembodied" voice - meaning there is no visual source for it in the scene (like a narrator).

Hmmm... learn something new every day.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:26 AM   #10
dexter
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Posts: 206
Default Re: VO vs OS vs OC...

Reviving this thread, 'cause I can't find this...

Any recommendations for the extension to use when a character is watching herself on T.V.? So she's in the room (say, LAURA) and then watching herself be interviewed -- LAURA (ON TV)?

Thank you for any advice!
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