Flashback with continued present conversation as VO

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  • Flashback with continued present conversation as VO

    I searched and couldn't find the answer to this question - so here goes...

    I have a conversation between two characters while they are riding in a car. I want one character to confess something to the other and for there to be a fairly brief flashback with the conversation (confession - just one person speaking) as VO over the flashback which will have no dialogue or sound. Then back to car conversation. I have reasons for wanting the FB rather than straight confession but won't bore you with them.

    thanks in advance for any constructive feedback.

  • #2
    Re: Flashback with continued present conversation as VO

    There are a couple ways. one is below:

    Code:
    INT. CAR - DAY
    Two people engaged in a conversation. 
    
    CHARACTER
    I've never had that happen to me, 
    have you?
    
    FLASH:
    MAN beats another man in a bar fight. He breaks a beer bottle
    over another man's head.
    
    BACK TO SCENE:
    
    MAN shakes his head.
    
    MAN
    Nah, man, that's never happened to 
    me either. 
    that's one way to do it, so no one misses it because they're skimming.
    FA4
    "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Flashback with continued present conversation as VO

      Okay, I will give this a try. The first method is logical, but I would
      probably use the second method.

      *** METHOD 1 ***
      Code:
      INT. CAR (MOVING) - DAY
      
      Bixby is the driver. Webster sits in the passenger seat.
      
                          BIXBY
            There's something about my past that 
            I've never told you.
      
      Webster looks at Bixby with some curiosity.
      
                          BIXBY
            It happened ten years ago.
      
      FLASHBACK
      
      Action line to set the scene at a roadhouse.
      
                          BIXBY (V.O.)
            Some of us had been out drinking.
      
      Bixby comes out of the roadhouse.
      
                          BIXBY (V.O.)
            I left before most of the others. But
            just as I was getting into my car -
      
      Two men rush up to Bixby and grab him.
      
                          BIXBY (V.O.)
            A couple of guys jumped me. I was able 
            to pull away from one of them.
      
      Bixby frees himself and pulls his gun. He shoots the two assailants.
      
      END FLASHBACK
      
      Bixby glances over at Webster.
      
                          BIXBY
             I gunned them both down and got the hell 
             out of there.
      Code:
      *** METHOD 2 ***
      
      Do the same as in Method 1 except do the FLASHBACK like this:
      
      FLASHBACK
      
      (Bixby narrates the flashback events as they occur.)
      
      Action line to set the scene at a roadhouse.
      
      Bixby comes out of the roadhouse.
      
      Two men rush up to Bixby and grab him.
      
      Bixby frees himself and pulls his gun. He shoots the two assailants.
      
      
      
                          BIXBY (V.O.)
            Some of us had been out drinking ...
            I left before most of the others ... 
            But just as I was getting into my 
            car ...     
            A couple of guys jumped me ...
            I was able to pull away from one of 
            them.
      
      END FLASHBACK
      
      Bixby glances over at Webster.
      
                          BIXBY
             I gunned them both down and got the hell 
             out of there.
      EDIT TO ADD:
      The reason that I like Method 2 is that lays out the actions and the voice-over dialogue separately. The action is a background. The dialogue can then be interspersed as V.O. wherever it fits best.
      Last edited by ComicBent; 10-01-2019, 07:34 AM. Reason: Additional thoughts

      "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Flashback with continued present conversation as VO

        Thanks so much - these are very helpful - sometimes the internet delivers :-)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Flashback with continued present conversation as VO

          I know you said you have your reasons, but flashbacks and VO are both things that I rarely see work in feature films. Family Guy yeah.

          Using both in same scene -- I'm thinking you should consider do you truly need it. I bet it ends up being taken out if it's the only VO of the movie too... and there are no other flashbacks... then it's just weird to me.

          Had to say it. It's me! I know I'm going to get yelled at, but I had to say it. Just knowing VO and FLASHBACK being used in same scene and I'm worried...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Flashback with continued present conversation as VO

            Originally posted by Bono View Post
            I know you said you have your reasons, but flashbacks and VO are both things that I rarely see work in feature films. Family Guy yeah.

            Using both in same scene -- I'm thinking you should consider do you truly need it. I bet it ends up being taken out if it's the only VO of the movie too... and there are no other flashbacks... then it's just weird to me.

            Had to say it. It's me! I know I'm going to get yelled at, but I had to say it. Just knowing VO and FLASHBACK being used in same scene and I'm worried...
            Same... glad Bono went first, now he looks like the d!ck and I'm just glomming on.

            But, yeah, both used at the same time does bring up a HUGE question: "WHY?"

            Doing both at the same time? I'm not saying don't do it, cuz I HATE rules. But you are begging people to say "Prove to me that you need it and that you couldn't do it another way." This is THE moment your writing needs to get RAD (not saying you aren't talented enough to pull it off, maybe you are?) or people are gonna start to lose faith and think you're using TRICKS to try to write past flaws.

            BUT... Like I just said... if you know what the fukk you're doing... DO IT! Prove us wrong! Now I'm jealous of your prowess and I'ma copy you if you pull it off. Ha!
            Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Flashback with continued present conversation as VO

              Originally posted by Bono View Post
              I know you said you have your reasons, but flashbacks and VO are both things that I rarely see work in feature films.
              Flashbacks and Voiceover are screenwriting tools that I have often seen work to great advantage in innumerable popular (id est, “money-making”) feature films.

              Dingo Pug, use Method #1 or Method #2 as per ComicBent.

              Don’t limit yourself because of some mangy, howling, yowling coyotes far from where the action is out on the edge of town. Use all the tools at your disposal to convey what it is you want to see go up on the movie screen. In other words, write what you feel works best for your story.

              Have at it, Dingo Pug. Knock one out of the park.
              Last edited by TigerFang; 10-04-2019, 09:41 AM.
              "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Flashback with continued present conversation as VO

                FLASHBACK MOVIES:

                Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
                Casablanca
                Terminator
                Up
                Citizen Kane
                Forest Gump
                The Godfather I
                The Godfather II
                The Usual Suspects
                Memento
                Gladiator
                Inception

                VOICEOVER NARRATION MOVIES:

                Barbara Covett, “Notes on a Scandal”
                The Stranger, “The Big Lebowski”
                Joe Gillis, “Sunset Boulevard”
                Narrator, “The Royal Tenenbaums”
                The Narrator, “Fight Club”
                Travis Bickle, “Taxi Driver”
                Joel Barish, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”
                Henry Hill, “Goodfellas”

                “In doing voice-overs, be careful not to describe what the audience already sees. Add to what they’re seeing.” — Billy Wilder
                "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Flashback with continued present conversation as VO

                  FLASHBACK

                  Bono sits on the edge of forever.

                  BONO (V.O.)
                  Howl!

                  END FLASHBACK

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Flashback with continued present conversation as VO

                    Originally posted by TigerFang View Post
                    FLASHBACK MOVIES:

                    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
                    Casablanca
                    Terminator
                    Up
                    Citizen Kane
                    Forest Gump
                    The Godfather I
                    The Godfather II
                    The Usual Suspects
                    Memento
                    Gladiator
                    Inception

                    VOICEOVER NARRATION MOVIES:

                    Barbara Covett, “Notes on a Scandal”
                    The Stranger, “The Big Lebowski”
                    Joe Gillis, “Sunset Boulevard”
                    Narrator, “The Royal Tenebaums”
                    The Narrator, “Fight Club”
                    Travis Bickle, “Taxi Driver”
                    Joel Barish, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”
                    Henry Hill, “Goodfellas”
                    This is amazing list! Goodfellas is my number 1 explain of a movie that NEEDS VO!

                    You know I didn't say they never work. I didn't even tell the poster not to do it. I merely suggested I rarely see it work.

                    TERMINATOR is a great example of a VO and FLASHBACK combo that is needed and works great.

                    In fact, looking at this list - I would think this backs up my point. The movies have to be some of the best of ALL TIME for this device to work.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Flashback with continued present conversation as VO

                      Originally posted by TigerFang View Post
                      Don’t limit yourself because of some mangy, howling, yowling coyotes far from where the action is out on the edge of town.
                      I'm never talking about what us mangy coyotes will think... I'm ALWAYS talking about what brainwashed execs will think.

                      No writer should care what other writers think (save for showrunners), but if you wanna ignore execs and their fukked up biases... go write indies and self finance. That's one way around them. That, or stop writing.

                      POINT: Know what rules you're breaking and dumfound them (EXECS) with your brilliant slight of hand.

                      Likewise... don't fall for invisible smoke blown up your ass by us mangy coyotes, cuz that ain't a paycheck. You want REAL smoke blown up your ass in the form of $$$$$!
                      Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Flashback with continued present conversation as VO

                        Gucci you always go to a place I never even saw coming... just like your scripts I bet!

                        I was simply saying that 99% of the time VO is a crutch for story problems and flashbacks are the same. I'm not the only writer to ever point this out btw.

                        Use whatever the hell you want to use.

                        I don't think execs are crazy for saying not to use it either most of the time if that's what they are saying because I haven't talked to them in years because I stink at writing!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Flashback with continued present conversation as VO

                          Yup... I got that. And was saying the same thing essentially. "KNOW what rules you're breaking and the THOUGHT execs are gonna have the second they see it, so that you know how much TIME you have to WIN them back."

                          If you (whomever) ain't looking at your script that way... you're fukkin dumb. Execs are fukkin terrified of losing their jobs right now and they're looking at our scripts as if there's some magical formula (1st act end on page 25? Hmmm page 28, they're a bit late.) That's what these people are reading our **** like. That will become a note. "Break into 2nd act felt LATE." I'm not saying we should give a fukk about dumb sh!t like that, but you should know that they're gonna think it in order to judge for yourself whether or not you give a fukk.

                          As for the flashback/VO. Ain't this sayin that the character KNOWS we're flashing back (considering they're VO-ing it)? Then my question becomes: WHAT IS THE DIALOGUE/REVEAL? WHY DOES THE CHARACTER KNOWINGLY THINK BACK? If it's just to show us past sh!t I'ma argue, sight unseen, that it's bad writing. This had better fukking be clever IMO. AND... if this is the ONLY time FLASHBACK/VO happens this way, it's a crutch for bad writing. Imma guess. The entire film should do this is in a HELLA clever way.

                          Now I wanna see these pages....
                          Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

                          Comment

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