Voice Overs

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: V.O./family

    eeek...i have a scene of a family eating dinner with a v.o....but it doesn't say "this is my family. my brother, what a pig." it's more something about the status of the family. the characters are introduced by their actions and dialogue, not by the v.o. still, is that such a classic no-no -- a v.o. over a family eating dinner -- that readers/agents will immediately flinch upon seeing it there?? the v.o. is something like, "my family had moved 12 times before i was born. they couldn't sit still for five minutes."

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    say again, over

    yaaah, so
    about the "book ends"?
    Shanti

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    ...

    I like book end voice overs.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    similar concerns about VO

    This is an area that I tussle with in my current piece as well. Thanks for all of the movie examples of how this aspect can be applied. Mine involves one current day man speaking to another, he tells of something that happened in the past. The visual becomes the scene of that past with the speaker's VO. Occasionally the two current day characters comment on the story that's being told which brings us into current time for a moment and then back into the past again. Twas trying to keep my piece underdirected as to keep it attractive. Hah! Good Luck

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Okay

    The bad voice over:

    A man approaches an expensive mansion. Gold trim and lawn decorations are abound.

    MAN (V.O.)
    There's some gratuitous over-indulgence.

    ***Here, we gather the obvious VO before he says it. Show rather than tell, yadda yadda.

    The not-bad voice over:

    A man's boss stands in front of his desk. He's a portly man and looks like he's been afraid for most of his life.

    BOSS
    I'm going to need you to go ahead and reconcile these bank statements. Start with the last previous year and roll it forward to the present...

    The boss' voice trails. The man studies him.

    MAN (V.O.)
    I found myself wondering what this guy would look like screwing a sheep.

    **Like someone above said it's the "here's what I'm thinking" convention -- you couldn't have possibly known what the disgruntled employee was thinking unless he opened his mouth. Now, that doesn't necessarily make this little chunk of drivel enlightening or worthwhile... but you get the point.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Okay

    So, you are speaking of the Voice Overs in films, such as American Beauty...

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: question???

    Steve,

    lol!

    You hit the tone of bad VOs perfectly. Ouch. I've seen scenes like that with that type of VO. That's all I saw, though. Just that one scene.

    Someone mentioned the VO's in American Beauty. Now, that's completely different. That's more a 'Guess what I'm thinking now' VO. Those are much easier to take because you hardly realize it is a VO. It's so much more internal.

    AG
    Seattle

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: question???

    A phone conversation doesn't really constitute the kind of voice over people are talking about here. That's real time dialogue where one of the people is just off screen, like talking to someone in another room.

    The "dreaded voice over" is things like having a shot of a family eating dinner and then voice over saying "This is my family. They're nice but loud. Look at my little brother. What a pig" etc.

    Personally I thinl VO is one of the unique tools of film and if you can do it well and it is an essential part of the story you should do it.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    question???

    Is it okay or do you use voice overs, for a telephone conversation?

    scenerio, I have a man speaking into a cellularphone with a loyal associate, but I do not want him to be shown just his voice to be heard, to add some type of wonder, so to speak:

    MAN
    Dialogue.

    ASSOCIATE (V.O.)
    Dialogue

    ^^^^ Is that correct? Can someone tell me what is? Thanx...

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: V.O.

    Voice over can be very effectively used to express the protagonist's assessment or opinion of a person, place or thing -- the "internal dialog."

    The best example I can think of is Dances With Wolves, where the V.O. keeps the audience apprised of Kevin Costner's current level of understanding of the Indian culture.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: The point

    Does the voice over make your script better, or are you using it as a short cut? That's the only question you have to worry about. Scripts sell because they are good, not because they follow all conventional wisdoms.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    The point

    I think that's the point. Use voice overs for movies that couldn't exist without them (i.e., Memento, Fight Club, American Beauty, Chinatown).

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Fight club couldn't have been done without voice overs

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    AmadaNerva,

    Just think how you feel when a movie starts with a VO. I usually brace for a lame flick. But, that said, if you're committed to VO's, use them.

    I don't think I'll ever use one. I freaking hate them. Hate.

    AG
    Seattle

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    V/O

    Voice over tends to be used by only two types of writers: novices and experts. If you have any doubts about which category you're in, it's probably better to stay away from using it.

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