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O.C. or V.O.?

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jdadams1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jdadams1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: O.C. or V.O.?
    Posted: 21 Apr 2019 at 12:33am
Thanks, all!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote NilesPerry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Apr 2019 at 12:30am
Originally posted by jdadams1 jdadams1 wrote:

OK, I keep Googling this, and I can't find answers to these specific questions.

I have a couple of instances in my screenplay that need a (V.O.) or an (O.C.), but I'm not sure which! Can anyone help?

1) An electronic device that does not have a face is in the scene and emits a voice. Sort of like an Amazon Alexa (but not actually an Alexa). I assume this is not (O.C.). Would it be (V.O.)? Or since we can actually see the device, would it not need anything like that?

2) On screen, we see a ship docking at a port. I want to have the audience hear what the captain is saying to his crew as the ship docks without actually going inside the ship. The captain would not be speaking over a microphone or anything. Basically, we are seeing the outside of the ship but hearing a conversation inside the ship. Would this be (O.C.) or (V.O.)?

Thanks so much!!!
A little late now, but for future reference:

O.C. (off camera) and O.S. (off screen) are basically the same thing. I use O.S., but see that others still use O.C. Both refer to someone in the same locale or room saying something, while the camera is on something or someone else. A shift in camera positioning would reveal them in the scene. Can also be used for persons outside the present location... like voices from outside, while the scene takes place in an indoor location.

V.O. (voiceover) would be more like a Narrator. The character is not in the scene, but we hear their voice. Think of a TV screen with a news broadcast. We see things as an unseen newscaster reports the news. The same is true of a voice coming over the telephone. Until you actually show that person, they are just a V.O.

I hope this helps.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote beckyrcollins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Apr 2019 at 4:46am
Originally posted by jdadams1 jdadams1 wrote:

I'm gonna make this "over easy" and say:

If it's something that an actor could presumably record the day the scene is filmed, but just standing off-camera, it's O.C.

If it would likely require an actor to come back in for voice-over work, it's V.O.

So, basically, exactly what the names say; off-camera = O.C.; voice-over = V.O.

I'm sure there are some corner cases, but if the above is generally right, I can wrap my head around it. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote beckyrcollins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Apr 2019 at 4:44am
Originally posted by cheezopath cheezopath wrote:

I do feel like there should be a one stop shop for these formatting questions, I always feel like I need to have ten totally different sites open

John August does god's work in that regard. 

https://screenwriting.io/ -- screenwriting Q&As
https://johnaugust.com/ -- podcasts (everyone should listen to these, even if you're not a screenwriter! So so insightful on story creation)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cheezopath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Apr 2019 at 3:28am
Thanks, I appreciate that! I do feel like there should be a one stop shop for these formatting questions, I always feel like I need to have ten totally different sites open
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Random Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Apr 2019 at 8:08pm
Originally posted by cheezopath cheezopath wrote:

OS if they could be in shot but arent

VO otherwise

radio is VO, alexa is VO, narrator is VO

OS is if someone is calling at you from the en suite bathroom and you're in the bedroom


I'm sticking with this.  They're on the phone, therefore V.O.

I didn't even put that in until I saw this thread and realized I needed it.  SUCH a screenplay newb...

Chezo, you said this was your last screenplay comp, I hope you stick around to help the rest of us out.  Your advice has always been invaluable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jdadams1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Apr 2019 at 7:50pm
Originally posted by steph9289 steph9289 wrote:

And if it's an electronic device such as Alexa, do we have to use V.O. every time the character speaks?

I am going to hazard a "yes" (even though, as the person who started this thread, I am clearly not "in the know").

But, when I see (V.O.) or (O.S.) used, they are used continuously for that character in that situation, not just on first reference. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote steph9289 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Apr 2019 at 7:27pm
And if it's an electronic device such as Alexa, do we have to use V.O. every time the character speaks?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote jdadams1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Apr 2019 at 7:14pm
I'm gonna make this "over easy" and say:

If it's something that an actor could presumably record the day the scene is filmed, but just standing off-camera, it's O.C.

If it would likely require an actor to come back in for voice-over work, it's V.O.

So, basically, exactly what the names say; off-camera = O.C.; voice-over = V.O.

I'm sure there are some corner cases, but if the above is generally right, I can wrap my head around it. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote weebil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Apr 2019 at 7:06pm
Hmm, I too have an 'Alexa' problem. I went with giving her her own voice when in the same room, and 'off screen' when, uh, not.
I think of VO as a narrator.
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