What and When?

For some reason, the various initials that can show up after dialogue cues pilgrimage up many screenauthors. Let’s have a look at what each one suggests and once the appropriate time is to usage them.

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O.S. (Off Screen)

O.S. is used as soon as a character is speaking off screen. Simply put, that means the character is physically at the place in question, but the audience cannot view them on display at the time they’re speaking.

That suggests among two things:

The character speaking is within the scene however not displayed. This alternative is generally offered when a character sneaks up behind an additional character and also surprises them.The character speaking is exterior of the prompt place and also cannot be checked out by the audience or the various other personalities. This choice is generally offered when a character is external a door, speaking to an additional character that is on display screen.

Use 1 Example:

EXT. CRYSTAL LAKE CEMETERY - NIGHTAmy rushes from headrock to headstone, her flashlight illuminating each name. PAMELA (O.S.) Looking for me?As she spins approximately, Amy"s eyes rocket wide through fear at the desiccated, re-animated corpse of Pamela Voorhees.Use 2 Example:

INT. FRAT ROOM - DAYA KNOCK at the door. Jefferchild freezes, glancing approximately the room at his newfrat buddies. JEFFERSON"S MOM (O.S.) Sweetie, it"s Mommy. I have actually every one of your undies. They"re ironed and folded simply the means you choose them.O.C. (Off Camera)O.C., or off electronic camera, is provided in exactly the exact same way that O.S. is used in the first approach I outlined over. The character speaking is physically at the place, yet we (the audience) don’t watch them in the certain swarm supplied at the time.

So which approach do you use? Well, it’s really as much as you.

Some authors usage O.C. for the first strategy shown over and also use O.S. for the second technique displayed above. That means there’s never before any type of confusion about wright here the character is who’s speaking (i.e. visible to personalities at the area vs. obscured by a wall surface, door, boulder, and so on.).

However, O.C. is also considered a tiny little bit old fashioned. On peak of that, whenever before you invoke the term “camera” — also if it’s just in an initial — you’re illustration the reader’s attention to the truth that a production is ensuing. There’s a electronic camera and a electronic camera operator and a director, and so on It has actually the potential to break the fictive spell (the illusion of fact in the reader’s mind).

But that’s really just a quibble. Literally no skilled reader is going to balk at your script bereason you used O.C. So feel complimentary to usage whichever method you favor.

V.O. (Voice Over)

V.O. is supplied in instances where the character speaking is not physically at the present scene place. So V.O., or voice over, is used for all telephone conversations, walkie-talkie conversations, radio dispatchers, narrators, television news conversations (if you don’t display us the T.V.), etc.


INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHTDetective Benoit answers his ringing phone. DETECTIVE BENOIT Benoit speaking. MYSTERIOUS MAN (V.O.) Time to play a game. Knock knock, Detective. DETECTIVE BENOIT I"ll bite... Who"s there? MYSTERIOUS MAN (V.O.) (insidious laughter) Wouldn"t you like to know? DETECTIVE BENOIT Not really. I"m surprised you"re not more acquainted through modern phone technology, Mr... (reads contact display) ... Jeremy Crocker.CLICK.V.O. can likewise be supplied prefer PRE-LAP — at the end of scene — for a conversation that we hear starting prior to we switch over to the following scene and also see the person actually speaking.

Do NOT use O.S. for phone conversations! I check out this much too regularly in the scripts I read.

A few years earlier, a client sent out me an main Oscars-developed record readily available as a beneficial overview to those writers that were submitting to the Nicholl Screencreating Fellowship competition. The record argued that O.S. must be used for phone conversations. It literally blew my mind, however it likewise aided to explain exactly how the misuse of O.S. has actually propagated so much over time. Almethods usage V.O.

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Fortunately, the Oscars have since updated this record and also fixed their mistake. However before, tbelow are still a bunch of other highly non-typical points in the record, so I’m not going to connect to it. Hopecompletely, they’ll get around to resolving those soon, too.

Any specific offers of O.S. or V.O. expedition you up? Let me know!


Regarding V.O. and O.S. for walkie-talkies, I have a scene in a park wright here 2 undercover cops, dressed as homemuch less folks, lie on sepaprice benches and also pretend to be dozing. They’re talking and listening to each other with microphones concealed in their collars and also with earpieces. When she hears him sheight in her earpiece, I’m at a loss regarding which to use. He is “in the scene,” however she and also we are hearing him via her earitem. It will probably be swarm through a closeup on her once she’s listening, so I’m thinking O.S. but not certain. Would appreciate your input. Thanks!