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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    Screenwriting Class  ›  O.S. or V.O. ??? Moderators: George Willson
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  Author    O.S. or V.O. ???  (currently 169 views)
Zack
Posted: January 9th, 2019, 10:55pm Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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Forgive me if there is already thread covering this.

If characters are speaking over a black screen, is it O.S. or V.O.? I'm thinking it's O.S. Is that correct?

Zack


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MichaelYu
Posted: January 9th, 2019, 11:42pm Report to Moderator
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It should be V.O.

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Warren
Posted: January 9th, 2019, 11:57pm Report to Moderator
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I agree that it would be V.O.


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Zack
Posted: January 10th, 2019, 12:02am Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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Thanks guys. Appreciate it.

Zack


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FrankM
Posted: January 10th, 2019, 12:32am Report to Moderator
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It would be V.O. unless the dialogue is someone actually standing in a darkened room (and at some point the audience would be clued into this fact by introducing light). In that one special case, it would be O.S.

O.S. or "off-screen" is dialogue from a character physically present in the scene, just not visible through the camera. TV scripts sometimes use O.C. (off-camera) instead.

V.O. or "voice over" is dialogue that the audience hears but someone physically in the scene could not, such as narration or someone's thoughts.

Related is M.O.S. (opinions differ on what the letters stand for) which is dialogue that someone in the scene could hear but the audience cannot, such as whispering or background conversation. The screenplay typically doesn't specify the words spoken.


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Zack
Posted: January 10th, 2019, 1:36am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the clarification, Frank. Much appreciated.

What does M.O.S. stand for, exactly?

Zack


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LC
Posted: January 10th, 2019, 2:22am Report to Moderator
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M.O.S. = without sound

The story goes that a German-born director (perhaps Josef von Sternberg, who discovered Marlene Dietrich) wanted to shoot a scene without sound and told the crew to shoot "mit out sound," a phrase which the crew found humorous and thus proliferated it. It is most commonly used to show impending impact of some kind.

M.O.S. Horses stampeding down Main Street
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http://www.screenwriting.info/13.php

MOS (filmmaking) MOS is a standard filmmaking jargon abbreviation used in production reports to indicate an associated film segment has no synchronous audio track.

And various other sources...


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FrankM
Posted: January 10th, 2019, 2:37am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Zack
Thanks for the clarification, Frank. Much appreciated.

What does M.O.S. stand for, exactly?

Zack


The more credible possibilities are collected on the Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOS_(filmmaking), and I would lean toward the first one discussed: "motor only shot" derived from the instructions given to the sound crew when they needed to have their equipment's motors running to keep in sync with the video camera but no need to actually record the sounds.

Others believe it is an in-joke aimed at German immigrants from around the time of the first talkies, who might pronounce "without sound" as "mit out sound." Given that the US film industry is centered in California, the snowflakiest part of the country, I'm pretty sure a term that made fun of a minority would have been replaced by now.


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MarkRenshaw
Posted: January 11th, 2019, 4:26am Report to Moderator
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I prefer LOL.


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