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Off-Camera vs. Off-Screen

Discussion in 'Basics' started by Raddy, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. Raddy

    Raddy Silver Member

    Hey guys,

    I was wondering whether or not there was a distinction between off-camera nd off-screen tags added to dialogue. At first, I assumed that it was used to indicate whether a character is present in the scene or not. For example, "O.S." would be used for a phone call because the speaking character is not present in the room, but "O.C." would be used when a character is in the room, but simply not in frame.

    However, after reading a few scripts, it seems that they mean the same thing, and it is up to the writer which they want to use.

    Is there a convention dictating how these are used?
  2. davidartiste

    davidartiste Silver Member

    The standard out there is O.S.

    O.C. is more of a director thing and is used in shooting scripts.

    You are wrong, however, about phones. You always use (V.O.) in a phone conversation. O.S. forces the reader to assume that the character is in the same room/area but can not be seen. A person on the other end of the phone is in another location all together. A phone call should look like this:


    BOB
    (into phone)
    Mom, I can't make it to Passover this year.

    MOM (V.O.)
    What? You don't like my cooking?

    BOB
    (into phone)
    It's not that, at all.

    MOM (V.O.)
    Then what is it?

    BOB
    (into phone)
    I'm a priest now, remember?



    Hope this helps.
  3. Raddy

    Raddy Silver Member

    Gotcha. I thought that V.O. was reserved when a character is talking to the audience rather than to other characters, but thanks for the clarification!
  4. davidartiste

    davidartiste Silver Member

    V.O. is for any voice of any kind except when the character is physically inthe room but can't be seen.

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