Voice-Over Marking: How Do You Notate it in a Script?


Voice-overs in a script hold the capability to add a significant layer of depth to the narration. However, a correct set of markings for the voice-overs is essential for providing descriptive context to your script. This guide details the process and methodology to mark a voice-over in a script.

Understanding Voice-Overs

A voice-over (denoted as V.O. in scripts) is a narrative technique where a voice is used to convey information or express thoughts and feelings.

The voice belongs to a character in the story or a narrator, but the speaker is not seen on the screen during the VO.

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How To Mark Voice-overs In Your Script

  • The foremost task is to indicate the voice-over by putting (V.O.) next to the character’s name.
  • Place the voice-over narration as dialogue, before the related action in the script.
  • Interject dialogue blocks after the description of the visuals that the voice-over will accompany.

Position Of Voice-Overs

The position of voice-overs plays a crucial role in the scene’s overall understanding. The voice-over should occur where the related action unfolds in the scene. This synchronization helps the reader or viewer to imagine the voice-over accompanying the on-screen action.


Voice-overs And Montages

In montages, the voice-over serves dual functionalities. It can serve to elevate your script by condensing time or intertwining storylines. A narrator’s voice-over or dialogue for the film’s narrative can exploit montages.

Using Parenthesis for Voice-overs

A tool in your script-writing software or simply a parenthesis next to the character’s name is used to indicate voice-over. For voice-overs, use “(V.O.

)”. Then, interject these dialogue blocks after the description of the visuals it will play over.

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Voice-overs Affecting The Plot

In some scripts, the voice-over, rather than being tangential, helps carry the narrative forward. Instances where the voice-over provides crucial information or influences the character’s decisions should be marked explicitly.

Other Uses Of Voice-overs

  • Expressions of a character’s internal thoughts can be narrated through voice-overs.
  • Voice-overs can also express dialogue delivered through a transmission device like a phone or a radio.


Voice-overs, when used effectively, lend an interwoven narrative and connected viewpoint to the script. Their marking in the script should clearly denote the nature and purpose of the voice-over. Laying out the voice-overs accurately goes a long way in enhancing the efficacy of the script and in turn, the final output.

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