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Old 05-20-2015, 10:13 AM   #1
Pfeinwriter
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Question on Screenplay Format

Okay, I have searched all extremities of the web and I could not find anything to help me answer my question. Hopefully you all can!

How do I format in a screenplay when a character is speaking, but it is the voice of another character in my story. For instance, I have a character who does a good amount of voiceovers, and he voices all of the characters when he does the voiceover, but you see the mime character instead. This is what I can think of:

CARLOS
(Voiced by Don)
Guys, I am so tired of this crap. I'm leaving.
OR

CARLOS
(A la Don)
Guys, I am so tired of this crap. I'm leaving.


HELP!? lol
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Old Today   #1A
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:04 AM   #2
FantasySciFi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfeinwriter View Post
Okay, I have searched all extremities of the web and I could not find anything to help me answer my question. Hopefully you all can!

How do I format in a screenplay when a character is speaking, but it is the voice of another character in my story. For instance, I have a character who does a good amount of voiceovers, and he voices all of the characters when he does the voiceover, but you see the mime character instead. This is what I can think of:

CARLOS
(Voiced by Don)
Guys, I am so tired of this crap. I'm leaving.
OR

CARLOS
(A la Don)
Guys, I am so tired of this crap. I'm leaving.


HELP!? lol
Interesting question. Are you shooting this yourself? If so, you can be a bit more flexible. The importance of the character is to know who we see visually. So if I were writing about a person inhabited by an entity, I might write JARED/LISA where Jared is who we see but Lisa is the character inside. This is important for the actor to know when he is Jared and when he's "Lisa". The other way you might handle this is
Code:
INT. CAFETERIA - DAY
Carlos and friends sit in a cafeteria.  Carlos is queasy.

                 CARLOS
    I'm not feelin' so well.  It must be -
             (V.O.:  Don)
    Guys, I am so tired of this crap. I'm 
    leaving.

                 TOM
    Uh, what did you say?

                 CARLOS
    That tuna salad didn't sit well. - What?

He stands and walks off as the others stare at him.
I'd stick with known conventions like V.O. for voiceover.
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:23 AM   #3
Sweetie
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The problem with the VO option is it's possible to interpret that the actors lips won't be moving. I fear both options could be lost in translation, though I'd prefer the OP's method. Perhaps even something along the lines of:

CARLOS
(Lipread by Carlos, V.O. by Don)
insert dialogue here.

I assume it's important for the script to be done like that.

There's a couple of films that did this. Mission Impossible (I think number 3 with that voice mask thing) and Face Off. Perhaps take a look at those scripts and see how they did it and come to your own conclusions.
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:27 AM   #4
Pfeinwriter
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This is extremely helpful! I didn't even think about looking at how other scripts did it. I'm new to this site and honestly wasn't expecting a quick response. You guys are awesome!
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:29 AM   #5
Pfeinwriter
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Also, FANTASYSCIFI, Thank you for the recommendation for the possession format. I am interested in stuff like that so that will be extremely helpful when I write with those type of characters.
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:45 PM   #6
directorik
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An interesting question. I've never seen a standard addressing this
either. “Lipread” means something very different here in the States.
Lip reading is understanding speech by looking at the speakers lips
and face as they speak. Syncing a voice from one speaker to another
on screen speaker is commonly called dubbing in film. But “dubbing”
may not be the correct term either.

Since there is no format “standard” for this it looks like you might
have to create your own way to get this across. I'm thinking VO
might be the best way. Since the entire scene is VO I think it would
be understood in context.

Quite a challenge.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:45 PM   #7
Sweetie
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When you're right, you're right Rik. I believe Lip-sync is the term I was attempting to use.
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