Excessive Dialogues and Voice Over (V.O.) – Use them or not?

Ok, let’s take one thing at a time. Probably you, like me, have already heard or read something about it: oh! Voice Over is lazy writer thing. Don’t put it in your script, because a good writer doesn’t do it; he/she finds a way to show all in the action.

Right, let me say you something – Dexter (TV serie) and A Clockwork Orange (almost all of Kubrick’s films) are two exellent examples of audience success, and consequently, they’re income success too, and both of them are “stitched” with the Voice Over of their main characters. And so?

… Yeah.

Actually everything depends the kind of story, and the characters who live on it. Doesn’t exist “you can’t do it”. The unique rule is that everything needs to have a sense to exist. Check out:

Both Dexter and Alex can’t open their mouths to tell to the people all the things they think about the world or about the life. Nobody would understand them. Therefore, Voice Over makes sense, and here it isn’t a stupid resource as many writers prefer to name any Voice Over. I mean, it needs to be used if necessary, but make sure the Voice Over is imprescindible for your character and for your narrative… Like a glove.

By the way, I written and directed a short film which was produced by Ancora Produções film company in 2016. This short is totally “stitched” with Voice Over, because the same of the characters above, my main characater and my story needed this kind of resource. Therefore, fortunately my short was successful at Film Festivals, and it brought to home some awards and praise. You can watch it below (only portuguese):

The same for the dialogues. Bad dialogue is that stupid which doesn’t complement the story, doesn’t complement the film action, which just brings unnecessary information. So, the subtext learning is primordial. However, a screenplay full of dialogues isn’t a bad screenplay – but you know, all the exhibition is good only if it brings any sense to the narrative.


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