Monday, October 12, 2009

voice(over) - 10/22/09

Voice(over) - is a production technique where a non-diegetic voice is broadcast live or pre-recorded in radio, television, film and theatre. The voice-over may be spoken by someone who also appears on-screen in other segments or it may be performed by a specialist voice actor. Voice-over is also commonly referred to as "off camera" commentary.

We often refuse to accept an idea merely because of the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is not sympathetic to us."
- Fredrich Neitzsche

Kozloff, Sarah. Invisible Storytellers. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.

'Sarah Kozloff examines and analyzes voice-over narration. She refutes the assumptions that words should only play a minimal role in film, that "showing" is superior to "telling," or that the technique is inescapably authoritarian (the "voice of god"). She questions the common conception that voice-over is a literary technique by tracing its origins in the silent era and by highlighting the influence of radio, documentaries, and television. She explores how first-person or third-person narration really affects a film, in terms of genre conventions, viewer identification, time and nostalgia, subjectivity, and reliability. In conclusion she argues that voice- over increases film's potential for intimacy and sophisticated irony.'

*** My current project with my friend in Minneapolis will involve voice over, particularly when he's relaying memories from his past as we walk around his hometown. I think it's important to understand the functions and failings of voice over in both the narrative and fiction film before i employ them to make sure I use them to an effective end.

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