Reflections on the Art of Voice-over

The first question to ask about any use of Voice-over is what is its narrative function in the specific film? The reason it's important to ask this question is because Voice-over has a number of distinctly different and specific uses.

Voice-over is used in two basic ways:

However, there are further distinctions within each of these two basic forms.

The Voice that Tells

There are two forms of the Voice that tells: ( See my discussion of the types of First person narration in Narration in Film.)

The Voice that Thinks

There are three major forms of Voice-over that simulate what is going on inside a character's mind.

( See my discussion of forms of the Voice that Thinks in Narration in Film.)

Artistic Issues in the Use of Voice-over

The Art of Voice-over in Specific Films