Basics of Extension and Its Format in Movie Script

Basics of Extension and Its Format in Movie Script

An extension is an essential technique used for character formation in a script. Even though it is not mostly used but it serves a major role in the development of the script.

Screenplay extension is simply a technique indicator about a character that is placed in front of the character’s name before the character’s dialogue. Basically, we have two kinds of extension which are as follows:


This is one of the script extensions with the abbreviation (O.S) which is used when a character is in the scene location but can not be seen when talking by the viewers or the fellow characters. In a location where the camera is right in front of character A who is having a conversation with character B who is physically present but not with him or is not in front of the camera, the extension Off-Screen (O.S) should be used. This shows the character is off-screen.


This abbreviation indicates that the character speaking is not on the scene location but we can hear the voice via electronics for example Telephone, Radio, etc. Or in a situation where the character is speaking over an action in the script but other characters in the action can’t hear him, a voice-over can also be used. For example, a narrator who is narrating an event.


  • Character B  who is having a conversation with character A but is not in frontof the camera.
  • A narrator who is narration an action or an event.
  • A character who is speaking to another character over an eletronic device e.g Phone, Military Satalite phone, Radio and so on.
  • A character speaking or making an anouncement over a speaker.
  • Character speaking in a ghostly voice


To insert an extension in the movie script, follow the simple steps.

  • Write the character’s name in upper case then give space.
  • In front of the character name open a bracket “(”.
  • Insert the required extension abbreviation e.g O.S/V.O.
  • Close the bracket “)”.

At the end of it, it should be like the – JESUTOFUNMI (O.S)

Basics of Extension and Its Format in Movie Script

Scriptwriting software has made it easy for writers to comfortably write an extension. But as a professional writer, you should know the basics of scripts elements, techniques and other essential feature that makes up a script.

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