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:
- OFF-SCREEN (O.S)
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.
2. VOICE-OVER (V.O)
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.
PLACES WHERE EXTENSION CAN BE INSERTED
- 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
HOW TO INSERT EXTENSION IN MOVIE SCRIPT
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)
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.