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    Unsolvable problem

    Ok, maybe it's a dramatic title, but I'm trying to solve a screenplay problem and I just can't figure out the ideal way to do it... Here's the thing:

    1 - Scene between a 3 year old girl and her dad. Both in the living room, watching TV.
    2 - The little girl's voice is never heard. Her thoughts are being voiced by a 10 year old girl for proper word pronunciation, while keeping child like tone of voice. We hear the voice over saying "I like playing Hide and Seek with my dad. I'll ask him to come play".
    3 - We see the little girl speaking to her dad, but, of course, we can't hear her voice... so...

    Problem: The viewer needs to know what the little girl just said to her dad. Well, he would guess, considering what she was thinking, and the voice over didn't even have to say anything, but since we're hearing the sound from the TV, it's logical that we would also hear the little girl speaking. In order not to hear the sound from the scene, the voice over needs to speak here.

    The simplest solution I could remember that worked was that voice over would say "and so I asked my dad to come play with me".

    But this story is supposed to happen in the present with her thoughts actually happening at the same time of the action. So I can't go this way... What I thought of doing was making the voice over say a lot of things like "I like playing games with my dad. I'll ask him. Ok, he's watching TV, I don't want to interrupt. But I'll ask. Ok, I'll ask now!" And when we see the girl's mouth actually moving to speak, the voice over would say "please say yes, please say yes!" or something like that.

    But I must say I'm doubting this. I just can't find a simple way of doing this. Can anyone help me with this?

    Thanks!!

    #2
    Not knowing all the limitations of the scene, it doesn’t seem that difficult:

    Have a scene with normal sound of a living room and TV. Both are watching. You can then have the girl turn to her dad and just look at him. Her look can then be anything you’d like: love, admiration, disappointment that they don’t “play” together, boredom..

    And then just voice over that. But maybe you’re saying that everything is already shot and it’s a done deal?

    My question basically is: why do we see the girl speaking, as that is the root of your problem?

    Voicing over people just looking at each other is a pretty strong and often used concept. It deals with a lot of things specific to human (mis)-communication.
    @andreemarkefors

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      #3
      Hi andree! Yes, the scene is shot and it's necessary to show the girl speaking to her dad because it's important to show the audience that she was actually asking her dad to go play with her. And her dad was immersively watching tv and ignores her. So it can't just be a thought, we must see her asking him. When I shot this I thought "ok, I'll just have the voice over speaking in past tense so it will work". But i forgot the action is taking place in the present so it won't work like I thought. You see the problem?

      Edit:

      Oh and then the dad just gets up and she thinks he's going to hide to play with her, so she starts counting to 10 to go seeking.
      Last edited by David Evans; 10-14-2017, 01:27 AM.

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        #4
        I would have thought the same VO performer but a change in volume, phrasing and intonation... i.e. stopped talking in her head to actually speaking add in a change of level of ambient noise. and you have an "audio seven change" just like a visual shot change.

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          #5
          Originally posted by jagraphics View Post
          I would have thought the same VO performer but a change in volume, phrasing and intonation... i.e. stopped talking in her head to actually speaking add in a change of level of ambient noise. and you have an "audio seven change" just like a visual shot change.
          I'm not sure I understood it correctly. The idea would be for the voice over to actually dub her lips or continue to be a voice over?

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            #6
            I would have said continue as VO rather than try to lip sync. The effect would be you are listening, in her head, to the voice talking to her self and the separate voice she vocalises when speaking to others. Just a thought and I have no idea if it would work with your film. Though if the father does not directly talk to her, or even if he does the "voice" can be what she hears in her head and does not actually need to be lip synced. IT's a stylistic way of story telling that does not need to record the actual actors dialogue on set.

            That said, according to my children I know nothing about style and stylistic things. :-)

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              #7
              Can you do a cutaway to something, perhaps the TV, then dub in the little girl asking the question? There might be no ideal solution. If she didn't mouth the words, then that would be impossible to fix. No choice but to cutaway and dub in then. Maybe not most elegant solution but it would convey the idea.

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                #8
                1. shot of girl and dad in living room.
                2. (voice) i'll ask him to play hide and seek.
                3. shot of girl asking father to play hide and seek.

                bonus: dad says, "not now dammit, i'm watching property brothers."

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