I'm writing a sci-fi script for a T.V. pilot (my first) in which there is, initially, an AI (that runs a spaceship) with no avatar (that comes later). It is not a narration when that "character" speaks but, obviously, not seen although it is present in the room. Should I use (V.O.) or (O.S.)? Like so? This scene takes place inside the spaceship.

                        AI (V.O.)
           I am the ship's artificial intelligence 
           system. I manage propulsion, navigation 
           and other functions.

Also, for shots that take place outside of the spaceship that includes a view of the spaceship with the characters inside speaking but not seen, I would think that (V.O.) would be better suited for the dialog as opposed to (O.S.) but I can see the case for both.

What is the proper way to write the script indicating these types of dialog?

1 Answer 1


Voice over. O.S. is for a character that is presumably physically present in the depicted setting but not in the shot and their voice is being heard by another character.

VO is for characters that are NOT present in the depicted setting; like people on the phone (if you don't cut to them or split screen them) (or other communications device), or it is usual for narrators providing information or in cases where there is no other character to hear them.

So the AI communicates through a speaker to characters, there is no AI standing off to the left somewhere; and for that we use VO.

In your outside the ship establishing shot, your characters are NOT OS, they are in the shot! Just inside that ship. So VO is the right choice there, too.

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