When writing copy for a voice-over, the words have to move with the flow of the film. Take, for example, my recent collaboration "The Moth & The Tree".
I was asked to write voice over copy for a collaborative commercial project with the director, Dale Sood and fashion photographer, Billie Chiasson. The purpose of this beauty film was to explore the journey of empowerment and transformation through a magical fairy-tale lens.
I was tasked to write a short narrative based on a personal story from Billie herself; she wrote in her creative: "The creation of this story comes from a place whenever I was vulnerable, young and walking through a wild forest without any fear or context of what fear meant. Overcoming this fear and realizing the beauty in darkness.” Billie continued by writing her own story and how she found beauty in unexpected places.
Watch below to see the final film:
It was a significant challenge to put ethereal concepts into words. When I wrote the piece, I picked out specific images from Billie's story; ones that evoked the strongest emotions and colored them in.
There's a lot of nuances that go into writing copy for voice-over (VO). It's not a simple cut-and-paste operation as narration can sometimes feel forced or awkward over images. A good VO needs to be embedded in the story and move with the soundtrack as another instrument. I chose a more punctuated and straightforward narrative that let the image speak louder than the words. I used simple and emotionally driven descriptions to help paint a more dreamlike quality. And as you can see in the film, the words change with the tone of the film and evolve with the movement of the piece.
Below is the script for the VO:
Deep in the wild pines where I wandered as a child, I found scary beasts.
They came in a flurry.
A deafening sound of flapping wings.
The moths blurred my vision like wildfire.
They haunted my dreams.
Fear found a home in my being.
Yet when I looked closer, I saw beauty in the details and textures of their wings.
Where I once saw a dense, dark forest, I now see brilliant light flashing through the trees.
I walk freely in the pines once again, fearless.
It was a pleasure to work with such a talented crew of people, and I'm really excited with how it turned out.
Let me know what you're working on. I'd love to help!