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Practical Voice-Over

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In fair Verona, our scene is conveniently explained...

A sequence needs explaining and the writer has chosen not to go to a voice-over, but has inserted good cause for someone to narrate the action. A television or radio reporter's voice is used, in some cases. This also serves to give the action some scope, making it clear that this is important stuff.

When played for laughs, this is Kent Brockman News. See also Mr. Exposition and Coincidental Broadcast.


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    Comic Books 
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • Ultimate Spider-Man (2000): The explosion in Oscorp in the first issues was introduced with the narration of a news voice over.
    • Ultimate X-Men (2001): The first issue starts with one of those, to explain the reader the existence of mutants, the terrorist mutant group led by Magneto, and the Sentinels issued as a response.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Sports-themed films typically include snippets of a radio or television play-by-play announcer describing the action in the Big Game.
    • A great example of this would be in the film Miracle which depicts the 1980 "Miracle On Ice" between the United States and the Soviet Union at the Winter Olympics. Disney used ABC's actual video footage of their Olympics coverage. Al Michaels re-enacted most of his original commentary, with the exception of his famous "do you believe in miracles" call, which was from the original audio of the game.
    • Invincible, the Vince Papale biopic, used news reports and play-by-play modeled on real coverage from the 70s to help tell Vince's story.
  • Used extensively in the film Apollo 13 as the crew's plight was a major news item at the time, with former CBS News Anchor Walter Cronkite providing the opening narration, which was in the form of a new clip (confirmed by director Ron Howard in the DVD commentary) and archive footage of actual news breaks was mixed in with scripted ones throughout the film.
  • Some of the exposition in the 2000 Hamlet, which is set in the corporate world, gets handed to a business news reporter.
  • L.A. Confidential had the voice of Sid Hudgens (Danny DeVito) reading from the gossip magazine he ran.
  • The modern film William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet. Shakespeare's play has a narrator at the beginning and the end; the film handles those lines by making its main story the subject of a news story...
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. A radio announcer (along with a Spinning Paper montage) is used to show that the robot attack on New York is part of a worldwide phenomenon.
  • A lot of the backstory of the movie version of Starship Troopers is given through faux news/military recruitment ads. Would you like to know more?
  • Black Hawk Down had amongst its many supporting characters a group of personnel in a helicopter high over the battlefield coordinating the ground forces and relaying messages back and forth with Mission Control back at the airfield. They are responsible for the movie's Title Drop when a UH-60 Blackhawk is shot down in the city.
  • 9/11, a documentary on the September 11, 2001 terror attacks by the Naudet brothers features these after the attacks begin to unfold. After major events take place, the shots of New York City are interspersed with voice-overs from real news anchors talking about what's just happened.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The opening sequence of the War of the Worlds: The Second Invasion television series: "There's rioting breaking out from the is continuing to burn everywhere, troops are shooting people...there are conflicting reports about who or what started the chaos. Will some one tell me what's happening? This is madness! What is this world coming to?"
    • This may have been inspired by the most (in)famous production of War of the Worlds in history: The radio broadcast, done as though it were a breaking news story, which many listeners thought was really happening.

    Web Original 
  • Used at the beginning and end of The Flying Man to narrate the Flying Man's appearance and Mike's fate.

    Western Animation 
  • The animated series Exo Squad, begins with a documentary about the history of the Neosapiens.