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Before & After by John McWade

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Chapter . Voice-over captions: A caption can be much more than a label. Here’s how to get it onto your picture and into your story.

As long as there have been motion pictures, we’ve heard an unseen narrator whose “voice-over” accompanies the action. The voice explains what we’re seeing or tells us what we can’t see.

The voice completes the picture—turn off the sound, and the meaning often vanishes. Voice-over narration is a key part of filmmaking.

Voice-over’s print counterpart is the text-over, but unlike film’s invisible narration, the “voice” in print can be seen and so physically alters the image—and that’s what interests us here. What the voice says is up to the writer, but how it says it—volume and intonation and presence—is the designer’s ...

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