Question about narrator

  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 1 year ago
  • Answered
Just to clarify. I came across with a documentary that doesn't include any interviews or "talking heads" (pretty common approach, actually). Instead, there's a voice of the narrator and some segments where the actors are narrating the letters/thoughts (etc) of certain real-life people. So basically there's a narrator (being "herself"), and some actors. In the end credits the actors are only credited as "voice" (no characters).

Since this is a documentary, I assume that the main narrator is credited as:
"Herself - Narrator"

But how the other (voice) actors are credited? The documentary identifies the "characters" (not by captions, but but the main narrator), so should I use (fictional example):

a) Doe, John --- --- Abraham Lincoln (voice)

OR, are they also credited as:

b) Doe. John --- --- Narrator (voice)

OR, should I use "Reader" like e.g. "The War" mini-series ( https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0996994/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast ). If I recall correctly, there are some similar segments in The War.

Thanks.
Photo of Eboy

Eboy

  • 1565 Posts
  • 1970 Reply Likes

Posted 1 year ago

  • 2
Photo of Vincent Fournols

Vincent Fournols

  • 2901 Posts
  • 4885 Reply Likes
My 2 cents: I do not see why a narrator or a reader should be credited as himself or herself. Their parts are just being narrator or reader. So unless "himself/herself" is stated in the credits, there is no reason to have it displayed this way in IMDb.
Photo of Eboy

Eboy

  • 1565 Posts
  • 1970 Reply Likes
 I do not see why a narrator or a reader should be credited as himself or herself. Their parts are just being narrator or reader. 
To my understanding, it mostly depends on the program (genre). In fictional films etc, the narrator is listed (in IMDB) without "him/herself", but in the documentaries etc they're listed with "him/herself". Like e.g. Keith David (I) is listed as "Himself - Narrator" in "The War" (2007).

Usually narrator (at least the main one, if there are multiple "voices") is credited as "narrator" in the end credits when it comes to documentaries. I would say that if the end credits list "him/herself", it refers to the fictional films where some person is playing him/herself.
Photo of Will

Will, Official Rep

  • 3787 Posts
  • 4747 Reply Likes
Hi Eboy,

Narrator's shouldn't be listed as himself/herself unless they authored the script - this is just an actor/actress role and they should just be credited as narrator.
For those actorsembodying a person and talking over the top - as in the Abraham Lincoln case, listing them as Abraham Lincoln (voice) would seem like thesensible approach.

I hope this helps.


Regards,
Will
Photo of NickBianco

NickBianco

  • 121 Posts
  • 192 Reply Likes
If I recall right, we've had trouble before when an actor in a non-fiction or documentary-type title doesn't have the "Himself/Herself" used because then he doesn't end up in the Self section, but in his regular titles section. Conversely, when he/she is in a fiction title and "himself/herself" is used (contrary to IMDb rules), that portrayal ends up in the Self section instead of the regular films. I don't see why this shoiuldn't apply to narrators as well. FWIW, I think narrators in documentaries should be given the "Himself/Herself - Narrator" character. As per IMDb help, they should also be given credit order #1. If there is a narrator role in a fiction title, then 'self' shouldn't be used, imho.
Photo of Eboy

Eboy

  • 1565 Posts
  • 1970 Reply Likes
Thank you for the comments. I'm slightly surprised by Will's reply, since narrators are widely used in movies, documentaries, reality television, animations, etc etc. To me they're not all the same. So the official stance by IMDb is that "narrator" is basically "acting" every time and in every production? I have to assume that currently many "Narrator" credits (in IMDb) in documentaries (and such) are listed with "Himself/Herself" (like The War example).

What "unless they authored the script" exactly means, btw?
For those actorsembodying a person and talking over the top - as in the Abraham Lincoln case, listing them as Abraham Lincoln (voice) would seem like thesensible approach.
Yes, this kinda was my original question. Many times when the reader/narrator is embodying a person, he/she is also "acting" (at least more than the "main narrator"). But there are also many cases where he/she is (kinda) monotonically reading letters or diaries of a person (more like simply "reading" them rather than "acting" or trying to be the person).
Photo of Will

Will, Official Rep

  • 3787 Posts
  • 4747 Reply Likes
Just to clarify the narrator is not being "themselves" per se - in most cases they are reading from a written script. Therefore this aligns more with an actor credit than a himself/herself performance such as that on a talk show for example. There are certain cases where somebody may be acting as a narrator but is also clearly reading their own words or speaking as they would in an interview for example, in those cases then the himself/herself would be a valid addition.

I hope this helps.