Name list and name reading instructions

Step by step success for name reading

A name list is what we refer to as a list of variables that are to be read out loud by the talent. For example a list of names, places, types of cars etc.


Create the list

  • SEEN will assist in creating a name list using your existing database.
  • Alternatively we can provide you a popular name list of the 1000 most used names in your country.
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Names with the same pronunciation

In most languages, the same name can exist with different spelling like “Viktor” and “Victor”. Both names have be read to be able to have them in our system. There are two ways to cover more names without recording more names:

  1. If you are using our popular name list (only in Norwegian), we have already made a list where you can read 882 names and cover 1000 names.
  1. If you are using names from your own database, you would have to add names with the same pronunciation on the same row, and SEEN will include those names.
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Create a “generic” option

  • What happens if you have a name that is not in the list? For those names, it is important to ALWAYS record a “generic option”. This ensures that everyone gets a film.
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  • Examples of generic options could be "Hi, there", “Hi, member” or "Dear, guest". The generic option should always fit the content of the film.
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Must do’s while recording

  • You must follow the order of the list.
  • If there is a mistake, simply re-read the name after waiting 2-3 seconds. Don't wait until the end to correct mistakes. It's fine to start/stop for breaks.
  • If it is necessary to stop the camera, please leave at least a 4 second gap after you start recording again, before the talent begins reading the names.
  • Leave a sufficient gap between the reading of each name, around 2-3 seconds, for a better end result for each name.
  • Consistency in tone and delivery is essential to ensure that the clips align with the rest of the film.
  • Be aware of movement while reading the names. If you want the talent to move from A to B while reading the names, it is required for each name WHILE keeping the same tempo. We therefore recommend you have as little movement for the talent as possible.

Options for recording

A: Looking into the camera

  • We recommend looking straight into the camera, as this best captures the viewers attention.
  • Always remember to use a teleprompter for the best end result.
  • IMPORTANT: If the person reading the names must look off-camera to read from a prompter, ensure they fully reset looking back at the camera before saying the name. This prevents odd head/eye movements during a name reading!

B: Looking off-camera

  • Using Power prompter or similar app to display the names, connect a computer to a screen mounted in the correct eye line. This method works when two actors have a dialogue. A screen can be placed where the 2nd actor was originally.

C: Only audio recording

  • For a voice-over you can either use Power prompter to get the names on a screen, or you can read directly from a laptop/ipad.

D: Read out loud by someone off-camera

  • We do not recommend someone else to say the names out loud in place of a teleprompter, as many forget to leave enough gap between each name.


In Post-Production follow these steps:

  1. First combine all the files into one long sequence/file, (if recording happened between multiple takes/having breaks while recording). Ensure the compiled sequence order matches the name list order.
  1. Add the correct grade and audio treatment (eg. volume adjustments), matching the Example Film.
  1. Don’t include Music or FX sounds within Name-shot file.
  1. Export the whole file as one mp4 file and deliver the file to us.

Name reading and VFX in the same shot

If you want to have the name reading in the same shot as VFX/text personalisation, we recommend you only use text overlay or text in the background (following the guide below). Text on a moving object where you can see the talent speaking will require tracking for all names and is therefore not desirable or feasible.

Text overlay

When the text is on top of the footage while reading names:

  • Please deliver the AE Project following the normal Delivery Guide.

Text in the background

When the text is in the background (behind the actor) while reading names:

  • The camera MUST NOT MOVE and remain in a locked off position. If there is movement you would have to track every single name-shot so that the text “sticks” to the surface you want to apply it to.
  • The talent can not pass in front of where the text should be, as SEEN will not add masks/mattes to each name.

Text on a moving object

When the text is on an moving object while reading names:

  • Doing it this way, will require tracking for all the names and will increase workload and margin of errors for the production company.
  • We do not recommend doing it this way and suggest adding the VFX either before or after the name reading shot.

Please contact SEEN if the text needs to be on on object while reading names.

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Last updated on April 23, 2024