MOS

Experts don't always agree where the term MOS originated.

Many believe it is a term created out of the German influence on early American cinema. The story goes that a German director who barely spoke English wanted a scene to be completely silent. He told his film crew, "Ve'll shoot dis mit out sprechen!" or "without sound." The film crew made a joke of adding MOS to scenes that would be muted.

Some experts even go so far as to narrow the German director in question to Erich von Stroheim.

Still others say this origin of MOS is a myth. They believe MOS stands for "Minus Optical Strip." Prior to the 1950's, audio was recorded on optical tracks rather than the magnetic tracks used today.

Whatever the origin, the MOS Specific Notation can be added to any scene in which no sound should be heard (other than, perhaps, a musical score):

If you want a small piece of a larger scene to be silent, you can do so through the use of an MOS Subheading.

Here is an example:

The Subheading BEGIN MOS SEQUENCE sets the MOS section of the scene apart from everything else. The sequence ends, rather obviously, with END MOS SEQUENCE.

Nothing hard about that.

Of course, there are a lot of writers who just refuse to use MOS to call out a silent scene or sequence. I know. I get it.

So do this instead: