What is B-Roll? Learn how to enhance your video production

By January 27, 2014Blog
B-Roll-Footage for your video production

B-Roll and Storytelling

B-Roll is an incredible asset when it comes to creating an engaging video production. So what is it and do you need it? Its supplementary footage shown during a production. It can make telling your story much easier and compelling with added footage. As a general rule B-Roll can include animation, graphical elements, photographs and extra footage.

Lets look at an example of how it can be used during a video promoting a health club. Rather than having the camera focussed on the person talking about the club and its facilities, video footage of the fitness classes, weight room areas and cardio areas can be shown to create a better story.

Example 1 – Video Shot Without B-Roll

what is b-roll - inside a fitness gym

Shots 1-6 above focus on the presenter and use different camera angles. No supplementary footage is shown.

Example 2 – Video Shot with B-Roll

b-roll - what is it

Shots 1, 3, 4 and 5 include B-Roll footage of the gym facility. As the presenter talks about the club , the B-Roll footage is used to showcase the facilities.

Example 3 – B-Roll used to cover hard cuts

Two separate shots have been taken of the subject taking about the club facilities. Unfortunately, when shot 1 transitions to shot 2 the transition is not smooth.

Using appropriate B-Roll allows us to choose shot appropriate to the item of discussion which can then be inserted into the footage. This extra footage helps to smooth out the transition between the shots.

b-roll-covering-a-hard-cut 2
b-roll - covering up a hard cut

Video Example – Demonstrating B-Roll

Look at how the following video utilizes B-Roll to help tell its story. Rather than simply seeing the subject talk about his interest in running and the event, we see how supplementary footage can enhance the storyline. Note. This video does not have audio, but visual will easily demonstrated the point of B-ROLL.

So whenever you’re planning a video production, take some time out during the pre-production process to map out what B-Roll may be suitable. If you have a road map for several videos, any extra footage can be used for more than one project.

Best of luck with your video production from the Video Effect.

The Video Effect by Nigel Camp




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