Before we talk about the importance that b-roll plays in your video project, you may be wondering, “what is b-roll?” Good question! B-roll is supplementary footage used during the editing process to cut in with the main footage. (Psst: You can read about some other video production vocabulary terms on our blog here). For example, in an interview, the camera may show a subject speaking and then cut away to show footage relevant to what they are talking about, while you still hear their voice. So why is b-roll so important?
B-roll serves many purposes, but one that many of our clients see value in is that it gives you the ability to cover up mistakes! Imagine you are being interviewed on camera about your business and you give the most thoughtful, intelligent answer… but you stumble on your words at the end! Do you think you can take it from the top and say it exactly as you did before? Unless you have extensive experience speaking off the cuff on camera, you probably cannot.
With the power of B-roll, we are able to simply back you up a sentence or two, edit together the beginning and the end of your answer, and cover the cut with footage that is relevant to what you are talking about, making you look like a pro.
Take this video for example. Our subject had not been on camera before, and she was understandably nervous! With B-Roll available, we were able to make her look like she can do an on-camera interview in her sleep.
It is certainly possible to shoot a video with no B-roll, as you can see here. In these cases, we recommend using two cameras instead of one to help cut in between mistakes. However, there are other benefits to B-roll.
Using supplementary footage helps to tell the story in a more dynamic and complete manner. Have you ever heard the phrase, “show, don’t tell?” In many cases, your viewers want to see your business, what you offer, your product, or whatever else you want to emphasize in your video.
Take a look at this video we shot at a pre-school. These parents are talking about their kids and they did a great job speaking on camera! You can tell they care about the children, they love the school, and they are very well spoken. But what stands out about the video is that you see the very same kids in their environment, which helps viewers visualize what it may be like to send their own children to this school and, in turn, adds value to the overall message being delivered to the target audience.
Hopefully this blog has helped you see how b-roll can add value to your finished project! If you’re considering using B-roll in your next video, you will want to make sure it is relevant to your project. Put some thought into what kind of b-roll you would want to see in the final video. What represents your company or product best? Do you want to show employees working or your product being utilized? What story do you want to tell?
These type of questions can help you to determine what type of B-roll will be the most effective in telling your story. Contact us and let us help you build a powerful and captivating video that you are proud of!
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