B-roll is video footage that supports the main topic of the video. B-roll is commonly used for interview-type videos where the interviewee is the “a-roll”. For example, if you interview the owner of a restaurant on camera, generally you would show them talking for a bit and then cut away to shots of the restaurant. This helps keep the video interesting.
Shooting b-roll needs to be strategically planned. Ideally b-roll should be shot after the interview has taken place so the videographer can get shots of what the interviewee is talking about. Let’s say our restaurant owner talks about something that makes the restaurant unique. Perhaps it’s the only one in the area that uses a specific ingredient for a dish. Having a shot of the ingredient increases the value of the video because you are actually seeing what the interviewee is talking about. In addition to getting shots of things mentioned in the interview process, the videographer needs to capture interesting shots that will add value to the video.
Many people are very nervous when speaking on-camera. Unless you’re a professional actor, expect this. B-roll is a handy tool for adding consistency and flow to a video.
Sometimes an interviewee stumbles over their words or says “umm” a lot. When this happens, the editor can cut out the “umms” and join sentences together to give a nice sentence or two. However, if you don’t have b-roll, these edits may create a jump cut. Why do jump cuts occur? Even though the interviewee is sitting or standing, they aren’t completely still. If you are cutting sentences together, the person will appear to be jumping around in the frame. Click here to see a demonstration of what a jump cut looks like. In addition to supporting what is being said, b-roll also covers the jump cuts and makes the video look seamless.
Keeping an audience engaged in a video is tough.Viewers have short attention spans, so grabbing their attention is critical to the video’s success. Start off with an interesting or compelling b-roll shot to make the video intriguing. It immediately introduces them to the company’s environment. Once you have them hooked, it’s just as important to keep them interested. Good b-roll shots consist of many different things. Close-up shots of fabric designs, detailed shots of a person’s desk, and fun action shots of people interacting are great options to consider when shooting b-roll.
When you are preparing for a shoot, remember to tidy up the areas where b-roll will be shot. When shooting with High Definition cameras, anything and everything will be seen. Dust and remove clutter.
By Mindi Long
Frozen Fire is a digital business development and communication strategy firm that exists so that businesses have the tools necessary to know exactly who their customers are and what their customers are looking for; we help companies connect with their customers via digital marketing strategies; and we help them to drive their sales, business development and marketing efforts, so as to gain the maximum return on their investments in terms of marketing dollars, efforts, and human resources. Contact us to learn how we can help your business know, connect, drive.
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