How to make a video production that stands out : Using B-Roll Footage

  |   May 27 2015   |   Posted in: Informational Address, Business to Business


How to enhance your story with B-roll

On a film set, it sometimes can seem like the video crew is speaking a different language with the amount of technical jargon used. Between your CTO’s, C-47’s, and your stingers; it can get pretty overwhelming for someone outside the industry to understand. I’d like to go over one of the most important terms you’ll hear on any video production though: B-roll footage.

What is B-roll, and why is it so important?

B-roll is additional footage shot and used as a cutaway to help tell the story.

Film is a visual medium, so it’s important that to more effectively get your message across, you need to show, not tell, your story.  Talking heads in documentaries, interviews, testimonials, etc. are great for giving exposition and explaining a company’s mission and goals, but when there’s nothing else to cutaway to, these videos can be a real snoozefest.

For example, rather than just having a person explaining what a company does, or how a product works, you can actually show that by filming people working around the office, or using the actual product. 

A great example is this overview video for Nomads Outdoor Adventure. The interviews, or “A-roll” are important, they allow real people, and employees to tell us about Nomads, and why it’s great, but even more important is the “B-roll” footage: The action shots, showing us why we should visit this place – it looks awesome, that’s why!

 The goal of any video is to keep an audience engaged, and these cutaways help hold their interest, as well as give meaning and added dimension to the story you’re trying to tell. B-roll keeps the story moving forward, helps emphasize the points your talking heads are making, and can also be used as key footage for additional video content created in the future.

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