What Is B-Roll and Why Is It So Valuable?


Cinematography industry has witnessed an incredible progression and passion, especially in the recent years. The immense technological advancement and high level of creativity in the Video graphical industry have paved the way for many innovative techniques in recording video footages. One such notable contribution was the introduction of B-Roll. B-Roll has become an indispensable part of videography. Let us discuss this trending subject.

What is B- Roll?

For a common man, it is indeed an unfamiliar word or concept. Hence, before we take up anything further, it is good to start with its meaning. In simple terms, B-Roll is an additional ingredient fed into a Live Running Footage. It may take up various forms such as pictures, small video clip, graphics or any other cartoon.

Filmmakers love B-Roll as it provides amazing results. Incorporation of B Roll added much flexibility and makeover to the whole footage! B-Roll does it work for both the expert filmmaker and the beginner. It is found highly beneficial for documentaries, to enroll news stories and interview sessions with celebrities and famous personalities. B-Roll ensures the much-needed professionalism and adds clarity while presenting the overall scenario of the video. B-Roll has the ability to make even the boring footage into a decent one and engage the viewers.

Application of B-Roll

To understand it further, let us discuss some examples here. This will help us grasp its wider meaning.

  • Now let us assume that we are interviewing a famous film celebrity. The footage will keep progressing with the casual conversation between the interviewer and the celebrity. Such a casual talk may not engage and entertain viewers, rather it brings monotony. Now here comes the pertinent role of B-Roll! To get the attraction and the attention, additional elements inculcated in the interview session can boost the show and revive the viewers from boredom. For instance, during the same time the celebrity keeps talking, the background speech can be run by switching to some other visuals. The visuals can be a film so starred with him or the hit songs.
  • Similar to this, new channels make use of B-Roll. The newsreader keeps reporting the news while the visuals focusing towards the footage of occurrence of the incident explained in the news.
  • Everyone is familiar with Facebook. Let us take discuss the usage of B- Roll here. You must have seen video ads on Facebook that takes a quick transition from one video to another. This is made possible with B-Rolls and it is highly integrated with Social Media.
  • B-Roll can also be effectively applied to numerous other areas such as documentary, film shoot, wedding video coverage, for time-sensitive airing companies and many more fields.

Hope, now you have got an overall idea about the B-Roll.  Let us take a look at its significance.

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Significance of B-Roll

  1. B-Roll ensures advanced professionalism to the video record.
  2. B-Roll is useful to hide the drawbacks and unfortunate errors in the live recorded footage, a kind of smart work.
  3. B-Roll increases more flexibility in a video presentation to the video editor. Editing can be done without the acknowledgment of the viewer.
  4. B-Roll gives a lively touch to the matter of presentation while being presented to the audience.
  5. B-Roll helps portray the content more precisely and accurately.
  6. B-Roll can be most fruitfully visible for a perfect understanding of the episode.
  7. The captive and visuals attained from B-Roll shoot can help focus on important parts of the footage within the constraint of the time limit. It effectively means B-Roll helps in time management.
  8. B-Roll is beneficial for any budgeted filmmaking.
  9. B-Roll is efficiently used in Marketing as it captures the attention of the viewers within the shortest period of time.

B-Roll: The Ultimate Essence of the Story Play

The contributions of B-Roll are increasingly felt in today’s story making domain too. The sound effects played in the background can help the listeners understand the story and the essence of it. A highly skilled professional video editor can make the theme of video excellent by way of his intelligence in editing to perfection. Video editors must have abundant knowledge as to where to cut the video and where to perfectly fit the additional clip.  If the editing process is done and aligned in correspondence with matching sounds and visuals, the audience will be engaged and entertained. The good news here is with the help of B-Roll, these cumbersome tasks can be creatively transformed into visuals treat even by a beginner. Ofcourse, the use of B-Roll requires one to take training as to how to use it.

How to Capture a Fine B-Roll?

Let us discuss here some ideal tips to capture a fine B-Roll.

Coverage of Location

Initially, before stepping on to the actual work, make sure to cover the surrounding area where you need to condense the theme.

Shooting comes First

When you are not sure whether you don’t get a chance to shoot a particular shot, then it is always wise to take out that spot without being bothered about the adjustments of a camera.

Walk in and Walkout

The highlighted character of the documentary shall be recorded at each minute sequence of real motion. Thus, you should not forget to cover the walk-in shot and walk out shot of the person so that it can be edited to fit in the first and the last sessions of the footage.

Lens Correlation

The interchangeable use of different dimensional lens gives a perfect look to the footage and a view from the different angles of outlook.

Foreground Theme

Initial focus can be first concentrated to any foreground theme before the entry of the character. Later the foreground can be smudged by zooming towards the real object entry of footage.

Background Theme

Similar to foreground capture, soon after the coverage of the object or the person, the camera can be moved side to any background theme to give a motion and lively look to the video.

Zoom In and Zoom Out

The videographer can focus and release the zoom with a different dimensional lens so as to give a nice perception of footage.

Blur Effects

While shooting the core theme, a blur effect can be used to the supplementary objects to make a feeling of HD resolution of the video.

Coordination of the whole Mixture

Finally comes, the awesome artistic touch to the work. The perfect blend of all the tiny clips shot is equally important similar to the A to Z shooting from the very beginning to the end! The editor should be so keen to arrive at a proper mixture to match each sequence. The sound effects played behind and the alternative B-Roll integrated should go hand in hand.

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Why is B-Roll Highly Valuable?

We have covered a lot and you must have great clarity now as to its meaning, significance and the contributions of B-Roll. If you wonder why this B-Roll is given more importance and widely talked about in the industry? Or Why B-Roll is highly preferred by those who work in the cinematography field? Let us deep dive into it now.

From editing a story to adding the features create a memory. The success of a film shoot is measured by its ability to create an everlasting memory in the minds of viewers. Similarly, objects or the places in a film shoot should evoke an interest in others. B-Roll with its excellent user-friendly features and sophisticated editing capability ensures an awesome live experience for viewers. B-Roll can act as a well-tuned engaging component which provides all the information for the audience with a great visual treat. Narrating the information through a video concept, B-Roll catches the attention of the viewers in the quickest way possible. It enables cutting the footage in between the interview while the continuity of the program never lost. Most importantly, this task is done without letting the audience know that the transition has been made.

Coming after the A-Roll, the B-Roll is an essential piece for all photographers to capture different scenes. The role of B-Roll differs from companies to persons based on needs. Close up shots are highly preferred with B-Roll. However, photographers make use of wide, medium and close up shots from different locations to make the editing stage easier. There are no rigid steps for each and every shoot. The method and style of the shoot with B-Roll may differ depending upon the type of video you want to shoot and the approach of a person shooting the same. The prime function of B-Roll is to keep the audience engaged by editing the footages and to enrich the overall experience. Hope, now you have understood the significance of shooting with B-Roll, its user rich features and the feasibility of editing the material from a different location with proper lightening focusing multiple angles. The B-Roll has already made an impact in the cinematography and video industry. A lot has changed better and beautiful with the use of B-Roll.

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