How To Shoot a B-Roll Sequence From Start To Finish

There are a lot of keys that unlock great-looking video productions, and one, in particular, is your b-roll. Not only can it improve your story-telling and flow, but it can keep the viewer engaged and watching — something more important than ever in today's world of distractions. Here is how you can shoot a great b-roll sequence from start to finish.

For the uninitiated, b-roll is the footage that goes between your a-roll. That is, your primary footage for your video often needs supplemental footage to help transition from scene to scene, to add interest, or to help tell the story. It's easy to forget how prevalent b-roll is in almost every video you watch until you specifically look out for it. It sounds as if it's just filler, but if you're using it as filler, you're missing a lot of potential.

B-roll as filler is easy, but b-roll as an important part of your production is deceptively difficult to pull off. It must stay in keeping with the overall aesthetic of the shoot, the pacing, and add something to the final product. For that, you need a lot of variation and creativity, and there are few ways to get a better understanding of what is required than watching a professional behind-the-scenes.

In this video, Lizzie Peirce takes you BTS of a fitness video shoot and shows you the shot she wants to get and how she got them.

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2 Comments
Paul Trantow's picture

Remember to shoot ten times as much b-roll as you think you need. Save us from ridiculous multi-angle interview shots!

J. R. Wheatley's picture

"Here's how you can do it."

Yes. If I was shooting that shoot, I could do it that way. But the "how to" bit sort of led me to believe that there might be some tutorial-like quality to this vid. Some pointers at least. General principles. Something.

This was two young ladies in athletic wear shooting a scene from a shot list outdoors on a private road. I'm not sure I learned anything, except she likes her new gimbal.