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B-Roll – What Is It and Why We Use It

B-Roll – What Is It and Why We Use It

B-Roll is a term that was derived in the early days of video technology.  The primary source of footage shot and used to create the video was referred to as the A-Roll. In contrast, the additional footage which would be inserted as a cutaway shot is the B-Roll and used to help tell the story, create understanding, and emphasize emotion whether in the studio or the field.  What that looks like will depend upon the type of video you are shooting.   B-roll creates a connection between the viewer and what you are speaking about, allowing them to understand better what you want them to know and provides a complete picture. 

B-roll is essential to telling your story because it acts as a checklist to everything you want to represent in your video that will engage your viewer. One thing that is unique to B-roll is that you will never hear the original audio.  There is always a VO to accompany this footage.  B-roll allows you to complete your message compellingly through visual cues.

A picture is worth 1000 words, and a B-roll video is a crucial component in your corporate video content.  Videos offer a ton of information, but a static shot with a talking head(s) is nothing without the support of visual elements. Whether promotional, how-to, event, product, services, or interviews, B-roll allows you to supplement your primary video source, creating depth, credibility, understanding, and connection to your brand and story.  B-roll creates a compelling context for the viewer, emphasizing points of information. B-roll establishes the relationship between the words we hear and the audience, keeping your content relatable.

The nature of films and documentaries allow you to create an immersive experience and B-roll helps advance that narrative. It acts as a link between scenes, establishes the tone, a transition of emphasis, the lead-in to the moments of significant impact, establishes the setting, and creates pacing.  B-roll creates emotion. It is essential to keep your audience engaged along the journey.

Social videos also do well with great B-Roll. The fleeting nature of social videos means you need to communicate as much detail as possible with usually as few words as possible. B-Roll comes to the rescue. It helps you to augment your visual story and convey those enticing details that make your brand tick.

Now is a great time to sit with our creative team and discuss your next project.  Let us help tell your story!

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