The importance of B-roll: how to use B-roll and raise your videos on a new level

Feb 6, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

The importance of B-roll: how to use B-roll and raise your videos on a new level

Feb 6, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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How much do you use video in your work? Do you use B-rolls? They make the video work more complete, more dynamic and add interest. And if you are still relatively new to making and implementing B-roll into your videos, Peter McKinnon will help you make the best of it.

YouTube video

What is B-roll?

It’s alternative or supplemental footage you can sue to cut on top of your main footage. It serves many purposes: it makes the video more interesting, it makes a point, it leads the viewer to a certain direction. Or like Peter, you can use it to cover the frame of yourself talking and make the video more engaging.

Peter gives an example of his own vlog. He likes to begin it with a B-roll shot to set the mood of each video.  And considering the growing number of his followers, he can’t be wrong. Just look at the examples he gives, when he makes the vlog with and without the B-roll. The additional footage makes the video more interesting and playful.

How to make B-roll really count?

B-roll makes the video more dynamic, no doubt about that. But, adding just any footage is not enough. You should pay attention to representing the environment, give the whole video some context and make it informative by using video material. You can also add the music to set the mood and round it up.

An extra tip from Peter is to do some cool stuff for the video (even if they don’t make too much of a story on their own). He and the crew used smoke bombs, which created a great effect in the video. And if you do something like this, add it to the remaining context, don’t shoot it on its own.

How to shoot B-roll

You can use anything to shoot the B-roll: iPhone, drone, video camera, DSLR… Don’t forget that phones have come a long way, and you can use an iPhone to make awesome shots in 4K.

One piece of advice is to shoot B-roll at 120 fps. This creates a more cinematic effect when you slow the footage down.

Shoot anytime, and anywhere. Even if you don’t plan to use the B-roll for one project, if you catch something interesting, film it. You can add it to the archive and use it in some of your future projects.

And lastly, you can never shoot too much. It’s better to shoot more even if you don’t use it, than shoot too little and realize you need more material once you start editing.

[Step up your Filmmaking: The Importance Of B-Roll | Peter McKinnon]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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2 responses to “The importance of B-roll: how to use B-roll and raise your videos on a new level”

  1. Renata Nigmann Buchko Avatar
    Renata Nigmann Buchko

    Andy Brown

  2. Kay O. Sweaver Avatar
    Kay O. Sweaver

    There is no such thing as enough b-roll. Your editors will love you (provided its good).