When you can’t shoot it yourself, finding footage to add a little something to your video can be difficult or expensive. Popular royalty-free music subscription service, Artlist, is looking to change that, though. They want to apply the same model they use for their music to stock video footage with their new service launching in Spring, Artgrid.
I’ve been watching more and more of the Camera Conspiracies channel lately. And while a lot of the things are slightly ludicrous (in a good, amusing way), they do say that there’s “many a true word spoken in jest”. And, oh boy, does this one ring true. B-Roll is not content.
B-Roll seems to have taken over the lives of many YouTubers, to the point where they’re basically an intro, some b-roll, and an ending. For the occasional showcase video, it’s impressive eye candy. But when it becomes the norm for all your videos, and more of your video is b-roll than actual content, it just gets boring. Please stop.
B-roll is the one thing that most of the video people I know say they want to improve at. I know it’s one of my weak points. I either don’t shoot enough of it, I end up not liking what I’ve shot, or we run out of time doing the main shoot before I realise “Hey, we still need b-roll”. I know it just takes practice, and it’s something I keep working on with every shoot.
This one popped up on my recommended videos list on YouTube earlier and I thought some of you might like it. It’s from filmmaker Daniel Schiffer, and he talks about some of his b-roll shooting techniques. Specifically, how to get smooth, cinematic looking shots, and how to shoot for transitions.
B-roll is a fact of life for anybody shooting or editing video. It’s essential. Whether an interview, talking head piece, or something a little more cinematic. It helps to break up the monotony of a single shot, it adds context, perhaps injects a metaphor or two. Many of us will film b-roll ourselves during the course of our production.
Sometimes, though, you need a clip that you just can’t shoot yourself. That’s where stock video libraries can step in to save the day. Do you need two men pointing at an office file? An angry man stuck in traffic? Happy couple walking on the beach? “We got that b-roll” has everything you need. Created by the team at Cream Sketch Comedy, it’s a very humorous take on the topic.
One thing I’ve learned as I’ve started to do more video stuff is that there’s no such thing as too much b-roll. B-roll is essentially the visual content that plays while you’re hearing something else. Creating it requires as much thought as your main shot. It needs to progress the story, or illustrate something being said. But it also needs to be visually appealing, and match the rest of the content.
It’s a vital tool in your storytelling arsenal, and knowing how to shoot it effectively is key. This video from filmmaker Darious Britt highlights its importance. And he also offers up a whole bunch of tips and advice for getting the best b-roll possible.