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What Is B-Roll Footage and Why Is It So Important to Capture?

What Is B-Roll Footage and Why Is It So Important to Capture?

If you’re planning on adding video to your marketing strategy, you may already feel confident in the production process.

For example, if you’re making a product video, you probably already know that you must write a thoughtful and engaging script, create an effective storyboard, and capture high-quality shots.

However, as you prepare to film your video, did you remember to plan for B-roll footage?

B-roll footage is an essential component to creating a story-driven, captivating video. Without this critical “background” footage, you may be left with a video that loses your audience’s attention and doesn’t bring you results.

Every second the camera is rolling is another opportunity to capture something unique about your brand. The smile of a staff member genuinely loving their job, the intricacies of daily tasks, shots of day-in-the-life moments that prove your company’s authenticity; all of this type of B-roll footage can be imperative to sharing your brand’s story and articulating your message.

Before you add B-roll footage to your video, it might be helpful to know exactly what it is and why it’s so important.

What Is B-roll Footage?

B-roll is considered any additional footage that was captured while shooting. This could be snapshots of the landscape, scenes of inanimate objects, product demonstration shots, or perhaps a close-up angle of a subject’s face and emotions.

Oftentimes, B-roll footage is used to fill in the space in between main scenes and usually has a voice over or music placed over the audio.

Why Should a Video Incorporate B-roll Footage?

Including B-roll footage in your video is essential for adding depth and substance to your content. For starters, it allows viewers to gain more visual insight into your business operations while tonally accompanying any narration your video may have.

B-roll footage can also help you hide any errors or continuity mistakes you catch during the editing process. This comes in handy whenever you notice any glaring issues during post-production.

Just slice in some B-roll footage that generally aligns with either the narration or tone of your video, and voilà. Good as new!

What Type of Video Needs B-roll Footage?

Every video type can benefit from added B-roll footage!

For example, during a company story video, having a single shot of your interviewed subject throughout the entire clip will eventually lose your audience’s interest. Nobody likes staring at a stationary figure for too long, which is why quick cuts of B-roll footage are perfect for eliminating any tedious repetition that could make your video boring or stale. 

While your subject’s dialogue is essential for conveying the video’s message, adding in B-roll footage of employees interacting or behind-the-scenes shots of the office won’t only break up the visuals in your video, but it will also add some personality.

B-roll footage is also perfect for explainer videos, which can quickly become monotonous if there are limited cut-aways or transition edits while breaking down any relevant concepts, products, or services associated with your company.

Are There Different Types of B-roll Footage?

B-roll footage isn’t just random stock footage that breaks up extended segments within your video production. There are several ways B-roll footage can alter a viewer’s perception of the video to your advantage!

For starters, one of the more common examples of B-roll footage are establishing shots. These are general shots of whatever environment your production is occupying that let the viewer get a better picture of where your video is taking place. Examples of establishing shots can include hovering drone footage of your company headquarters, or panning landscape shots of any on-site visits your business makes.

You can also add more sophistication to your video production by incorporating more atmospheric B-roll footage, typically reserved for introductory shots for your video. Let’s say your production takes place in an office; what kind of shots can you incorporate into your video that give subtle hints to the production’s location without totally giving it away?

A quick shot of a hand swiping a keycard, colors lighting up on an office phone, fingers typing away at a keyboard; all of these types of atmospheric B-roll footage can create a better mood for your video and bring the viewer closer to your world.

How Should I Shoot B-roll Footage?

There are essentially two ways you can go about shooting B-roll footage: deliberately and sporadically.

If you want to be deliberate about the B-roll footage you shoot, you can always plan ahead on your production shoot, making a shot list of various types of B-roll you want to shoot (establishing shots, pick-up shots, etc.) and quickly picking them up before your actual production begins.

Sporadically shooting B-roll footage is fun for capturing more authentic moments that you cannot simply script. A great example of this can be shooting personal exchanges between employees, customers, etc., that will capture genuine emotions that are perfect for incorporating into the final edit of your production. 

What Kind of Businesses Should Use B-roll Footage?

All of them! Adding B-roll footage into your video is an essential piece to telling your video’s story.

Another example may include placing actual shots of a product during a product demonstration video. While you may start out with your subject describing your company’s new product, you’ll eventually want to switch over to B-roll footage of the actual product.

B-roll footage will provide visual examples of the features and mechanics of your product while the voiceover continues to explain.

How Much B-roll Footage Should You Capture for a Video?

How much B-roll footage you’ll need in your video will largely depend on the main goal of your video and what you’re trying to achieve.

Working with a professional video production company can help ensure your video includes the appropriate amount of B-roll footage. Experienced video marketing specialists can capture quality B-roll footage and strategically place it in your video so that it helps thoroughly convey your message while keeping your audience’s attention.

Contact Atomic 8 for Professional Video Marketing Services

Get all the right footage and information in your new video with the help of Atomic 8! We provide professional video production services that bring your business the results you’re looking for.

We’ll even get you started with a video marketing strategy to ensure all aspects of your video content gets in front of your target audience.

Receive a consultation today and contact Atomic 8 online or call us at 612-486-5580.

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