Using B-Roll to Improve Video

What Is B-Roll and Why Do We Need it?

I love learning new things, and entering the drone world almost 4 years ago has been a fantastic way to do just that.  Learning to fly and build drones gave way to learning to create interesting and innovative videos.  I am still on a huge learning curve and inspiration often strikes at the strangest times.  This weeks inspiration…B-Roll!

I’ve been watching a series by Jerry Seinfeld called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.  It’s funny in a way that only Jerry can pull off.  But one of the things that continually catches my attention is their creative use of B-roll.

CoffeeB-roll is the extra footage captured to enrich the story you’re telling by adding cutaways to other images to that will add dimension to your story. B-roll can include additional video footage, still photographs, animation or other graphic elements.  Jerry’s editors throw in shots of coffee being made and cars being driven that really add to the viewing experience.

Showing just aerial footage was great 4 years ago when no one had drones.  But now drones are just another creative tool.  If all you are showing is aerial footage then your videos will probably be pretty dull.  But mix in some cutaways and things suddenly become much more interesting.

Later this year I will be shooting a 5k charity run.  The aerial footage is what they called me for, but I already plan on having multiple cameras on site.

RunnersIn addition to the drone, I will have several GoPros at strategic points to capture runners as they run by or grab a drink, and I will be bringing an Osmo for some smooth moving footage at ground level.  This will leave me with a ton of footage to scrub through for what will be a short video, but I think the results will be well worth the extra effort.

If you want to see an example of an interview with and without B-Roll watch the 1-minute excerpt from an interview Rachel had with Jim Burns, CEO of Avitage, on the subject of b-roll at this link – Reflection Films – Boston, MA – Video Production | Video: what is b-roll?


2 thoughts on “Using B-Roll to Improve Video”

  1. Good article Barry

    B-Roll like you say is a great way to make drone videos more interesting
    When you see the shots that go into a video like coffee/cars they must use lots of cameras and shots
    Which we can do with drones, osmos, gopros and iphones

    Pool temple nearly complete will be back into the next video project soon


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