The problem starts right in the name itself: B-roll. The term B-roll footage seems to suggest that a film or video production team can get away with employing their B-game to capture it.
That couldn’t be further from the truth and when you’re setting out to execute an interview-based web promo video shoot or corporate video production, B-roll footage may be the element that gives the project its distinct energy, its life.
The trick is to put the same time, effort, and thought into getting your B-roll footage that you put into producing your main interview or primary material.
B-roll is your chance to establish yourself and your brand as a unique entity, one that operates, perhaps, outside the box even, if appropriate. You can display a visual inventiveness that’s hard to demonstrate in a talking-head-style interview setup.
The B-roll basics and beyond.
Essentially, the way it works is your primary footage should adequately tell your story and get your message across to the intended audience, while B-roll commonly functions as the glue that keeps it all together and moving smoothly.
However, B-roll footage can be so much more than just a storytelling adhesive. Yes, it can mask transitions, but it can also provide viewers with information that’s simply easier to show than tell, and can add some flair to any video production, not just an interview-based project.
It’s not just about providing something of an escape to bored viewers, tired of looking at a talking head either. It’s also about giving the viewer visuals of the objects the interviewee is talking about, the people and places he or she is discussing, and the actions being spoken of.
Well-produced B-roll footage brings the interviewee’s words to life and keeps things interesting for the viewers. So, don’t just get it to get it. Be inventive, clever, and creative at every opportunity, and try to use B-roll to bring something truly original to your project.
How to use B-roll cleverly.
Like mentioned above, it can be a challenge to get creative and inventive with things like camera angles and distances when you’re executing an interview-based web promo video production.
Most of the time, you don’t want to risk distracting the viewer from what’s being said in the interview. It’s a fine line to walk, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon putting any real thought into B-roll.
While you want to avoid creating a distraction, you still want to infuse your video with some type of originality, something that sets it apart and gives people something to remember.
Since we’re talking, basically, about interview-based promotional web video productions, using something like a big plot twist as a storytelling device is probably not the most appropriate approach.
That’s where B-roll comes into play, and you can do more than just keep an eye out for interesting visuals. You can frame objects or movements in creative ways, using eye-catching angles and varying distances, to produce unforgettable visuals.
Then, there’s time lapse videography. You can cleverly demonstrate how a product or service works while it’s being discussed, or even give the viewer a brief glimpse of the kind of satisfaction they can feel if they utilize your company’s offerings by displaying a happy customer’s experience.
The same goes for the use of slow motion. The point is, B-roll may be the only time you can apply these tools to create uniquely interesting visuals that would be inappropriate for the interview portion.
These kinds of visuals give viewers more insight into the attitude and personality of a company or brand and promote a certain level of engagement. People will get the feeling that they’re hearing the true voice of your company.
Make sure you make time for B-roll.
Clever B-roll and sound design are often the elements that separate an interview-based web promo video from the rest. They’re also the aspects of production most commonly neglected in any video production process.
Make sure you give the biggest, most daunting aspects of your production process their due time so as not to end up scrambling for time to capture B-roll.
Scheduling, in any film or video production, is of the utmost importance. So, you must do everything in your power to make sure you leave yourself enough time to try different things and get creative with B-roll.
Again, it’s easy to slip into the practice of grabbing a few B-roll shots that seem relevant to the material and calling it a day. But it’s in your interest to try to use the B-roll process as an opportunity to create inventive, interesting, and original imagery that the viewer won’t soon forget.
KVibe Productions is a full-service video production company. Whether it’s a promotional web video production, a corporate video, or a commercial video production, KVibe offers the total package of multimedia services from development through distribution.