Tips and tutorials

 

What differences a Good B-roll package from a Bad B-roll package?

The thing about shooting B-roll footage from scratch, is that is not so easy to make the difference between providing enough variety (types of shots and angles) and including material that is not relevant. Likewise, there’s a really fine line between keeping all the clips relevant to a single subject and adding clips to your B-roll package that are simply too much alike. 

 Don’t get confused

  • Think from the editor’s perspective: you wouldn’t use two royalty free video clips that look exactly the same on your final edit, would you?

  • Keep a 360 degrees vision: ensure you’ll provide with enough variety of shots without becoming irrelevant by capturing different points of view of the same topic. Keep into account that every shot of your B-roll package will be used in the same project, so there's less value in a package that includes 2+ shots that look almost the same.


 

GOOD B-ROLL PACKAGE

BAD B-ROLL PACKAGE

  • Provides different types of shots of the same subject or topic. As an example, you can provide a B-roll package of a city landscape that includes a long shot and an aerial shot for establishing, a pan or tilt shot to show people walking on the street, and a close up of a bright detail.
  • Fails to bring enough variety, and offers a compound of shots that are exactly the same. For example, a B-roll package that includes 3 to 5 wide shots of the same place. An editor will most likely not find a use for all of them, making the whole package lose usability.

 

  • Includes shots with different angles, and provides rhythm to the story.

 

  • Gives the impression that there was no production thought behind it and that the camera was set on the same place.

 

  • All of the shots can be used and will co-exist harmoniously in the same project.

 

  • Provides a list of similar shots from which the editor can pick the best one and store the rest.

 

  • The video clips in the package keep consistent artistic and technical decisions.

 

  • Lighting, color palette and temperatures change from clip to clip

 

 


 

If it makes it easy for you, try to think of a story - it doesn’t have to be too specific - and make your shot list based on that one story. To get inspired, remember to stop by our HOT TOPICS page, with suggestions coming directly from our customers. Let’s see some examples related to the main topics of B-roll footage:

 

B-roll package topic: LANDSCAPES (location)

This is a great opportunity for long shots, aerial shots and timelapses. Although you shouldn’t be scared of including a medium shot or a close up. Look at this Lake Eola (Orlando, US) B-roll package from our stock footage library for reference; you’ll see a wide range of shots between close-ups of the wildlife in the lake as well as long pan shots of the monuments around it.  Remember that tilt shots and pan shots will also help the story move forward and give some rhythm to the entire piece.

  • MAIN USE OF THIS TOPIC: ESTABLISHING A LOCATION. THE PLACES PORTRAYED IN THIS KIND OF B-ROLL FOOTAGE MUST STRONGLY REPRESENT THE SPECIFIC LOCATION. 

 

B-roll package topic: PEOPLE

If the main topic of your B-roll footage is directly related to the people in it, keep in mind that people are commonly portrayed in an office setting, walking down a street, working in a hospital, or playing sports. The key here is to concentrate on the specific activity they are showcasing, then you can think of good (and relevant) types of shots.

Look at this B-roll package that can be found in our stock footage library, of a young couple walking up some hills. Notice that the artist included a couple of long shots to establish the location of the couple, but you can also see some medium shots showing what they are doing and close-ups of their reactions:

  • MAIN USE OF THIS TOPIC: SHOWCASING A SPECIFIC ACTIVITY. THE VIDEO CLIPS IN A B-ROLL PACKAGE LIKE THIS ONE SHOULD FOLLOW THE SUBJECT THROUGH THE ACTIVITY BING PERFORMED.

 

B-roll package topic: NATURE/WILDLIFE

While it is true that this topic gives you more creative freedom than others and you can shoot pretty much anything that catches your eye’s attention, it’s also makes you prone to including shots that are irrelevant. The best way to avoid this is to, again, think like the editor: stick to the same color palette, lighting, and artistic decisions.

Look at this royalty free footage of horses in their natural habitat; you will see how the artist achieves an interesting pattern of color with long shots that showcase the horses as a herd, he also approaches the anatomy aspect with close-ups, and also emphasizes in their behavior through some medium pan/tilt shots.

  • MAIN USE OF THIS TOPIC: IT VARIES; IT COULD BE USED FOR SCIENTIFIC OR ESTABLISHING PURPOSES, THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO SHOOT SOMETHING THAT CAN BE USED BOTH WAYS.

 

For more help towards creating your first B-roll package, check our guidelines and the Contributors FAQ. You can always contact our support team for additional information.

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