You’ve done it: shot the perfect testimonials and host footage for your next commercial. Now all you’ve got to do it fill it out with some killer b-roll. But how do you decide which footage to go for, and what do you do with the footage once you have it? Check out IDR Productions’ 6 tips for creating the perfect b-roll.
- Change up your shooting style.
You can have the most captivating host in the word, but no one wants to stare at a talking head for 40 minutes. While your information and message may be well crafted, these types of video don’t make for a visually compelling story without some added shots. This is where b-roll will be your savoir. B-roll gives you a chance to be even more creative with storytelling. Take this opportunity to introduce interesting camera angles and movements that draw your audience even further into the message. The juxtaposition of more visually appealing shots to a talking head makes for an eye-catching video your consumers won’t forget.
- Keep it relevant.
At the same time, your b-roll needs to make sense in the context of your overall video. If you’re shooting an interview with a doctor or other professional, inserting b-roll of kittens playing is sure to confuse your audience. B-roll’s job is to show your audience what you’ve been telling them with your interviews and voiceover. B-roll should enhance your story by visually demonstrating your message. Having conflicting b-roll detracts from your message and leaves your consumers wondering what the point of it all is. Long story short: if your b-roll isn’t adding to your story, it’s subtracting from it.
- Go into it with a plan.
Great b-roll doesn’t just happen. When going into a b-roll shoot, it’s vital to film to your script and have a solid idea of what message you want your consumers to get out of your b-roll. Rushing into a shoot without a plan is a surefire way to come out with almost nothing useable. When looking over the script, you should have almost a concrete plan of what visuals will enhance the story you’re telling. Find your product’s best selling points, and prepare to shoot footage to show them off. Not only does this guarantee quality b-roll, but it also streamlines your shoot, saving you time and money. That’s what we call an all-around success, otherwise known as a detailed shot list.
- Don’t be afraid to ignore that plan.
Sometimes, life throws you a bone you weren’t expecting. This bone can come in the form of an amazing pickup shot that you in no way planned for. Whether it’s an image that you simply hadn’t thought of or a beautifully unscripted moment, it’s a visual that you know you don’t want to miss. In this case, shoot first and ask questions later. You don’t want to risk missing an amazing shot simply because it’s not on the shot list. Maybe you’ll use the footage, maybe you won’t. But, it’s always going to be better to have the shot, lest you want it later and don’t have it. Worst case, it makes for some quality BTS footage!
- Don’t disregard your talking heads.
While you’re getting creative with your b-roll, don’t forget to keep your interviews and host shoot footage in mind. Your talking heads is the meat and potatoes of your video, and sets the tone for what your b-roll should look like. Are your testimonials more serious or lighthearted? Does you b-roll need to keep with that tone, or do you need to contrast it to set a more neutral tone? Your talking heads will always be an essential aspect of your production, so any b-roll should compliment it seamlessly.
- Be strategic with b-roll placement.
Having the greatest b-roll in the world won’t matter if you don’t place it properly. B-roll should be used to cover smooth transitions in footage and break up any longer clips. Placing b-roll in the wrong place can be jarring, unappealing, and distract from your message. Remember, b-roll should be enhancing the story you’re telling. B-roll should appear to fluidly fit in with all other footage you’ve shot for the commercial, accentuating the message you’re conveying. So make sure to either shoot on the same camera, or on cameras that are complementary of one another! With the right placement, your b-roll footage creates a captivating visual that keeps your consumers locked in to your video.
Would you like to learn more about video b-roll, or about any other video topic? Reach out to IDR for additional information and answers to all your questions. You’ll discover why we’re Orange County’s premier producer of TV commercials, infomercials, and online videos for a wide range of businesses, organizations, and brands.