Have you ever watched a documentary about a given person and as the person seats down on an interview the shot cuts to other footage which might depict what they are talking about? A B Roll is essentially cutaways or secondary footage inserted into interviews to break the monotony of the main shot. In this article the main shot or primary shot will be a reference of the actual interview recording.
B Roll is an integral part of video recording, because it acts as a support or reinforcement of the narrative. It also adds visual flavor and interest, therefore bring life and meaning to the interview piece. B Rolls are also used to emphasize or create a visual backing of what the interviewee is talking about. For instance, if the interviewee is talking about their daily routine then it would be visually appealing to see segments of their daily routine such as taking a bus to work and working.
They do not necessarily have to match what the interviewee is saying. General images such as the interviewee interacting with family members or work mates also add visual flavor to an interview. The cutaways can also act as ‘patchwork’ allowing the video editor to present only the best shots and avoid unflattering segments of the footage. The interviewee might also use a lot of unnecessary words such as errs and ums; cutaways can also be used to seamlessly remove unnecessary audio seamlessly. The other vital use of cutaways is to join different shots together to create the final video in its entirety.
Designing the final look
Having the final look in mind helps to narrow down on the target audience and create a visually appealing end product. Crash zooms and whip pans can be used to capture the attention of a youthful audience, while drifting or slow shots may be used inversely.
The planning process is important
B Rolls do add production value and they therefore deserve proper planning to make sure that only the best footage is obtained. A shot list goes a long way when it comes to capturing cutaways. Planning the sequence of shots is also an important aspect of coming up with good cutaway footage.
Create a professional video interview
Audiences will generally not seat down and watch an entire interview which comprises of only the main shot with all its quality problems. A professional video interview takes into account that at the end of the day the audience have to be captivated and get the message being conveyed. The role of the B Roll is to essentially create a professional video interview. more on b roll transcription