Apr 6, 2022

What is B Roll

2 minute read
Michael Aubry

You may have heard this term but don't fully know what b roll is. In simple terms it's secondary footage you add into a video to add context to the narrative.

In Hollywood this term was coined because there needed to be a distinction between the main footage (A roll) to the secondary footage (B roll).

Why Use B Roll Footage

You may be wanting to create content for YouTube or Instagram. You're thinking of ways to make your content more interesting. This is when B roll footage can be used as a tool to engage your audience.

There is multiple tools you can use, and B roll is one of the better ones IMO to improve the production quality. With Motionbox b roll you can easily create interesting content with our Pexels integration.

Lets say in the main A roll you or your client is speaking about a pain point, you can easily search our library of content to find someone expressing pain, by simply typing in the keyword "pain".

As the speaker is talking about this point, you can overlay that segment with the b roll. Take a look at one of my videos to see an example.

When Should I Use B Roll

You can use B Roll in a Hollywood production or in a short Instagram clip. The spectrum is wide, but since most people are using it in clips, it's one of the things can add a Hollywood like production quality that is cheap and easy.

With higher production quality and less time spent, you achieve both better engagement from you audience, and the ability to focus on other things.

You can also use it for 10 minute to 1 hour videos for YouTube, there will obviously be a bit more work involved than a 60 second clip, but by using B roll you can increase watch time.

Who Is B Roll For?

Most folks who create video could benefit from it, but typically you see motivations speakers, coaches, educators use it to add drama and to emphasize points more vividly.

While you're telling a story in the main A roll footage, you can emphasize your point using a clip that sort of reenacts what you're telling, which adds extra depth and is far more engaging to the viewer.

Michael Aubry

Hey 👋 I am the founder and maker of Motionbox. My mission is to build useful tools in the video space. I enjoy science, art, and sports. Feel free to reach out to me.

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