What is B-Roll ? Its A One Way Ticket To Enhancing Your Storytelling

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B-Roll is a great asset for video and filmmaking

Ever notice that when the news is on supplementary footage will often appear when the speaker is talking? This extra footage is called B-Roll and is often used to enrich a story. Lets look at how a video talking about global warming, melting icebergs and sea levels rising could benefit from this asset. This particular video may use B-roll to show actual footage of the icebergs breaking apart. B-roll of images showing what an iceberg looked like in previous years compared to its current state could also be shown. The post production process where editing takes place is a fine art and B-roll could be used to smooth transitions between scenes and cover any cuts.

Example 1 – Without B-Roll

Speaker discusses global warming and rising sea levels, but the camera is always focused on the subject. The video starts off with a close up shot of the speaker followed by a series of alternating shots.

B-Roll-alternative-footage-example 2

Example 2 – With B-Roll

Speaker discusses global warming and rising sea levels, but actually footage of the icebergs melting is shown. As the speaker continues talking a series of other shots appear also showing the impact of rising sea level. Rather than focus solely on the speaker the video is much more engaging with the extra footage.


As a general rule, include the following:

  1. Video footage
  2. Charts and diagrams
  3. Photographs
  4. Animation


Use B-roll to help you tell your story. It can be used effectively to generate a more engaging presence when viewers are provided with additional visual stimuli.


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