The Key to Creating a Great Story: B-Roll

Almost all of our video shoots consist of two types of video capture: interview and b-roll. The interview footage (also considered a-roll) is the main video of a person or other subject.

B-Roll footage is the supplemental video we lay over the interview footage. The b-roll video is extremely impactful as it helps tell the story in a more visual way. Through our initial storyboarding process, we develop a solid plan for what b-roll shots need to be captured.

In our last Snap Fitness post, we discussed the benefits of building a relationship with someone you’re interviewing. We started coming up with ideas on how to make an interview subject more comfortable prior to the interview starting. One of these ideas was to capture the b-roll before the interview.

For our Snap Fitness shoot, the morning could have involved going around the gym with Cosmo Trikes to get video of him using different types of equipment. We would’ve discussed the different types of shots we needed and Cosmo would have made it happen. Interacting with Cosmo like this would’ve allowed us to get to know him better through small talk while working together to complete the shot list. In the end, this would’ve calmed his nerves prior to the interview starting. While this would work, we would be missing out on important b-roll shots.

As videographers, we start the editing process in our heads during the interview. Based on what the subject says during their interview, we start formulating a list of additional b-roll shots that would supplement the video. This allows us to craft a better story in the end.

During our interview with Cosmo Trikes, he spoke about going around the gym each morning and talking with his friends. After the interview, we were able to capture this scene which made it into the final video that we captured for Snap Fitness. Capturing the interview footage before the b-roll creates a more efficient video shoot.

Snap Fitness operates over 2,000 fitness centers across the world, with thousands more planned in the coming years.