B-Roll footage visually clarifies expands on a story.

Cara Friez avatar
Written by Cara Friez
Updated over a week ago

B-Roll is additional footage used in an edit to support and expand on the story.

B-Roll is recorded during a broadcast news, documentary, or film production. It can also be stock footage. B-Roll does not always require sound to be recorded, but it is best practice always to record audio if needed.

B-roll should match what is being said in the audio of a sequence. "SAY DOG, SEE DOG" is a common phrase in broadcast journalism and documentary. For example, if we hear someone saying "dog" in the story, we need to see a dog in the story. Whatever is being said or discussed, the viewer needs to see it.

Here are a few more reasons to use B-roll:

  • Prevent boredom for the viewers by providing visual variety.

  • Hide continuity issues, like jump cuts, in the edit.

  • Introduce subjects or settings.

  • Clarify and give context to what’s being discussed.

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