What Is B-Roll and Why Is It Important?

We are often asked what the term “B-roll” means and why it matters so much to our production. Let’s dive into that and look at some examples.

When watching a video, the main narration or voice over is considered the A-roll, which is the main focus of the video. B-roll is the footage that plays over the top of the A-roll to makes it more visually compelling to the viewer. Oftentimes, it takes a narration and then shows the specifics. For example, in heist movies, there is often a character that talks about their plan to break into a bank. That plan being discussed would be the A-roll. But the scenes that play over top of that A-roll of the characters implementing the plan? That’s the B-roll.

For Example

Let’s take a look at a video that we produced for the YMCA earlier this year. In this video, the interview with the kids would be the A-roll and the footage over top of them practicing in the gym is the B-roll. Imagine while you’re watching this video if it were only the kids talking. A-roll only. Pretty boring, right? The B-roll over top shows the viewer the drills, activities, excitement, and conveys what they are talking about in their narration. It takes video production to the next level. We at Storyline feel that B-Roll is necessary for almost all video productions and truly brings the story to life.

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