Magazine article Communication World

B-Roll-It's Alive! Carefully Curated Video Montages Help Bring Corporate Interviews to Life

Magazine article Communication World

B-Roll-It's Alive! Carefully Curated Video Montages Help Bring Corporate Interviews to Life

Article excerpt

The "talking head" interview is the most filmed scene in the corporate world, but while the information presented in these interviews may be important, the only thing that moves in these videos is the tiny portion of the frame containing the interviewee's lips. This breaks a basic rule of good videography: If nothing moves (or only a little something moves), it's a lousy video. In other words, static shots of signage, buildings, products--and yes, your CEO pontificating--are boring.

The solution to this death-by-dullness interview scenario? Use b-roll to bring life to your video.

Not only do b-rolls help break up the monotony of talking head interviews, but they are also great for hiding cuts and slices to your audio track. If your interviewee rambles off subject, coughs or peppers her responses with useless (and quickly irritating) phrases such as "umm," "you know" or "like," cutting away to b-roll will cover the edits necessary to smooth out and tighten up the audio.

New trends in b-roll

As video production gains popularity in corporate communications, the need for meaningful b-roll becomes greater. Forward-thinking companies are building b-roll libraries of their people, places and activities, and making the footage accessible to employees producing videos via in-house portals.

In addition, many websites offer rights-protected and royalty-free b-roll footage. There are even some that offer totally free downloadable clips in various formats, both compressed and uncompressed. The U.S. government is one of the largest producers of public domain stock; videos produced by the U.S. military, NASA and other agencies are available to the public for use as stock footage. (Access the library through the National Archives.)

If you are dealing with an outside firm, make absolutely sure it is a reputable agency, double-check the copyright license, and confirm that the quality is equal to your other video footage.

Your best option, though, is to shoot your own b-roll. That way you can rest easy about the quality, the content and the copyright.

B-roll best practices

Get enough coverage. In film terms, coverage refers to shooting all the mandatory subject matter using a variety of camera angles and techniques. These include wide, medium and close-up shots, as well as high and low perspectives. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.