In the craziness of capturing all of your principal photography, b-roll can sometimes fall by the wayside, but don't let it! As we've said before, b-roll is the glue that holds your footage together, so it's important to know what to capture, how to capture it, and how to use it when it comes time to edit it all together in post. In this video, Peter McKinnon gives you some excellent tips on shooting and utilizing your supplemental footage. Check it out below:
The kind of b-roll you'll be shooting depends entirely on the kind of project you're working on. In the video, McKinnon uses his own vlogging style as an example, which requires footage of him using his cameras and drones in the field. This makes sense considering the fact that he is making a piece about shooting photographs in a forest, but for your own work, you'll have to figure out what kind of story you're telling, as well as what kind of piece it's a part of.
If you're shooting a vlog, your b-roll might be very similar to McKinnon's example. If you're shooting a feature film, your b-roll might be more staged and choreographed. If you're shooting a documentary about a logging community, your b-roll might have a lot of b-roll revealing locations, people, workers, and lumber being processed in a lumber yard.
So, first things first: b-roll is super important. It hides transitions, gives the viewer more visual information, and makes the piece more interesting to look at. Second, know what kind of b-roll your project needs. The kind of story you're telling will inform this decision. Third, you can never shoot too much b-roll. Even when you think, "Yep, got enough," shoot a little more.
Source: Peter McKinnon