While you're busy obsessing over your principal photography, your b-roll is over there begging for some attention.
If you're an experienced filmmaker, you know that all of your supplemental footage requires almost as much planning, preparation, and TLC as your principal photography. Just like with anything you shoot, you've got to plan your shots, make difficult cinematic decisions, and be able to change it up at the drop of a hat if you need to, which can be a huge challenge if you don't really know what it takes to get good b-roll.
If you're new to this, don't worry, because filmmaker Darious Britt of D4Darious shares a ton of great insight on how to capture beautiful and effective b-roll for your projects in the video below.
Like always, Britt unloads a ton of great advice in this video, so here are ten takeaways that we think are the most important for capturing quality b-roll.
- Get a variety of shots: Wides, mediums, and close-ups...you're going to need them all.
- Shoot (way) more than you think you're going to need: And then shoot some more. Seriously, it gets used up quickly.
- Hold shots for at least 8-10 seconds: There's nothing worse than not having enough of a really good shot.
- Capture stuff at higher frame rates: Just in case you decide to slow it down later.
- Pay attention to camera position: High angles, low angles, and eyeline shots communicate different things to your audience, so be aware.
- Choose the right lens for your needs: Zooms are great for capturing fast-paced b-roll, but wide angle, tele, and macro are also good to have on-hand.
- Move your camera: Static shots are good, but kinetic ones keep things interesting.
- Use camera stabilizers: No one wants to watch shaky b-roll. Get yourself a monopod, gimbal, or some other kind of camera stabilizer. (Tripods work, but they might get in the way of principal photography.)
- Rack focus: Because of course you need rack focus shots.
- Experiment...a lot!: B-roll is a great time to try new things.
What have you learned from shooting b-roll? What advice would you give new filmmakers about it? Let us know down below in the comments.