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Using b-roll

Are you prepared for TV exposure ?

It can happen at any time and a well-produced b-roll can ensure that only positive images are shown.

What is b-roll ?

A b-roll is a sequence of shots intended for use on TV programmes. Crucially, it’s shot in the style of professional TV news footage.

It is intended to describe the activities of a company or organisation – rather than news events which are the preserve of the video news releases.

It may be a single video or a whole mini-library but the essential feature of b-roll is that it is shot in a way that makes the company look good and can be easily used by TV stations.

It normally has a long shelf-life and can be used when the occasion demands.

It may be shots of a production process, some company signage or just the managing director walking around the shop floor. Next time there’s a news story involving the company, these positive shots can be offered for immediate use.

Many forward-thinking companies have b-roll in the same way as they have still photographs and written PR assets. It’s an import way to control reputations and public perceptions. In fact these pre-prepared items really come into their own in time of crisis when positive images are at their most valuable.

Did you know ?
The major video libraries – such BBC News, ITN Source and Sky News – contain huge quantities of b-rolls from various origins which they consistently use.

Did you know ?
The description b-roll originates from the days of linear news editing. The ‘A’ machine would have all the important news shots or interviews and the ‘B’ machine would have cutaways and ancillary images. They would be edited together to create the final package. And of course the terminology has continued to be used.