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B-roll is so important to your project as a whole, but what is it exactly?

Back in the day, editors used to use cast-off pieces of film to splice into the middle of scenes in order to either give it more depth or to help aid pacing. These pieces proved themselves to be useful.

Eventually, directors were shooting some extra things to cut in there if they needed it.

We call that stuff B-roll, but more on that later.

Today I want to talk about the general theory behind B-roll and the ways you can shoot it so it’s exciting and cinematic.

So let’s begin.

What is B-Roll and How Can You Make Yours Cinematic?

B-roll definition

B-roll is the alternative footage to the principal photography—the main shots in your project—and is used to complement the A-roll. Sometimes, B-roll will be written as “B-roll footage, Broll, or B roll.”

The difference between A-roll and B-roll

A-roll is usually focused on the characters and the main plot. B-roll is the footage that will work as insert shots, cutaways, and coverage among other things.

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Source: No Film School