Why You Should Stop Shooting B-Roll

B-roll is supplemental footage that provides alternate angles, tangential storylines, or just filler for a voiceover or to help set the pace of a film and provide you with extra footage in case something isn't working in post. Although it's a standard thing, one filmmaker thinks you should stop shooting b-roll.

Coming to you from André Wallström of Creative North, these two interesting videos (part one is above) talk about why you should reconsider shooting b-roll. To be clear, the issue for Wallström is intentionality and the tendency to rely on b-roll as a means of piecing a story together after the fact instead of approaching a shoot with a carefully structured plan of action. He's not saying shooting a second angle or the like shouldn't be done, but rather focusing on the importance of developing a strong creative plan so everything is intended and you structure your shots to your story rather than the story to the shots. Check out part two below: 

I think Wallström is hitting on something worth rememberin: the importance of being deliberate in crafting creative ideas and bringing them to fruition. I personally think it makes your vision stronger and more easily realized. 

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Mark Richardson's picture

Wait what? Don't shoot b-roll, but do shoot b-roll as long as you know what b-roll you are going to shoot? Only shoot b-roll as you go along and make sure it tells the story? Only shoot b-roll while you are climbing on your roof and do it with two cameras, otherwise b-roll is crap.

This is so nonsensical...

Is this really a problem?

What a waste of time.

John Sheehan's picture

I was a little confused too, but I also got bored and stopped watching.

I have no problem with B-Roll since it gives you options in editing. When I direct things I'll often have the people assisting (since sets are usually filled with other filmmakers helping out) get B-Roll for me since it frees me up to concentrate on main shots I need to get, and sometimes they cover in-the-moment-things that would otherwise be lost.

Richard Barcelo's picture

Yeah I stopped watching too because I was bored. I guess a little bit of b-roll would have been nice! :D

I think I get the point. I guess what he means is don't just shoot anything for the sake of it. Think about what you really need and film it.

It's a pretty weird way of saying it tho...

Excellent. Your three reviews/comments saved ___ minutes of my life. Seriously. I wondered what the? Just A-roll of my interviewee? +1 for each of you!