Video & Filmmaking

B-Roll in Action: A Look at the Videos

March 19, 2015

By Greg Scoblete

Shooting B-roll is both an art and a science. For the March issue of PDN, we spoke with several filmmakers to learn their B-roll tips.

In the spirit of “show, don’t tell,” we’ve gathered some of the relevant videos we discussed in the B-roll piece so you can see for yourself.

In The Whale Warehouse, Mae Ryan and Grant Slater pulled back the curtain on the “hidden museums” you don’t see when you stroll through a natural history museum. Their B-roll challenge: make a cavernous room full of lifeless bones visually interesting.

Slavik Boyechko and Travis Gilmour not only tour the country training various PBS affiliates on producing web shorts, they also film the PBS series Indie America.

Josh Rothstein’s work with Puma and Usain Bolt yielded many insights into B-roll best practices, among them, the importance of proximity to the subject and the director.

B-roll is a bit like money, the more of it you have, the more flexibility and creative freedom you’ll enjoy. For these short spots for United Healthcare, photographer and director Jonathan Chapman collected over 30 minutes of footage, or more.