For all the film school students out there who are learning how to make movies, I came across this great video all about b-roll, and you should definitely watch it. It’s also a great refresher for independent filmmakers, and surprisingly, goes into a lot of great details for only a short segment.

The video is done by YouTube Channel StudioBinder, and is hosted by Elliot Rosen. It covers what b-roll is, how it got its name, what it’s used for, and Rosen goes an extra mile by giving three tips on how to shoot it. 

What I love is how he not only gives you facts about b-roll, but also talks about how b-roll can be used to tell the story visually and subconsciously.

In one example, from Spike Jonze’s Her (pictured above) Rosen explains how this b-roll adds to the story. Not only does he give us an idea of what Theodore, played by Joaquin Phoenix, is seeing as Scarlett Johansson’s character, Samantha, talks about her rapid understanding of the world, but he also gives the viewer a hint of how her consciousness is not any more tangible than dust. 

Crazy cool, eh? Storytelling at it’s finest.

This is just one tiny glimpse from this seven minute video, Rosen also gives great tips on pre-production, and even gives an example of how to shoot b-roll from the perspective of two different genres.

Overall, this is a great video for those starting out, and for those more professional independent filmmakers to get fresh vision and inspiration for your next film, watch it!


  • Charis Joy Jackson

    Producer, Director, Writer, Actress

    Charis Joy Jackson is a writer, director, producer and teacher working with The Initiative Production Company. During the day she makes movies and in her spare time writes short stories and novel. She's a self-proclaimed nerd who wishes she could live in Hobbiton. You can follow her on Instagram @charisjoyjackson

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