A-roll and B-roll are terms from the film era. Even though the A-roll constitutes the principal footage, the B-roll helps to add texture, content, perspective as well as providing editing options.
If a presenter’s talking to camera about fishing, cut to a B-roll of a fisherman landing a big one.
B-roll is also invaluable when you want to cover clunky scene transitions. The art is using the two rolls effectively and sparingly. You’ll compromise narrative flow if you’re constantly jumping from A to B.
Get the mix right and your video will be more interesting, more imaginative and much more likely to achieve its goals.
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