Is it all just B-Roll?

Is it all just B-Roll?

Read Time: 2 minutes

When creating video and film work there are a certain number of “shots” needed to flesh out the film. Be it an establishing shot of a location or close up details of an object or scene, these frames are needed to keep the film grounded and flowing smoothly.

Very often transitions from one scene to the next, or as a way to introduce new elements to the story, but in all cases they are necessary. Without them you just have clips of dialogue between characters. But on it’s own, that “B-Roll” footage doesn’t mean much either.

I was thinking about a bit of the work I’ve been creating lately and it occurred to me; what if I’m stuck in a loop of creating nothing but “B-Roll” footage with my still photography. Am I missing half of the film due to there being no dialogue, no people, involved most of the time?

Worse, have I convinced myself that my “B-Roll” footage is actually the full film?

Are my photos actually capturing a narrative even when lacking people, to the point where there is a story being shared? Is my voice, or more appropriately maybe, my voice-over, being communicated in the single frame?

Or…

Is that narrative, that voice, that story, present only in my head?

Can an image be both simply pleasing to look at while still carrying a creative voice for those open to hearing it?

If the work is just “B-Roll” footage, then I also have to wonder what the rest of my story looks like? What story am I trying to tell? What is the character story/arc that this footage is needing to find a partner with?

THAT right there. That last statement. If my work is just “B-Roll” at this point, WHAT is the rest of the story it’s trying to support? Who are the characters and what is the plot, so to speak? As I write this, that question is the one that absolutely lights me up.

The immense potential behind feeling like I’m just scratching the surface of something within my own creative vision, slowly learning how to speak a new language, a new dialect of my creative voice.

More questions than answers right now, but this is a journey worth exploring.

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