If you’ve had a corporate video of any type (training, marketing, leadership, trade show, day-in-the-life, etc.) on your “to do” list for several budget seasons but have yet to get it produced, now might be the time to kick start the project by commissioning “B-roll.” It’s a useful tool to have on hand, and can help you pace the investment of video production over several budget seasons, all while reaping benefits year to year.
Let’s start by defining this industry term. “B-roll” is simply a collection of video. It’s generally raw, unedited images and video representing your company’s exterior(s), interior shots, production line(s), final product and/or services. Here’s a little trivia for your next cocktail party. Back in the early days of film, there was an “A” roll that contained all your interviews. B-roll was everything else you shot that does not contain speaking roles and it's just as valuable in the final, edited piece for those who know how to leverage its many uses.
B-roll serves several valuable purposes. First, ask any PR professional worth their salary and they’ll tell you that B-roll can often be the factor that causes you to get TV news coverage, or be overlooked for a story. Assignment desk editors are particularly receptive to companies that pitch stories or local angles on national stories IF you can help them with images, and preclude the need for them to send their own crew to collect footage — which TV news also refers to as… yes, that’s right ... “B-roll.” By providing B-roll with your pitch you are upping your chances of coverage exponentially. Savvy companies also make their footage available for download in a searchable, online gallery (also known as a "Media Reel").
Secondly, by working with a video production company to shoot B-roll you can slot budget dollars in one fiscal year to cover that shoot knowing that ultimately you’ll also want to use it as the foundation for a corporate video.
When our team works with clients who are pacing their investment, we’re sure to tease-out the needs of the final piece and make sure what we capture in the B-roll will ultimately all be of use down the road in any future piece.
So really, what’s stopping you from slotting a B-roll shoot in your next budget season?
Talk to you next week. If you have any specific issues that you’d like me to address all you have to do is ask. In the mean time, give some thought to what opportunities you could be missing by not having B-roll of your company on hand today.