B-Roll by the Numbers


A word of advice to every reality show producer and shooter, ever:  If you think you’ve shot plenty of b-roll (including sunrises and a variety of daytime/nighttime if your action takes place in both daytime/nighttime), you should probably shoot a little more just to be sure. ESPECIALLY if you’re shooting for a limited time in a location you’re not usually in.  If your show is in New York and you go to Seattle for a week, shoot plenty of Seattle.

A one-hour show is comprised of typically 9 to 15 scenes, each of which may require a transition involving five to ten shots.  Just something to think about on the road!  Going back in to license material required by post in the absence of good b-roll can easily cost hundreds of dollars PER SHOT, so it’s better to make time and nail it while you’re out there.

Don’t forget the value, too, of getting several dusk and dawn shots in an “away” location that can help ease day-to-night and night-to-morning transitions.  Your editors (and your line producer) will thank you!

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One thought on “B-Roll by the Numbers

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  1. I used to work with a producer who (no joke) used to shoot out the window of her cab on the way to and from the airport in away cities on top of the b-roll she got while she was there. It’s amazing how much of that we were actually able to use.

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