A-roll and B-roll are the first video terms to learn first to improve your vlog tips. There is a big distinction between the two and you also need to learn how to blend the two to come up with an effective vlog for your audience. In this article, we are going to learn the meaning and distinction between the two footages and how to shoot B-roll for your vlogs. So, let’s get to it.

What is A roll and B roll?

When vlogging, A-roll is media that tells the story. It can be a short interview between two people combining both audio and video. It can also be a narrative vlog of an individual narrating his or her alcohol recovery journey.

However, one disadvantage of using only A-roll footage is that it can be boring and less engaging to the audience. The audience needs to be shown the story apart from being told. Another problem with A-roll footage is that since it involves people talking there are often coughs, stutters, fumbled lines, and sniffles that need to be edited, and this is where B-roll comes in.

B-roll on the other hand is supplementary footage shots that enable editing the vlog. When A roll and B roll are used together they create dramatic tension when creating a vlog.

B-roll is footage that is used to support A-roll footage visually. This is a video that shows the story being narrated. If the A-roll story is about farming, B-roll footage will show a farm. B-roll confirms the story being told by A-roll footage. It is used to make A-roll footage more engaging to the audience.

B-roll is used as cutaways which enable the editor to remove parts of the A-roll footage without being detected. A quick cutaway can be used by an editor to combine two parts of A-roll footage. A-roll is used as a voice over for B-roll footage thus an editor can edit parts of the A-roll as needed. Cutaways come in handy if parts of an interview need editing like coughs, stutters, etc.

The B-roll footage is what makes an interview or discussion come alive.

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  • Pick-up shots
  • Stock footage
  • Atmospheric shots of landscape or objects
  • Establishing shots

Functions of a B-roll footage

B-roll is used in video editing to perform the following functions:

  • Set the tone
  • Spice things up
  • Cover up the flaws in A-roll
  • Help to engage your audience
  • Clarify additional information
  • Remove or hide splices of superfluous speech
  • Illustration of the subject matter

How to shoot B roll

When shooting a vlog it is important to take time to capture the best B-roll. There are several steps that you should take to ensure that your vlog meets the set criteria for editing and your target audience.



Build around what your main footage is. If you are interviewing a person in her home ensure that you capture the entrance, the space of the interview and the exit. Create a list of the most important and nice things to have and to ensure that you narrate the whole story.


Scout the locations.

Visit the location of the filming before hand to look for strategic places to film. Also you will be able to know the kind of equipment to carry that suite the location. Remember that you might only have a few minutes to get good B roll shots during the day of filming.


Ensure that you get different angles

Getting different angles assist during cut always. Make sure that you get multiple shots of the same thing from different angles.


Take as many shots as possible

Take a bank of images that do not fall under your planned list. When you are editing you might find the need to include some of the images to transition between locations or for a breathing space. For instance you can film a bird that lands on a telephone wire and add the image to the bank. You never know when you will use it.

Tips and tricks for a quality B-roll

One thing to look closely at in vlogs is the format. Despite the fact that they vary from person to person there are some important elements that you would want to include.


The introduction

Tell us who you are and you can reintroduce your channel for new visitors to get a grasp of what it is about. Keep it snappy


Get to your first mini-story

Stories have a beginning, middle and end. Share the footage of what you are about to do, what you are doing and what you did. It is okay if you do not say everything perfectly in one go during your camera moments. Jump cuts are in style for vlogs. When editing you can trim your story down to highlight the key points. Add the necessary B-roll to make the story interesting.



These enable the viewers to go with you to your next story line. There are many ways you can transition: you can tell on the camera what you are moving onto next, cinematic transitions like cool speed ramps or time lapses, an effective B roll that reflects on events that have just happened and create a new scene that moves the audience to your next storyline.

Add these editing transitions with purpose. To some people a periodic fade to white or black and straight cuts can go a long way in helping to tell your story. Do not add transitions for the sake of style and flair.


We have been watching your video for minutes and we need some kind of resolution. Ask yourself whether you achieved what you intended to do before you call it a wrap.

You can also invite your audience to give you feedback about the vlog and also invite them to watch more videos in your channel.