A-Roll and B-Roll - What does it mean?

A-Roll and B-Roll, we hear that often. Sometimes even “Epic cinematic B-Roll”.
But what does it mean?

Well, it’s fairly simple, the terms come from the old days of linear film editing.

Stating Wikipedia: In film and television production, B-roll, B roll, B-reel or B reel is supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot. The term A-roll referring to the main footage has fallen out of use.


A-Roll Interview - main shot
  • Main shot, Main subject
    – Here me talking to the camera


  • Illustration shots
    -Here me editing the video

Why is it important?

importance of B-Roll - editing
  • The first use of B-Roll is to break up A-Roll. Adding some shots to make it more interesting.

  • It’s also used to cover edit points. Any stutter/hums.

  • As well, as the name suggests it “Illustration shot”, it’s made to show what you’re talking about.
    Think about it, a news anchor wouldn’t be as interesting if there wasn’t any illustration shots.

B-ROLL on Youtube

B-Roll on Youtube

We can also add a little mention for YouTube, as the term B-Roll there is nowadays used for pure illustration shots with a lot of movement, slow-motion parts and quick transitions.

Find more videos like this one in my Blog or follow me on LinkedIn.

Let's Talk

Drop me a line


Travaillons ensemble !


Ich freue mich von Ihnen zu hören!