Need for B-Rolls in Documentaries and Their Transcription

Documentary TranscriptionA B-roll is a secondary footage or simply cutaways inserted into documentaries to avoid the monotony of the main shot. This includes additional video footage, still photographs, animation or other types of graphic elements and need not necessarily match what the interviewee is saying during the interview. B-roll is a crucial part of recording a video interview as it supports or reinforces the narrative. It may not be very appealing to the viewers when the interviewee is talking about his/her daily routine and only segments of daily routine are shown to the viewers. B-roll transcription is also very crucial in documentary transcription.

Advantages of B-rolls

  • B-rolls add visual flavor and interest to your video interviews. For example, if you are taking a video interview of a mountaineer talking about his expeditions, you can add footage of relevant mountains and related landscapes to make it attractive. You can use crash zoom and whip pans to attract youthful audience. Drifting or slow shots may also be used inversely to capture the attention of the audience.
  • The cutaways allow the video editor to perform a patchwork by presenting only the best shots and avoid unattractive segments of the video footage.
  • During the interview, the interviewee might use many unnecessary words including “errs” and “ums.” With cutaways, you can remove these kinds of unnecessary audio seamlessly.
  • You can join different shots together with cutaways to create the final video in its entirety.

You can gather b-rolls in several ways such as shooting the footage by yourself, purchasing footage from a stock footage company or research and collect public domain footage from various government agencies, non-profit organizations, firms and other organizations.

Significance of B-roll transcription

  • Since the b-rolls connect shots together, the video editor can use their transcripts for creating a compelling story for your documentary.
  • B-roll transcription plays a significant role in the post-production process as it records the details of additional footage on screen and avoids continuity problems in the form of inconsistencies between the scenes.
  • You can add the transcription of extra footage with simple narration into your documentary so that it will give a good reading experience to the audience.

In short, b-rolls and their transcription are essential to create a professional documentary video that can grab the attention of the audience and spread the intended message. If you are busy with documentary projects and left with very little time, there are more chances to make errors during transcription. In such cases, it is better to rely upon footage transcription services to record what is actually spoken and in what context, and produce an attractive documentary.

About Julie Clements

Julie Clements

Joined the MOS team in March of 2008. Julie Clements has background in the healthcare staffing arena; as well as 6 years as Director of Sales and Marketing at a 4 star resort. Julie was instrumental in the creation of the medical record review division (and new web site); and has especially grown this division along with data conversion of all kinds.