A-Roll and B-Roll Video

This article explains the differences between A-Roll and B-Roll videos. Provides usage examples for each.

Why are they called A-Roll and B-Roll?

These terms derive back from the days of linear film editing when editors would use two identical footage rolls of film when creating transitions; an A-Roll and a B-Roll.

What is A-Roll video footage?

This is an antiquated term for a video where the viewer is watching the narrator or the main subject speak. The term “A-Roll” is no longer utilized and has been replaced with “main footage”.

Why use A-Roll videos?

To further enhance a story begin told providing different angles of the narrator or main subject speaking. These are great for sales videos, gaming videos, interviews, news segments and talk shows.

What is B-Roll video footage?

Known as cutaway footage is supplemental videos. These are the videos that go along with the story being told. They provide enhancements to the voiceover. Examples of B-Roll videos would be things like:

  • Drawing
  • Faces
  • Landmarks
  • Location
  • Painting
  • People Playing
  • Panoramas
  • Tools

Doodles are all B-Roll. A-Roll videos can be placed in front of or integrated into a doodle by following our Intermediate Skill Level Doodly Tutorial #29: Rapidly Export Multiple Assets Insert a video into a doodle.

Other B-Roll Examples can be found on the Izzy’s video website: B-Roll Shot List