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The Power of Video Footage to Tell an Effective Story

Here’s a great example from McSweeny’s of how companies can use b-roll with narration voice-over to tell a story (below). This one is a genius sarcastic parody of corporate videos, but the most genius part is that it helps sell the value of video stock footage ‘B-roll‘ (sold on…while basically poking fun at their customers!

While this is a parody, the value it demonstrates is spot on. Supporting footage boosts engagement and it tells your story visually.

If you start with a basic message and taylor your script to fit with footage that you harvest, a powerful combination is possible. Rather than writing a script and then creating (shooting) the footage to illustrate the points, the opposite method can be just as effective.

How to use this technique

It’s probably not quite this simple, but here’s how I would approach this technique.

  1. Start by narrowing down your core message, but leave enough creative room to use metaphors that may work well - if you find great footage to support the thought.

  2. Once you have your script, then go get all the footage (and music) that tells that story – or at least try. The process will help fill any gaps.

  3. Once you have the footage, take another pass at the script to see if you can make it work better with the footage you think works best.

  4. Go to town in your edit and make it sing!

I hope this helps give you some fresh perspective on “The Power of B-roll”! should totally pay me for this post.

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