A-Roll, B-Roll, final products, RAW… what does it all mean?

We are often asked this question when providing a proposal for our clients, so instead of just telling you, we thought we’d show you.

Creating your video is split into two components; Capturing your footage and editing or post production. We seperate these components as our clients may require footage only, or a huge range of different types of final product such as short clips, hero video, trade show videos etc.

Editing or post production is a complex process. It is not as simple as grabbing a few pieces of footage, throwing them together and saving the video. Each shot is chosen with reference to the next, with all shots coming together to tell the whole story and appeal to the target audience. Typically a one minute promotional hero video would take us up to 20 hours to completely put together.

A major part of this process is colour grading, ensuring each shot blends with the previous and the next so that viewers are not distracted as they watch your story.

We film using a RAW Cinema Film-Log. This maximises the dynamic range in our footage, which essentially means, we are capturing as much information as possible to provide amazing looking footage which is true-to-life in your final, edited video. Less-expensive, non-professional cameras do not film in this way. Even DSLR’s and Go Pro’s are not advanced enough for this type of filming, which is why the quality of footage from these types of cameras doesn’t look as good to the eye. Our footage has to be handled by professional editing software and by an editor who knows what they are doing. (See our video below to see the difference between RAW footage and edited footage). It really does make a huge difference in your final video and is well worth it to present your brand in the best way you can.

Going back to the terminology, the following explains the difference between each type of footage:

A-Roll

Traditionally, when tapes were used in the filming process, there was an ‘A-roll and a B-roll’ tape to distinguish between the main footage and the footage to show transitions between shots. These days, the same terminology is used, but the meaning has slightly changed. A-roll is the colour graded, edited, ‘hero’ footage which is cut into your final product video, it tells your story.

B-Roll

When we film, we always overshoot each scene for the entire purpose of having additional footage which can be utlised later on for another purpose if needed for our clients.

B-roll is secondary, fully edited and colour graded footage which includes the shots either side of the hero (A-roll) footage. These shots don’t make it into your final product video, but are held on file should you wish to have another clip produced at a later date without having to re-shoot.

This is not only a cost efficient way of repurposing footage to create an entirely new video, but also provides you with great footage you can supply to third parties whilst still keeping control of your brand and the quality of your image.

Often, our clients are asked to provide footage to their partner organisations, news and broadcasters, etc. We are able to create a B-roll video from your footage which is fully edited and colour graded, run-on secondary footage. B-roll is often two - five minutes long in duration with run on shots of each of the areas we filmed. There is no ‘story’, simply footage available in a high resolution run-on clip.

This ensures you are not giving up your hero imagery, but the imagery you are providing is high quality, easy to be cut into multiple other projects and depicts your brand the way you want it to be portrayed.

RAW Footage

We are more than happy to provide our clients with RAW footage when requested. However, please be aware the file types are not simply m4v, mp4 or mov as you would get from a consumer grade camera.

Our files are professional, cinema camera film-log which must be handled by professional editing software and by a professional editor who understands colour grading. Without this, your brand could easily be miss-construed if your RAW footage ends up in the hands of someone who is not trained to edit correctly. You will also require a very highly powered computer which is capable of handling 4k and 6k footage.

RAW footage is amazing, the amount of information it holds is the key to having incredible quality, true-to-life colours and a final product video with not only captures viewers’ attention, but holds it.

Doing what we do best, here is a visual representation of everything we have explained above. If you still have questions, feel free to ask us. We’re here to help.