“Behind The Scenes”: shoot and use B-roll footage

One of the most important items in your arsenal of web publicity is B-roll:  footage that gives the viewer a glimpse into the actual production process of the film.  Allowing the potential audience to visit “behind the scenes” before the film is released has become standard for promoting a film.  When the film is released on DVD, the B-roll footage is often included on the DVD as part of the bonus features.

B-roll footage used for promotional purposes usually includes footage of the principal creative team (director, producer, set designer, and/or principal leads) talking about what it’s like to make the film.  A typical example is this ‘behind the Scenes” clip from the film 300.

Even if your project is a micro-budget production, you should still be able to get some useful B-roll footage that you can use to help promote your film if you remember to write it in to your shooting schedule.   Have your interview questions ready, and have your cinematographer shoot your leads answering the questions while waiting to set up the next shot.    Ask your cinematographer to shoot the crew while they’re preparing the set for a particularly challenging visual scene, and then later dub in your voice explaining what the crew is doing.   If you can afford it, bring a second camera and operator onto the set on designated days to shoot you and your crew shooting your film.

You’ll end up with a great package of trailers, clips, and “behind the scenes” footage that you can place on your film’s website, share with viewers on other sites, and add to your EPK.


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