stage show

If you’ve ever gotten to the post-production phase of a video project, you know that editing takes a long time. Sometimes, post-production is the longest step of the entire process, because smart videographers are always left tons of b-roll.

What is b-roll? The shots that you take “just in case.” The long tails and opening silences. The in-betweens and afterthoughts. “Supplemental footage.”

Hollywood figured out what to do with their b-roll decades ago — blooper reels and extras. Some businesses have since wised up and are also putting their b-roll to good use, usually for event videos.

The idea is simple: company X goes in for the purpose of shooting a few interviews at a fashion show, car event, or comic-con, and the b-roll that’s left over is used to make a non-narrative sizzle reel. Smart, since company X just made 2 videos over the course of one shoot and saved a bunch of money.

This is just one example of why it’s smart to put all your b-roll to good use. Some videographers go to an event with the express purpose of making non-narrative sizzle reels, because videos without narratives are more vicarious. Non-narrative videos put viewers in the shoes of the videographer and places them right in the middle of the action.

This type of in-your-face second life isn’t really necessary (or appropriate) for all types of business video, which is why it’s usually reserved for event video. That being said, it’s easy to see how non-narrative videos could be used for, say, short product demos and recruiting videos as well. So, quick recap:

Pros of non-narrative videos:

  • can be made from leftover b-roll

  • save on the costs of pre-production and production

  • put viewers in the middle of the action

Cons of non-narrative videos:

  • lack of a script makes it harder to send a targeted message

Here are 5 examples of non-narrative sizzle reels, courtesy of videographers that partner with us. Watch them, think about them, then put your b-roll to good use.

1. North Coast Music Festival (Semi-Animated)

2. Fashion Event – Brands – Club

3. BMW Olympics (shown to BMW dealers)

4. Love and Paint: Art Opening

5. Street King Energy Drink – Artwalk Sizzle Reel