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Along with interviews the other major ingredient for a documentary are observational shots and sequences, also called B-roll. Basically, shots of things happening. We're already in our Metalogging setup, but I want to take a closer look at the B-roll and an easy way to do that is going to be to go full screen with this frame using the Tilde key, and then I also want to switch over to thumbnails. So I basically see all of my B-roll just spread out in front of me, and just by mousing over, I'm able to scroll, see what these shots are all about. So here are some of the things I notice.
First of all, I love intentional shooting, I like to be able to look at a glance and be like that's a shot of, that's a shot of a box, that's a shot of BD walking, this is a shot of a truck pulling out. It may seem like the simplest thing in the world, but one of the important things to learn about shooting B-roll is to be intentional to shoot something on purpose. The second thing I'm noticing, and you have to look a little closer is good variation of framing, I'm talking about wide shots, tight shots, and medium shots, and what I see is in a sequence like this you can't see it right-away, but this stays wide on our chef as he is talking and going through his herbs, and this shot--the B shot--even though it starts wide most of it is tight, and I can see right-away that I'm going to be able to connect this shot with this shot, and it's going to work well.
There is a lot of other places that I see that variation of framing. Nice wide, here, will be good for establishing, and a nice tight, here, on these radishes is going be nice during the Farmers Market scene. Two more things I've noticed and they're really important. One is good shots with people, and I mean candid shots, so I really like this here, because it's our main character named BD, but we have a nice long shot of him doing his thing in a natural way interacting with people and smiling.
So I like that a lot, and then I also like when there's clear sequencing when I can see that things are going to go together in a logical way, and without even scrolling over I already see that in a sequence where things are being picked here and here again with the variation in framing then produce is being packed, and eventually the truck drives away. Right in the early stages evaluating the footage I know that sequences like that are going to be truly valuable in the edit.
As an editor you may not always have complete control about what gets shot in the field. You always want to evaluate the footage you get, pick out the best stuff, give some feedback, and use it as a lesson for those opportunities when you really are out in the field directing your own shoot.
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