Join Ashley Kennedy for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding the visuals, part of Making Video 1: Sell Something.
- Lolita has chosen her shots, laid them into the sequence to form a very rough assembly, and has performed meticulous trimming to get the content and the pacing of the shots just right. Now it's time to begin adding visuals. These visuals are often called B-roll, and that's because the primary material that we just edited, which we can call the A-roll, forms the foundation of the project, and now it's time to overlay the visuals, the B-roll, atop this A-roll, so that things start coming together both visually and aurally.
If you watched the second movie of this chapter, you know exactly how B-roll functions to accompany the primary interview footage, as well as the mechanics of how to mark shots and bring them down to the sequence. Now in this particular project, we have several varieties of B-roll. We've got the footage that Lolita shot, which encompasses her product shots and shots of her performing actions. We've got the creative shots, like the stop motion and timelapse. We've got her own professional still images, and we've got a little screencap as well.
Fortunately this is a fairly basic sequence, where it'll be fairly apparent what category of shot should be included at any given moment. It's just a matter of choosing which shot that is, how long to make it, and how we'd like to segue from one shot to the next. It's also important to decide when we want to stay on Lolita. Part of her personal brand is showing off her friendly, bright personality, so we want to be able to keep her on screen plenty, too. We need to determine when we show as much of the engaging B-roll as possible, and when we leave it alone, and stay connected with her.
So as we begin the edit, Lolita was excited about starting off with the air plant stop motion, and this really sets the tone for the entire show. Again, it's a fun, whimsical, bright, clean, natural and energetic piece. It's also very visually interesting, so if this video is autoplaying on social media for example, it'll catch people's attention. After that, it's just time to go down the line and decide what we see at each point in time. For example, the next thing we decided upon, was to cut to a close-up of Lolita, as a way to introduce her to the viewer.
I explained to her that psychologically, closer shots often better connect the viewer to the on-screen talent, and so we agreed that it was a great way to begin building that part of her brand, in terms of her warm, welcoming, bright personality. And fortunately because we shot 4K, it's just a matter of punching into that close-up from the wide shot. So we had these types of discussions at every single moment, and it became a first pass of sorts. We talked about what was being said in the A-roll, if we wanted to see something else or stay on the interview, and if we did want to stay on the interview, did we want to remain in the wide shot, or cut to a close-up? Now we had a blueprint of these decisions in the form of her two-column script, but things change in post.
So we used it as a starting place, but we did make changes as we saw additional options emerge. Now we won't have an opportunity to go through every single decision, as this process took about an hour and a half, but I'll take you on a high-level overview of our discussion. After the opening stop motion and close-up, Lolita wanted to cut to beautiful, close-up shots of plants, with rack focuses and slow motion, as she's talking about how great it is to walk into a room with nature in it. Then as she begins talking about her own products, we wanted to cut to some of the product B-roll that she shot.
We then transitioned into a montage of some of her professional photos, as she talks about all the wonderful benefits of air plants, which is a quick and fun way to show off a lot of beautiful, unique images at once. She then wanted to bring the stop motion back, as we transitioned to the next part of the video. Having a fun element like this appear multiple times, is an acceptable video device when establishing a look and a style. After this, she describes her process. She talks about how she starts with a block of wood, and then imagines what it will eventually be.
So here she played around with some interesting visuals, one right after another, to show that before and after comparison. She then goes on to elaborate how she makes her products, and for this, she chose to include the time lapse that we recorded of her painting. Again, the time lapse was about two minutes in real time, but that translated to just about five seconds, which again, brings that energetic, visual pace back into the mix just at the right moment. The video continues with more examples of incorporating B-roll, professional still photos, and screen capture, and then moves to a discussion about how she's a professional photographer, and takes great care in representing her products accurately.
And so that's when we cut to the footage that we shot of her taking photos. And the neat thing here, is that we see her taking a photo of one of her pots, and then we cut to the actual photo that she took, another creative before and after. Finally, we get the call to action. Lolita asks people to visit her shop, and pick out something awesome. She again uses the stop motion, which is perfect. Using these types of devices in threes, often ends up being the best approach. So there was quite a lot of that, that went into finding each of those visuals.
We tried a lot of options out before arriving on the final decisions, but Lolita thought it was fun trying things out. She didn't stop there, though. In the next movie, we'll discuss some extra things that really brought her video to the next level.
- Video workflow and techniques
- Sales fundamentals
- Pre-production basics: planning, script writing, location scouting, and scheduling
- Production basics: interviewing, shooting b-roll, lighting, and sound
- Editing and post-production basics: organization, editing, and refinement