Music and B-roll editing

electricfuse1 Website User Posts: 1 Just Starting Out*

A request of help from those who have created cinematic b-roll footage.

When you film b-roll, in the planning process of the shots, do you find the music first, then plan your shots according to the music or do you plan out the shots first then find music during post-production and then cut the clips according to the music?

For example, find a piece of music, then play the music, and plan something like "ok, from 0:00 to 0:38 I want to have a shot of ____ happening, then from 0:38 to 1:00 I want a long take of ______ with a ______ transition".

Or do you just plan out: "I want to have a shot of x, y, and z" and you proceed to take those shots and then in post-production find a piece of music and then cut down those clips to fit according to the music (i.e cutting, speed-ramping, etc.)



  • Dimipapa
    Dimipapa Website User Posts: 339 Enthusiast

    Are we talking copyrighted music thats usually pretty good or the run of the mill royalty free production music everyone uses? I almost never think of a particular song when it comes to production music, usually I couldn't tell you the name of the song even if I wanted to. Although some tracks that I've used for years yes. I try to match the music to tone of the scene, that's it, doesn't matter if it's b roll or not. Back in the day I used to make music videos for fun, in those cases the video was usually better if you thought of a song that would go great with something rather than have the video idea first then try a song that works.

    Oh man, the days of windows movie make

  • electricfuse1
    electricfuse1 Website User Posts: 1 Just Starting Out*

    I'm talking more of cinematic sequences. Not just matching the tone of the music to the video. I mean matching the beats of the music to the cuts of the video. If you watch any commercial, you will see that the different videos are all timed or cut according to the music.

    Heres a workflow example:

    1. Find music
    2. Plan shots according to the music (ex. I want exactly 2 seconds of _____ to fit with 0:00 to 0:02 of the music"
    3. Take shots
    4. Put shots together with music


    1. Plan shots
    2. Take shots
    3. Find music
    4. Put shots together according to the music (ex. Let me take this 10 second clip and trim it down to 2 seconds to match 0:00 to 0:02 of the music)

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,285 Ambassador

    If I'm shooting B-roll, I'm not worrying about music.

    Bear in mind I'm being pedantic on definitions here. "B-roll" means supplemental and/or insert footage. "A-roll" is the footage being shot specifically for the project, thus the A-roll would be shot with timing and editing in mind.

    But, by definition, B-roll is extra footage shot to fill in gaps, provide a cutaway to allow cheating the timing of an A-roll shot (or cover changing takes). Stock footage and establishing footage is also B-roll.

    In short if you're shooting general B-roll/stock footage, you just shoot the footage. The editor will worry about timing. You might shoot several takes at different speeds (let's assume we're panning a skyline). So maybe I shoot a 5 second, 10 second, 15 second and 20 second pan for options, but it's the edit where the take would be chosen. B-roll footage is not shot with consideration of timing.

    If you're shooting footage for a specific project and you know you're using specific music, yes, you try to plan to shoot for the desired music, but that's not B-roll. That's A-roll.

  • TimLan635
    TimLan635 Website User Posts: 53 Enthusiast
    edited March 6

    This seems like the perfect place to insert this oldie but goodie:

    By the way, these examples feel more like "Stock Footage" than "B-Roll", but a classic video nonetheless.

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,091 Ambassador
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