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Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Lesson 16 of 37

Planning for B-Roll


Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Lesson 16 of 37

Planning for B-Roll


Lesson Info

Planning for B-Roll

You know, I've been hammering this already, just using it to tell the story and illustrate key points. This is where we kinda lean on notes from the interview. I took mental notes as he was speaking. He talked about when you walk in, so I knew I needed to get one of those shots. He talked about rollin' around, so I wanted to make sure I got some of that stuff. He talked about different disciplines in the way of fighting, so I wanted to show more than just people punching each other. I wanted to show maybe some jiu jitsu or some wrestling or something like that to kind of show the breadth of what they did. Identifying actions is super important. What is it that drives this gym? Because remember what I said earlier today, right? I said there isn't much in the gym that's interesting. I can't just take a shot of something like a punching bag and expect that to be compelling. The story's about the people in the gym, so the people in the gym have to be in B-roll, right? That had to be a dire...

ctive decision for me. Someone else may have not done that. I think that I did the best job I could going in, knowing what I new, but maybe someone else would take a completely different direction, and that is the beauty of this whole thing. Just because I did it a certain way doesn't mean that it should be done that way, and I think when we look at the final edit we can critique it, we can review it, and we can take a look and go, you know what? It may have been better to do it in this other direction, and kind of do that assessment. Do that self-assessment. And right here, actions driving B-roll, what I mean by an action is finding something that can be definitively determined as a beginning, a middle, and an end. Opening mail is an action, right? Putting on shoes is an action. In the case of this gym, guys flyin' around each other are actions. It's great, and to that point, you can do a lot in camera to help emphasize feeling a mood. So what you can do is flip your shutter speed up to capture more, faster action to kinda make it feel faster. So in some instances I captured some of the more experienced athletes at a faster shutter speed, and that gave them the sense that they were just moving lightning fast. But for some of the lesser experienced novices, I captured at my standard 50th of a second because I want people to relate to the footage. So, if I'm new to this and I saw a novice flying around like they were Rambo, that would be intimidating to me, and so I purposely capture different people at different shutter speeds to help convey different emotions. And maybe it paid off, maybe it didn't, but I think what it does is it, for me, helps me continually be focused on the content that I'm creating and delivering out. So that's just something that as I was capturing the content I was like, oh gosh, I should flip. And these are things that you learn throughout the process of doing this that you realize, oh, emotions should be captured at this faster shutter speed just because I want this effect, but I can also capture emotion at this shutter speed to convey this other effect. So it's something that you'll gain experience in and you'll gain as you kind of do this own thing, but hopefully that little nugget will allow you to kind of leapfrog and get further along the road when you get kind of actually start to do this kinda stuff. Last thing is getting the same thing from different angles. A lot of times that is really what really nails it for a lot of people. You can get someone pouring a glass of milk from here, you can get it from front, left, right, top, from their perspective. As you do these things... Now, I'm kind of... I was kind of limited here. I couldn't get in there and be like, yo, I'm gonna stack a GoPro on myself and let's do this, but... I could have strapped a GoPro to somebody. I could have done these things, but I think that would've been disruptive, and again from the perspective of my interpretation of the shoot, I wanted to give it the feeling that... for people who hadn't been there the first time. So, for me, if I would've strapped a GoPro onto somebody, that would be too real, and what if that was uncomfortable for them, what if they didn't want to do that? So always looking back towards who your viewer's going to be and who that person that's watching your film is gonna be so that you can truly hone in that message and deliver a piece of content that's truly gonna be... It's gonna move the needle for that person. It'll move the needle for that business. Question? How do you balance your B-roll to your A-roll? Good question. It's how do I balance my B-roll to my A-roll? So, it's funny, you don't. You don't. There isn't a magic formula to balancing B-roll in an edit. The way that I edit: I get all of my interview into the timeline, I clean it up, meaning I get all those gaps out of the way, where it's like, I'm asking the question, he's responding. So I clean out all those gaps, and then I have manageable statements. So then what I do is I start putting all of my footage together on my timeline that's gonna be... Okay, here's my statement, and I start cutting it and cutting it and cutting it and cutting it. And then when it comes to B-roll, I listen to the end... I listen to my final statement, my final narrative, and then I try to find footage that will fit that narrative. It's a gold mine search. It's like whack-a-mole. So I'm listening and he goes, oh, when you step into this gym. Okay, I've got a piece of footage like that. I'm gonna take that, boom! It's like, oh, there's a lot of diversity in this gym. Oh, cool! Person, girl, guy, person, boom, done, and I start just grabbing clips and just dragging them to the timeline. I'm not even putting them in place yet, I'm just dragging. Drag, drag, drag, drag, drag. Just get the clips that I think one, would fit the edit, and then two, are just visually interesting to me. Things that are visually interesting because, as someone who is visual, I'm like, okay, well that could be cool, than could be cool, and then they have a bin of just B-roll clips that I think make the cut. So as I review B-roll it's like, okay, cool. In, out, drag. Oh, in, out, drag, in, out, drag, and I'm just dragging to the timeline. It's free, guys. It's free, just keep dragging. And then what you do is just go, and you're like, okay, cool. Will this work? No, it doesn't. Will this work? No, it doesn't, and you start deleting right away. So there isn't a balance. There isn't a set number of oh, here's how much should go to B-roll. I think what it is is once you get a feel for the flow of an edit, that's when you know there's too much or too little B-roll. I remember I thought I was done and then I felt the edit just slow down, and I was like, oh, I need more here. Boom, put more stuff in, and I was like, oh, this is better. And then I started to fine tune all of it too because when you start adding a soundtrack, when you start doing all that other stuff that helps elevate the quality of your B-roll, then you're kind of almost in that moment. So as we talk about recording from different angles, try to find actions that can be recorded, but this is a really great way to move an edit along. If you guys remember the first first video I showed you, there were multiple angles of that person pulling up the print out of the print washer and multiple angles of them putting the print away. Don't rest until you absolutely positively have recorded the every angle of every action that you can because that is really what's gonna drive you forward because we, unfortunately, live in a very very ADD mentality where we can't pay attention for longer than a few seconds. And I know the way of editing now has slowed down and we're taking longer moments between cuts, but we're still in the way of short form editing. Much more in tune to the rapid fire cutting so that we can see more and spend less time. I think that is what we really have to pay attention to. So, how am I doing? You know B-roll, right? I mean, you never thought you could spend this much time talking about B-roll. When I was a photographer in San Diego, one of my friends, Chris, came along on all the shoots 'cause we had a business together. He was the videographer and my other friend, Chris, yeah, we're two Chrises, my other friend Chris was the other owner and I was the other owner, and we kinda had this business that was... It was hilarious, it was so college and so young. We were just shooting pictures out of the back of a truck, basically, and we'd roll up and it'd be me and Chris and Chris in a Foreigner. We'd load out with the gear and Chris would be like... The videographer Chris, he would follow us around all day, and I'm like, dude, what are you doing? You could've left hours ago. He's like, man, B-roll. What are you talking about? He's like, every time you guys do something different, that's something that I can add into the edit that makes this edit different. And that really clued me in, even before ever I started doing video, of how important B-roll is. Because he could've walked away after the ceremony, right? He could've been done, but he stayed throughout the entire day so that he could capture all those little nuggets of motion that we could put into a video, and then, then he was done. So you're not doing less work as a videographer. You're doing the same amount of work that you would do as a photographer, and that's kind of the beauty of it is as photographers we put in such long hours already. We already put in so much passion and sweat and tears into Photoshop, so what's putting sweat and tears into learning the ins and outs of Premier or Da Vinci. We've already done it. We've done it once, let's just do it again. Come on, just strap it up and go. Let's go.

Class Description


  • Confidently make a movie from start to finish
  • Expand your photography skills to motion pictures
  • Tackle pre-production and post-production essentials
  • Capture video and audio expertly
  • Edit in Adobe Premiere Pro and Audition


Photography and videography have several things in common -- but what about factors like audio and telling a story using video editing? In this filmmaking class designed for photographers, learn how to use the DSLR or mirrorless camera that you already have to capture high-end videos. In this start-to-finish course, you'll master everything from planning to post-production. The goal of the class is to teach anyone how to create a video from start to finish.

Dive into video production from the planning and pre-production phase, where you'll learn how to choose an idea, scope out locations, research the client, and more. Jump into video gear -- and what's really necessary on a low-budget -- and learn the essential filmmaking tips for recording. Discover how to capture excellent audio and tackle those B-Roll shots.

But this filmmaking course doesn't just teach you how to use editing software -- you'll learn the editing process, start to finish, from storyboarding to exporting. Work in Adobe Premiere Pro to perfect your footage and Adobe Audition to fine-tune that audio. Tweak color in DaVinci Resolve. Add soundtracks, titles, and keyframes. Then, finalize and export your project.


  • Photographers eager to add motion pictures to their repertoire
  • Beginner filmmakers
  • Self-taught filmmakers ready for additional insight

SOFTWARE USED: Adobe Audition, Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve


Previously a photographer, Victor Ha is now a filmmaker. His experience working with both stills and motion pictures helps him guide other photographers through the same process, from photo to video. He's known for his straightforward, practical teaching style that's easy to follow along with.


  1. Class Introduction

    In the first lesson, meet your instructor and learn what to expect during the class. Know what's up ahead by pinpointing the goals for this class at each production stage.

  2. Putting Ideas Into Motion

    Start the filmmaking process with an idea. Learn how to flesh out ideas and turn them into successful projects.

  3. Client Profiles

    Video projects come in many different forms, from cinemagraphs and short films to commercials and features. A client profile is a type of video telling a story about a person or business. Learn what's involved in this simple video type as an easy format to get started with.

  4. Choosing Your Subject

    Video projects start with a subject -- but just how do you choose? In this lesson, Victor discusses how to narrow down your ideas to choose the best one.

  5. Scouting Locations

    Part of the planning process is scouting out different locations, an essential part of pre-production. Learn what to look for when scouting out different locations and how to spot good camera angles. Then, work with that information as you prep for shooting.

  6. Researching the Client

    Understanding the client -- and what they are looking for in a video -- sets the stage for a successful video project. Learn how to research your client and the essential pre-production questions to ask.

  7. Choosing Equipment

    You don't need an elaborate amount of gear to shoot video -- Victor goes through the essentials for video, and how that list may change for different products.

  8. Waveforms and Scopes

    Waveform monitors show a visual of the video's exposure. Using waveforms along with vectorscopes can help you get the best results in camera as you shoot. While confusing at first, these tools offer big advantages on set.

  9. Shooting Strategy

    Build a strategy to organize those thoughts from pre-production and create a shooting schedule for the project. Incorporate these factors into a shooting strategy for success.

  10. Interview: Setting Up for Success

    The interview is an essential style for filmmaking. In this lesson, learn how to set up an interview for the best results, including audio suggestions and pitfalls to avoid.

  11. Prepping for the Interview

    Before you head into the interview, have a list of questions -- and practice asking them. Master the essentials for interview prep, including research.

  12. Capturing Audio

    Video and audio go hand-in-hand. Gain tips for capturing the best audio for your video, from dual system sound and setting levels to working with audio gear.

  13. Capturing Room Tone

    By recording the ambient noise in the room, unwanted background noise is easier to edit out. Learn how to capture the room tone and tricks to create better audio by adjusting the room.

  14. Audio Q&A

    Audio is scary stuff -- learn from the most frequently asked questions from students like you.

  15. B-Roll: 3 to 1 ratio

    B-Roll is supporting footage for your video, helping to add interest and fill gaps. In this lesson, learn why B-Roll is important -- and how much you need to shoot.

  16. Planning for B-Roll

    B-Roll should help tell your story -- so what should you capture, especially when the scene doesn't seem so interesting? Find out how to plan for B-Roll and ideas for the most interesting shots.

  17. 5 Rules to Capturing B-roll

    Use these guidelines to capture better B-Roll for your project, from gear tips to determining what's important.

  18. Using B-Roll to Shape an Edit

    B-Roll is secondary footage -- learn how to tackle video editing with B-Roll in mind. Then, jump into editing with Adobe Premiere Pro editing software.

  19. Introduction to Footage Review

    After recording, you may have hours of footage -- how do you decide what goes in and what stays out? Make footage review less daunting by tackling your fears first.

  20. Asset Management

    Organizing footage saves time and helps you get a jump start on that edit -- but the organization doesn't have to be elaborate. Learn how to manage the assets for your film project.

  21. Edit Setup

    Before you edit, preparing helps get the film project off on the right foot. Learn how to prep for editing, from working on audio first to identifying mistakes.

  22. Edit Audio in Adobe Audition

    Victor suggests photographers edit audio first to get the aspect that we're least familiar with out of the way. Build an understanding of audio editing and skills for using Adobe Audition, including eliminating that room noise.

  23. Syncing Your Footage

    Set up for a successful edit by creating "goal posts" and allowing enough time to reach each one. Start working on the edit by laying out the timeline and syncing footage.

  24. Conceptual Storyboarding

    Building a storyboard guides the edit and helps you tell a story, without meandering away from what's important. Create a successful story -- and learn why Victor creates his later in the process -- by working with a storyboard.

  25. Editing Choices

    Video editing is full of choices -- but you can always change your mind. Learn how to get over hurdles and make the best choices for your filmmaking project.

  26. Selecting a Soundtrack

    Soundtracks give your edits a tempo -- but what song should you choose? Victor talks about choosing neutral soundtracks, avoiding songs you already know, understanding copyright, and everything you need to know about soundtracks.

  27. Building the Rough Cut

    Start turning that storyboard into an actual edit by building the rough cut. Learn how to shrink down long footage, decide what to cut and what to trim, and start organizing footage.

  28. Refining the Story

    Take that rough cut and turn it into something less rough. Start moving footage around to match that storyboard. Victor explains the "meat and potatoes of editing" -- going through footage, listening, cutting, and repeating that same process again.

  29. Adding B-Roll

    With the shape of the video in place, work in footage from the second camera and B-Roll footage to fix continuity issues or simply add more interest. Develop not just an understanding of the editing software, but a workflow for editing your film project.

  30. Rough Cut to Final Cut

    Move from that rough cut to the final cut with an overview of the last stretch of the editing process, including mastering transitions, color edits, and polishing that timeline.

  31. Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve

    Create color-graded videos inside DaVinci Resolve. Learn how to use the software, import and export, and color grade your project.

  32. Three-Way Color Corrector in DaVinci Resolve

    A three-way color corrector allows you to fine-tune RGB values. Walk through the basic color correcting process to correct issues like color cast.

  33. Export from DaVinci Resolve to Adobe Premiere Pro

    With the color correction finished, be sure to export your file properly for a seamless transition back into Premiere Pro.

  34. Add a Title in Adobe Premiere Pro

    Adding text and titles in Premiere Pro is simple. Learn how to add text frames to your video project without leaving Premiere Pro.

  35. Export Project from Adobe Premiere Pro

    Once your edit is finished, it's time to deliver. Learn how to export your project from Premiere Pro.

  36. Adding a Keyframe

    Keyframes are simply markers in the video that signify the start and the end of a change. In this lesson, Victor uses keyframes to adjust the audio of only a small portion of the video.

  37. Creating Multiple Projects from Your Edit

    With the main project done, what else can you build from your material? In this lesson, Victor discusses additional options to add to smaller supplemental projects to your main work.


Cheryl Winkles

You're awesome, I learnt a lot from you, this is like a must-have first course for anyone who wants to step into video or filmmaking world. Highly recommended and thank you a million Victor Ha.

a Creativelive Student

Fantastic course, Victor is one of the finest instructors I have encountered. Great stuff, I would highly recommend this for anyone who wants to work in video