Whether you’re filming people in an office or socializing at an event, your footage should be both deliberate and cinematic.
Good B-roll is anything but filler. Keep your footage relevant by telling a visual story and bringing your viewer into the narrative. No matter where you’re shooting—even if it’s an office full of people sitting at computers—you can still make it compelling and visually pleasing.
These shots make our brand new office look good.
Build a solid foundation:
  • Focus on clean, well-balanced compositions.
  • Favor static shots.
  • Take advantage of the available natural light.
  • Get close, medium, and wide shots of the same subject.
Stay focused and slow down:
  • Hold your shots for 8–10 seconds.
  • If you have to move the camera, do it deliberately and slowly.
  • Don’t pan or tilt aimlessly. Pick a subject, and land on it.
  • If you are using a dolly, gimbal, or drone, keep it simple.
  • Commit to your framing even if you’re not sure it’s the best. If your camera is hunting around, your footage will be useless.
Use similar or complementary framing and movement among shots for strong eye-trace in the edit.
Don't speed up footage or use shaky movement.
Bring us into the space
Show the simple beauty of the environment you are in with small details and grand wide shots. Experiment with bold framing, symmetry, and depth.
Capture large-scale and human details.
Look for details and human interactions that can draw the viewer in.
Keep it human
Show authentic human moments like conversations, thoughtful reflection, frustration, or happiness. Show people working in clean, well-balanced compositions.

Show people working in clean, well-balanced compositions.

Make sure you’re not lacking a clear subject in the frame.

Avoid busy backgrounds that compete with the foreground subject.

Don’t film people looking miserable, sleepy, or when they’re on their devices instead of interacting with each other. Also, don’t film people eating.

No forced laughter and posing. Ever.

Face to face
Use the Interrotron setup for interviews whenever possible, as it allows the interviewer and subject to speak face to face. With this technique, interview subjects can relax and engage more, since they see a person instead of a lens. Bonus: The viewer gets a performance direct to the camera.
No matter where you are shooting or what equipment you have, make sure to curate your location and consider the background.
Use center framing and direct address to camera.
Use backgrounds to highlight the environment in which the story is taking place.
The best results will come from asking the person on camera about topics that matter to them or that they have a direct experience with. In your research, identify a central theme for your conversation (and use it to help decide on a location).