In the last ten years, newsrooms have had to make budget cuts which has led to fewer crew numbers and these days it’s more likely to be a one man band.
The upside of this is that if you offer up B-roll that looks like footage TV news would have shot themselves, broadcasters are going to say yes please, thank you very much.
The people working in the edit suites and newsrooms will be eternally grateful for the offer of good footage.
Good footage means news-style pictures; the material can’t look glossy or be lit like an advert, shots are fairly static, without too many pans or zooms; and the content is going to be visually interesting. Put the best pictures at the top of the B-roll and interview clips at the end. Also useful is a slate, stating the material is free to use and without any copyright issues.
B-rolls used to be limited to under 15 minutes, but that’s really too long. Broadcasters prefer to receive B-roll digitally and and at around 6-8 minutes. Be sure to include a choice of shots for each sequence so two or more broadcasters editing the same material can produce something different.
Interview clips should be kept to no more than 20-30” and a maximum of 3 clips per interviewee is generally enough. You should also offer broadcasters something in the B-roll that they can’t easily film for themselves.