What you film on-set is considered primary footage for your project, while B-roll shots are supplemental footage, usually filmed separately.
Examples of B-roll include shots of a sunset, a beach or a busy street corner all without your actors. B-roll can enhance your story by creating tension or adding tone to further illustrate your story.
Primary footage always requires a permit. SFTV students filming B-Roll by themselves, without actors and without a tripod, do not require a film permit both on and off campus. SFTV Introductory projects can only use B-Roll if outlined in the course syllabi or production guidelines.
This fun 80’s video about B-Roll provides more context of what is and isn’t B-Roll.
Stock Footage is different than B-Roll in that it’s shot by someone else and is licensed for use.