Stock foo
Let me start this off by telling you that prior to being employed at Comprehensive Media, I had no previous experience in the world of video production. It goes without saying that intimidated is an understatement when it came to how I felt in the beginning, when I found myself face-to-face with editors and producers that had been doing this their whole career.
However, being that our company’s culture is all about learning and helping each other, I soon began to feel more comfortable and started to learn really interesting, technical aspects of video production that I had never even known existed.
It’s now been more than a year that I’ve worked here, and I’m still running into new jargon and tasks I had never thought about. This past week was the first time I was involved in the search for Stock Footage.
I’ve always had an idea of what it meant, but for those who might not know, Stock Footage is footage that was previously shot, generic footage. When I think about it, it’s almost like “secondary research”- it’s already there, someone has already shot it and you can buy it and download it. During my run-in with researching stock footage for a current video project we are working on, I realized that there are 3 characteristics you can’t ignore when choosing stock footage:

1) Quality

This is a huge deal, especially to us at Comprehensive Media. We’ve established a high standard with our video production quality, and when choosing stock footage to complement our projects, we must always keep that standard in mind. There are a few different stock footage formats, but we choose to only use HD clips.

2) Source

The source can be a huge determinant of quality. Only use stock footage from trustworthy sources. You don’t want to find yourself in a position where you are using unliscenced and unauthorized footage. There are several sources that make this process a little easier. Here’s a list of some of the ones we like:
ABCNEWS VideoSource
iStock Photo

3) Emotional Connection

So you found a great looking video clip form a reliable source. The final test to making sure it is what you want in your project is asking yourself the following questions:

  • Does it create and foster the emotional connection you want the end audience to feel?
  • Does it fit in with the theme of the project?
  • Is this what the client had in mind?

These are very important questions to ask yourself.

Many programs and websites allow you to “test” some clips (by watermarking the videos with their logos) before you take the plunge and make the purchase. Take advantage of this benefit, and while you are at it, why not show it to the client as well before making it the final selection? That way, you know your project is on the right track, and you’ve selected the best possible stock footage to complement the story.

QUESTION: What is your experience with stock footage? Do you have a favorite source?