Stock Footage

5 Reasons To Use Stock Footage



Look, it might not be a popular opinion, and amongst filmmaking nerds, it’s a curse word, but stock footage can be a boon when it comes to saving time and money, especially if you’re an indie creator setting out on your journey of discovery.

Don’t discount it and what it can help you achieve, in a shorter time frame. Not convinced? Read on and hopefully, you’ll change your mind. 

It’s inexpensive

Using stock footage

So, let’s get the money discussion out of the way first. Using stock footage is an inexpensive way of creating something that looks fantastic and can capture a mood, but leaves you with more budget for other things. 

If you’re shooting a video or film and you need footage of a particular element – for instance a dramatic sunset, you’ve only got your camera to rely on. That, and perhaps the cost of traveling to a destination to capture the image. Then there are license permits for filming…and it rolls on.

The readily available stock films allow you to incorporate what you need into existing footage without excessive cost and it’s often only a quick online search away from you. When you’re filming on a tight budget it’s a no-brainer. 

Ready and waiting for you

We’ve just touched on this idea above, but stock footage is already there, ready and waiting for you to use. More often than not it won’t take long to source it, download and edit it and you’ve ended up with some quality film for your project that works seamlessly, is professional standard and although pros don’t like to admit it – is something they’ll use to. 

Don’t believe it? Well, some of your favorite films and TV shows from across the generations have always used stock film to create the impression you’re watching actors and actresses in the place they’re supposed to be (and not in a closed studio).

It often doesn’t look like stock film

filmmakers get sniffy about stock footage

This is probably one of the main reasons that filmmakers get sniffy about stock footage. They think that it doesn’t always look like the real thing. The fact is, it’s improved leaps and bounds over the years and now it can be impossible to tell from the ‘real’ (whatever that is) thing. 

Audiences can tell when there’s a cutaway shot that simply doesn’t match the rest of the footage and for this reason, professionals can sometimes be wary. However, these days clever editing and better quality shots make it look so much more seamless. 

There are ways to ensure that stock footage doesn’t look like, well, stock footage! Firstly, always make sure that you’re using the highest quality footage possible (and yes, this will cost a little bit more, but it will still be less expensive than shooting it yourself) and secondly ensure that it’s at a grade and quality that fits in with the rest of your film project. Last, but by no means least – ensure it’s edited to fit perfectly with all your other imagery and shots.

No need to travel to get it

Need a complicated wildlife shot or some aerial footage of a foreign country? Then you’ll need to pay for travel, accommodation, filming time, permits and licenses, and all the other things that go with a vacation – sorry, serious film shoot.

Some locations across the world can be notoriously difficult to film in, or get permission to do so and if you’re on a tight schedule and have zero left in the coffers it leaves you with little wriggle room. 

Therefore it makes sense to use stock footage to enhance your production and get some brilliant film footage that makes your work look amazing but has saved you money. 

There are lots of commercials and TV shows being shot in this way and you’d be hard-pressed to tell as they look so professional.

You’re supporting other filmmakers

supporting other filmmakers

This is an important point to remember. By using stock footage (and paying for it) you’re supporting other filmmakers who are in the same industry and need to make a living. All the stock footage you see in adverts, on TV shows, and in films was created by people who have the same dreams and aspirations as you. 

There are indeed varying degrees of quality in stock film, but there are also some real gems out there and the filmmakers that shot them have real talent. Before you discount using such footage it’s important to remember all that. 

Don’t forget that filming your own different kinds of stock footage from around your local neighborhood and selling it might also be another way to make some money to fund your project, which is also worth considering if you’re on a restricted budget. It is also a great way to get some experience and practice shooting and editing films. 

Don’t discount the benefits of using stock footage in your films. It can provide a real boost to your project.

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With an adept skill of curating content on multiple genres, Mony has harnessed success as a Content Writer quickly. Find her sharing her profound thoughts and opinions on social media, lifestyle, beauty, and social business.

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