Handshake

Thinking of using stock footage?

Do you cringe when you hear the words ‘stock footage’? Maybe now you don’t need to. And, you can steer well clear of cliche imagery like the handshake one I’m using right now.

That’s it, decision made.

So, after tossing and turning in bed, lots of heated debates in the boardroom and some serious ping pong in your head, you’ve made the call, it’s time to put some stock footage in your video. Whether the the whole video is made from stock footage or you’re just covering hard-to-shoot gaps, stock footage is indeed a real world solution.

First decide what shots you need, then take a quick look through the following stock footage sites.

Videohive

VideoHive is the ideal stock footage site for anyone who’s on a tight budget. They have a large library and shots vary from very low priced to pretty damned affordable! Clips can start as low as a few bucks. It also comes with a nifty Filter and Refine feature, so for example, you could just search for 24 frames per second (fps) ‘fast car’ videos rather than see all the fps options. Handy if your video is being made in the US, not Australia as its less likely that the video will be jerky when added to your main video.

Pond5

Pond5 has really improved over the years. The quality of the stock footage is much better than it used to be. Prices start from as little as $16, but I have been quite surprised to find some very expensive clips on this site, especially when you look for 4K options. $830 for this turtle! I think that’s more the exception but whoa. Pond5 have this really cool AI search function where you can upload an image like a jpeg to find similar footage.

Dissolve

If you’re looking for stock videos with slightly more creative flair, then Dissolve might be the place for you. Generally I find that HD clips start at around $49 but you can very quickly find yourself looking at $199/$299 clips like this one. Again, they’ve also got a filter feature so make sure you click on ‘Royalty-Free’ versus ‘Rights-managed’ if you want a set and forget option.

And of course, there’s ShutterstockGetty Images and iStock.

But, if your budget permits and you want something cinematic, try Filmsupply.

Filmsupply

Filmsupply isn’t really a stock footage site. Instead, this is all real ad/passion project/film footage shot by amazing film makers – it’s all pretty nice cinematography. It’s searchable and licensable, plus their helpful staff can help you find what you’re looking for! It’s also highly unlikely you’ll find footage of a smiling real estate agent handing over keys to beautiful couple with the house in the background, or that model with amazing teeth who’s lifting a 1KG dumbell or businessmen shaking hands. Brrr. You’ve got to check Filmsupply out first I think, then the other sites listed above.  Prices start at $199 but it’s so worth it, I mean just watch this.

So, you’ve got options. As with everything else, figure out what you want then throw in your search terms and use the filters. Sometimes you can get a few more shots from the same shoot and that can help with telling your story. The sites normally allow you to download a low res watermarked file so you can even put them in your edit to see how it all flows, then buy the file if you decide to use the clip.

Ajit Singh is the Executive Producer at Sydney based video production company Rocket Productions. You’ll find more useful articles on video production on our blog.