Stock Footage: Advantages and How to Get Them Right

The rocket-fast, rapid-fire growing popularity of the stock footage industry in recent times is due, in no small part to the fact that these video clips are instantly available. And production savings are instantly noticeable. Instant download not only impacts buyer, but seller methods a well. It is important to understand their full capabilities.

Stock video or stock footage are short video clips which are usually available for instant purchase and download. The license for these clips are either rights-managed or royalty-free. Stock footage is commonly used and not easily detected in movies, television, documentaries and, of course, all web applications. Difficult to film shots such as natural disasters (tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, etc.) are nearly always stock footage but so are many crowd scenes, cityscapes, space shots and nature shots such as clouds, waterfalls, ocean and forest scenes. Some ways stock video is particularly useful are:

I. Save time and expense: When you compare the expense of buying and downloading a stock clip to the expense of the production hiring a camera crew to shoot a similar shot, you will soon realize the considerable amount of money saved. As far as time to film, travel, etc. you soon see the amount of time saved as well.

2. Substitutions: Many films and productions today use a considerable amount of stock footage particularly when, as mentioned earlier, scenes call for natural disasters. There are also quite a few high quality special effects stock shots to beef up a project. Often, these stock video shots are of such good quality and so creative, they further inspire a production as far as story and plot goes.

3. You Don't Have To Wait!Stock footage is, nine times out of ten, immediately available to download. And, depending on the license, clips can be modified to fit and project need.

It is always advisable to check and double check all details of use and license requirements of any stock video purchased. Some things to be aware of are:

I. Licensing of the Footage Clips: This is of upmost importance. Misuse of a clip can lead to infringements. Again as mentioned earlier, footage is available as either rights managed or royalty free.

Rights managed clips have greater restrictions as well as greater expense. They are usually licensed for single use within a particular time frame and sometimes territory. Royalty free clips are one time purchase for unlimited use with a few restrictions, such as percentage of entire project the clips can entail if the project is for sale and also re-sale of the clips are prohibited.

2. Resolution and other quality issues: Of course, the quality of video stock is of great importance. Resolution, image quality, lighting, focus, etc. must match the rest of the project so the clips can be dropped seamlessly into the piece, or at least with a little adaptation.

3. Legalities: Most reputable footage providers guarantee that the footage is free from copyright issues are you are free to use such clips without worrying. However, they also come with stipulations as to their use by you: that you do not use them in any illegal manner for any illegal uses or any defaming uses. Make sure to check with the supplier as to their stipulations of use and legal guarantees.

For all the reasons stated above, stock footage use is on the rise! Check it out and consider using stock video for all you media projects. You and your budget will be glad you did.

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