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Five Ways Stock Video Has Advanced In Recent Years

Stock footage is like makeup -- when it's applied best, you don't even realize it's there. That's perhaps why you may be familiar with stock photography but less so with stock video. Filmmakers, from amateur YouTube channel owners to Hollywood directors, turn to stock clips to help frame and shape their narratives. These clips can help establish a location, set a scene, or wrap things up; no matter what part of a video, there's a clip that can be incorporated seamlessly.

What's amazing is how far the industry has come in just a few years in both quality and reach. Here are five reasons you should consider stock footage for your next video project.

Technology has improved.

There's no greater improvement in this sector than the move from standard quality (SD) to high-def (HD). Some stock video clips of the past may have lacked much oomph to them, but today filmmakers are armed with better cameras than ever. You can get close to director quality with your mobile device. And with more people able to shoot, it has put pressure on people to really stand out with the best clips. You can make high-quality movies whenever you wish.

Choice at different price points

We've moved beyond the time when video meant breaking the bank, or at least your budget. Today, you not only have more accessibility to a variety of clips, you can find them at different, affordable prices. What that means is that it's not only the big networks and big studios that can get hold of the shot they need for their reports or documentaries. Clips have been largely democratized.

Great experimentations

People are renting helicopters to get great aerial shots of the world's biggest and busiest cities. Step back and you'll discover the beauty from a distance. New York City and Miami, for instance, look different from afar, and their characters come across best with an opening that starts wide and comes in closer. This is just one of the many ways that filmmakers are rethinking how to get a shot -- they've also been known to go underwater to capture sea life. Sometimes, that's what it takes to separate yourself from the pack, and it shows in the magnificent final products.

Country-specific clips

What if you were situated in one country but needed footage from another one? In the past, it might be impossible to accomplish. Now, you can travel the globe without leaving your computer. A video about, say, London tourism can heavily feature both travelers visiting popular English landmarks as well as other local flavor such as food and style. Thanks to stock clips, you can go deeper than ever into one population or demographic.

Growth is a feedback loop

Quite possibly the best thing to cause such rapid growth of the stock video industry is the initial growth itself. More filmmakers are seeing the quality and selection on the rise, and they're opting in. As video has been crowned part of the future of digital marketing and advertising, stock footage filmmakers have naturally gravitated over, recognizing the opportunity at hand. The sky's the limit -- especially if you're specializing in video of the moon.

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2 comments about "Five Ways Stock Video Has Advanced In Recent Years".
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  1. adam sargis from MyFootage.com, October 4, 2013 at 9:33 a.m.

    Thanks, Dan for these marker thoughts about using stock footage.
    Kindly also consider advocating the use of archival footage, as a useful tool for editors and producers.
    You Can't Shoot History, but you could
    license a 4K scan of the original film elements from my company.

    Maintaining an old film and tape collection is costly, but for me it's a labor of love; I've been collecting and caring for my film and tape for over 30 years.
    I truly enjoy capturing and uploading
    unseen content that may, one day enhance award winning productions.

  2. brian connell from Anistock, April 24, 2014 at 10:36 a.m.

    Good article. My own belief is that more than anything marketing with video via channels like YouTube has driven up the usage of stock video as this requires the need for high availability of video content at a low cost. Pretty much similar to the stock photography industry.

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