Stock Video Footage:
How to Find the Best Video Footage!

Stock video footage

Stock video footage can be just the material that you need to complete your video masterpiece!

Let's take a look at what it is and how you find the best footage for your video production!

What Is Stock Video Footage?

"Stock video footage is generic sequences or shots of locations, people, actions etc. that can be purchased and used by the video producer or filmmaker to complement, enhance and clarify the video or film material he already has produced for his video or film production".

We can further define stock footage as... Video clips or video stock footage that isn't specific in nature and not tied to a specific video or film. For example... Stock video clips can be (but not limited to)...

Old or New News Footage...

Archival Footage of People, Events or Locations...

Generic Shots of Cities...

Background Footage That Has Been Shot of Landmarks or Historical Sites...

Animals in the Wild...

Generic Shots of People Doing Everyday or Unusual Actions...

Aerial Shots of Natural Environments, Crowds, Buildings Etc. ...

Weather Events (Rain, Snow, Wind, Hurricanes Etc.)...

Almost any (or every) type of...

  • Action,
  • Behavior,
  • Location,
  • Natural occurrence,
  • Scene etc. ...

Can be found and purchased as stock footage for a video production!

Who Uses Stock Footage?

Stock footage is used everywhere video or film is produced. From Hollywood filmmakers to television producers to amateurs doing their first video project... They all can, and do, use video stock footage in their productions to better get across or clarify their viewpoint or... To better tell their story to the audience.

Stock footage is vital  of course... For a filmmaker or videographer doing a documentary as normally... Stock or archival footage is the key to their production.

Without it they wouldn't be able to produce their video and tell the story to their audience at all!

Why Use It in Your Video Production?

Aside from documentary producers who ordinarily must find and use relevant stock footage as a key part of their production... The main advantage for most video producers is that this is video material that they didn't have to produce themselves.

It's convenient, easy to use and you don't have to hire a production crew to shoot it... Or... if they got it wrong the first time reshoot it...That fact alone can save you a lot of time, money and frustration as a video producer!!

High quality stock videos in the form of shots, scenes and sequences... with some expert video editing... can be included seamlessly in a video production with fantastic results.

How Do You Find the Video Stock Footage You Need?

When exploring the Internet for sources of stock videos you'll find plenty of sites that can provide you with excellent video stock footage.

Some sites are little easier to use than others are... as far as exploring the video material on the site when you are doing a footage search.

You can spend a lot of time looking for just the right video clip... So using a site that has a really good search function is vital if you don't want to take forever to find the video stock footage you are looking for!

Stock Footage Video File Formats and File Conversions…

If you're going to download a piece of video footage you, of course, want the highest file quality possible as it makes editing the material all that much easier and the look of your video production or film that much better.

Most stock footage sites will have their material in HD or 4K file formats...  Which is pretty much the standard these days for shooting any sort of video footage.

Of course you will run into other formats...  

Especially if you're downloading archival video footage such as digital files of old newsreels etc. from some of the free stock footage sources on the Internet. Most of them are still very good quality however.

Just the Tip...

* Make sure that once you buy a clip on a particular site that you can always go back and re-download it again should you need to!

Just be aware that normally, the video files you find will be large and, depending on... the size of the clip and... the speed of your Internet connection... downloading them can take a while to complete. 

Most sites will give you this option and believe me if the file is corrupted in any way, you want to be sure that you can go back and retrieve a fresh copy of it. 

After all, you've paid for it - you own it!

There are times that after downloading the stock footage, you may need to convert the file to another video file format to be able to use it properly. Usually this can be easily done by using a good video file format converter.

There are a lot of very good free ones on the Internet but, if you are doing professional work, then buy a full-featured video converter! The free ones are very good also but, they're not as full-featured and some of them, for advertisement purposes, will include a watermark on your video.

So... Make sure you read their instructions well before you use one of the free ones as you don't want any surprises!

What Are the Legalities Surrounding the Use of Stock Video Footage?

The legalities surrounding the use of stock video footage, video clip art, video backgrounds, stock photos, stock music clips or video background music is something that the video producer or filmmaker must take the time to thoroughly understand.

As a video producer or filmmaker you want to understand clearly your rights and duties as far as being able to use somebody else's work.

You must understand the legalities and concepts surrounding usage rights for stock video footage or other material such as:

So… The Message Here Is…

Be aware of your legal rights and obligations when you use stock video or music for your video production and this won't happen to you!

It is of vital importance that you be very clear on your rights and privileges when you're using stock video footage, video clips, stock photos etc.!

Most download sites are very good about laying out the different types of agreements that must be understood by you...

The video producer or filmmaker... before  you start using the stock footage you will download. Be sure to read them!

You as an artist will undoubtedly invest a lot of hard work, inspiration and money into your production and it would be no fun...  After you put your heart and soul into a project... To receive a legal notice saying you infringed on another artist's creation and had to cease using that material.

Now... that ... would be Bad  News !  :-(

Can You Make Money by Shooting Video Stock Footage and Selling It?

Have you  shot stock video footage that you think others would love to use in their video production?

Producing stock video footage (especially HD stock footage) that can be used as material in video and film productions can be very rewarding both creatively and financially.

But, just remember that it's a very competitive market and your footage needs to be good... very goodIf you want to sell stock video footage you can start by contacting the major video stock footage download sites... They will give you all the information you need to get you started in this field.

Again... It's a very competitive market and don't expect to get rich quick! Just like anything else you have to work at it, produce a lot of footage and have an idea of what video producers and filmmakers currently want in the way of stock footage.

So... If you do shoot a lot of footage normally and you think some of it would make some very good stock video clips for other video and film producers then contact the download sites and go for it!

You may have already shot the perfect footage needed for somebody's production!

Stock video footage is a great resource for the video producer or filmmaker that needs quality material for their video or film masterpiece!

I'll have articles that go in to detail on the points covered above so check back often!

Have fun...!  Dan (Editor)

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