We were commissioned recently to create a 30 second video for an exhibition and awards ceremony. The company already had a video that was on there site, and they wanted to incorporate certain elements of that video into the new one.

We created a concept for the new video which combined the existing video with new footage that we filmed against a green screen. The new footage was simply there to create a more interesting way of transitioning and moving between the different stock footage. The existing video contained stock footage which we had to re Рpurchase from a royalty free site, and then manipulate in post to fit in with the new footage that we had filmed. This is the result:

The point of this is that stock footage can be used effectively, whether on its own or combined with new video footage, but there has to be a genuine reason to use it over filming something yourself.

1. Budget – If you want to create an animation that could take time and money, and this is beyond the budget, a solution may be to look at a royalty free site.

2. Location – If you need a shot of a busy street in (lets say) Japan and its one shot, then the majority of the time you will be able to find a stock example of this. Unless you have to show something specific and there is budget to do this, stock footage can often help you overcome this problem.

3. Historical events – We produced a documentary recently and used stock footage to show actual events, which worked very well, however, on our new documentary we are looking at ways of incorporating stock footage into re-enactment footage that will blend together by grading the stock footage and re-enactment footage to match up. This way the audience wont be aware of what is stock and what we filmed ourselves.

Although the above examples are useful ways of using stock, there is still one big problem with it; Its not original. It is still a generic video that you can see in any number of other productions and is not tailored or designed for any definite production.