Making the Case for Using Stock Footage & Stock Audio

August 23rd, 2023 Jump to Comment Section 2
Making the Case for Using Stock Footage & Stock Audio

Let’s face it: stock footage has been frowned upon for a very long time now, especially by filmmakers. Nevertheless, everyone has to resort to using it every now and then. Here’s a plea as to why we as filmmakers shouldn’t be ashamed of using it, and quite the contrary, should embrace it instead.

Alright, before we get started, let’s address the elephant in the room: This is a sponsored post by Videvo, which may be best known as a go-to destination for free footage clips (I’ll explain in more detail what they do further down below). Of course, they have a natural interest in promoting the usage of stock footage, after all, it’s their business! So, when they initially asked us if they could sponsor an editorial write-up on stock footage clips we took a moment to hear them out and ended up agreeing to it – because there is a huge case for using stock footage in video and film production indeed. Hear me out.

We can’t film every shot we need – for budget and time reasons

We know that a good part of our audience are indie filmmakers and small production companies who make their money filming corporate films, small commercials, documentaries, social media content, and so on. The people behind CineD are no exception and come exactly from that area as well.

No, you can’t go and film a beautiful sunset for your low-budget corporate film, even if it’s in the script. Image by kjpargeter on Freepik

As such, many of you are probably also the editors of the footage you are shooting. Let’s take corporate films as an example – we’ve all been there: The concept for a shoot also includes scenes that cannot be filmed on the venue or at the facilities of the company – whether it’s shots of a sunrise, a meadow, happy people having fun outdoors, or anything really. Often these shots have to be visually compelling or be shot in exotic locations or in different seasons, which puts production budgets under huge strain. To put it simply, it would be impossible to actually go out and film some of these scenes for a low or mid-budget corporate film. Here’s where stock footage really comes in handy.

Oftentimes, the turnaround time of such a corporate film is extremely short, which is another reason why shooting all of these required scenes on locations becomes impossible, even for higher-budget productions. This, again, is where stock footage can come in to save the day. Personally, I’ve to stock often resorted footage in these instances, but even then, finding the right clip can be an additional challenge.

Tough challenge: using watermarked low-res proxies of stock footage in rough cuts

Sometimes, it takes hours to find the right stock footage clip for your film. Of course, it’s not easy: To find a shot that fits into the defined aesthetic of a separately shot production is a tough thing to achieve. When dealing with stock footage platforms that charge for individual shots, there are additional challenges: You might only use watermarked proxies for a rough cut before showing it to the client because you don’t know whether they will like the selected shot and you can’t risk spending the money on unapproved visuals, though that will most likely affect the viewing experience since these proxies are usually low in quality and needless to say, the watermarks are very distracting.

Never fun: working with watermarked, low-resolution proxies in your video or photo edits. Image by prostooleh on Freepik

Here’s where platforms like Videvo come into play, which offers next to their free offering (more on that below) a number of subscription options, the best of which will allow you to download as many clips as you want from their 1.5 million + media assets to use on your production. So even if a client isn’t happy about a shot that you used, and you need to swap it, you can still show them the final production version in full quality as part of your edits, without having to pay extra every time they change their minds. A huge plus!

It’s also great to see that all of their video clips are at least in HD resolution, but many are even in 4K. We have seen many of the older stock footage platforms still offering a lot of SD content, which isn’t the case with Videvo.

Free stock footage/audio clips and how you can use them

I’ve often come across Videvo for free stock footage clips in the past, and one has to wonder why they offer free stock footage and stock audio clips, and how you can use them in your productions. The answer is, it depends: these thousands of free stock footage, motion graphics, music and sound effect clips vary in their licensing – some have an attribution license (meaning, you can use them if you mention that you got them from Videvo), some are under Creative Commons 3.0, and some others are entirely royalty free – you need to check on each of the clips individually to determine what you are allowed to do with them. Yet, having the ability to choose from thousands of clips for free is astounding to me, freeing up so much creativity in edits.

Using stock clips regularly professionally? Videvo is an affordable option

To gain full access to the 1.5 million+ of assets that Videvo has, which include stock video, stock audio, After Effects/DaVinci/Premiere Pro templates, and be free to use them any way you want in as many projects for as long as you like, you need to sign up for one of Videvo’s premium plans. And by the way, it’s nice to see that a lot of the content on the platform is identical to that on other platforms, meaning the same creators sell their clips there, too.

Here are the subscription details:

Videvo Lite, Plus, and Pro are the Premium subscription plans that Videvo currently offers. They are as straightforward as the following two paragraphs:

Videvo Lite (Monthly only) · USD $7.99 billed Monthly · 5 Premium Downloads per month from across our libraries! · Royalty-Free Licensing

Videvo Plus (Monthly or Yearly)

· USD $14.99 billed Monthly, or save 20% at USD $144 Annually · 25 Premium Downloads per month from across our libraries! · Royalty-Free Licensing

Videvo Pro (Monthly or Yearly)

· USD $24.99 billed Monthly, or save 20% at USD $240 Annually · 50 Premium Downloads per month from across our libraries! (Unlimited in Annual plan) · Premium Audio Downloads · Royalty-Free Licensing

Easy choice for pro filmmakers with regular stock footage needs

The pricing of Videvo’s monthly and annual plans is surprisingly low – considering that ONE premium stock footage clip can easily set you back $250 on other platforms if you want to use it commercially and license clips individually, paying $240 for Videvo Pro for a full year – with UNLIMITED downloads and usage of all their content – is not a bargain, it’s a real steal. Do yourself a favor and check out their stuff!

Are you using stock footage or other stock assets in your productions? What has been your experience? Let us know in the comments below.


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