Stock footage has been part of our video production toolkit forever.  However, we definitely saw an increase in usage during the last few years.  I mean, it’s hard to capture busy offices and teams interacting, when no one’s in the office and facemasks are the new “it” accessory.

So that’s where stock footage comes in. But you do have to consider the pros and cons. Especially as things are opening up, and we have more opportunity to film, the question then becomes when is the best time and use case for stock footage.

Here are some advantages:

With stock you can get a lot of diversity in your visuals. Different actors, set-ups, locations. And it’s relatively cost effective. If you wanted to show different people in unique settings, it would be quite costly to stage and set that up.

And it’s also great for things that just would be difficult to capture; like aerial shots in remote locations or the sunset over the Serengeti. So, if you have the opportunity to use visuals like that to tell your story, it can be a great fit.

Stock footage is most commonly used for projects where there isn’t anything to film, but the content can lend itself to a connection with the real world, instead of going fully animated.

Now let’s talk about some drawbacks:

The diversity of visuals that stock allows for, also means less consistency. So if you’re trying to tell one person’s story, it would be very difficult to find a series of stock clips that match the exact storyline you’re trying to showcase.

Also, while stock is relatively cost effective, it can add up if you’re paying for each clip independently or looking for high end visuals like you’d find on Getty.

At Arc + Crown we have a library of assets that we pay for, so we’re able to only charge clients for our time to source the stock instead of paying for each clip, which has helped us be able to produce more stock-based videos for our clients at reasonable rates.

Another thing to consider is the visuals you use need to make sense based on the content of what your video is speaking to. So, talking about how great your team is and then showing stock models might not be the best approach.

However, speaking generally about customer needs, and showing people that look like your ideal client might work well.

All of this to say, that stock is an amazing resource for a particular time and place. We’ve produced many videos that make the best use of stock. But we do take a look at our clients’ needs and help them understand the limitations, and how to make the most out of a stock-based video when it’s the best option.

If you’re considering using stock vs. filming in person let me know and I’d be happy to share ideas on the best approach. Also, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you’d like a professional team to handle your video content, don’t hesitate to send us an email [] or click here if you’d like to book a free 30-min video consultation with one of our producers.  The team at Arc and Crown Media would be more than happy to help.

See ya next time.

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