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  • Mick Reed

Love and Stock Footage



"When I fall in love, it will be forever…" – Nat King Cole

I bet that if you had wires hooked up to a video editor's head the moment they find the stock footage clip they’ve been looking for, you would get a brain pattern similar to what happens when we fall in love. I mean: love-at-first-sight love.


Ok, some might find that sad that this is how I define love. But actually, it just shows how much I love stock footage. And I bet most editors can relate. Because it is an emotional reaction we have that goes beyond keywords and descriptions in a script. We love that shot.


And we love it for a variety of reasons. Beyond the subject matter, it could be the colors, the movement (or lack of it), or the shapes in the frame. It could be the time of day or the season. Maybe there are people in the shot who fit what we’re looking for by demographic, ethnicity, or age, things they often consider in the marketing world. It could be the clothes they’re wearing or their attitude. Is there sound?


Other determining factors might include:


  • Theme or concept (like “Success!”, “Loneliness”, “Adventure”)

  • FPS or resolution

  • Style of shooting

  • Gear the footage was shot on (drone? GoPro? Cine? DSLR?)

  • City, state, or country

The shot might have an intimacy or distance that we’re looking for, or maybe it just fits the shots before and after the hole in our cut for some other reason that we can’t quite put into words.


You get the idea – there’s a lot that makes a shot the right shot, but the initial, visceral reaction the potential buyer has when they see it is the primary driver for clicking “Buy” or moving on to the next clip in their search result. If they’re on a stock footage site in the first place, they are working with a budget and usually know what to expect for pricing.


Now picture trying to shoot the perfect shot for that editor who you don’t even know and who might not need that shot for three years. It’s overwhelming – there are too many factors to consider. But this is what so many stock footage videographers try and do, setting themselves up for frustration and, at worst, failure.


My point is that it’s important to know who your buyer is and why they would choose one shot over another. These are visual people who really care about video. But you can’t make everyone happy – that only works when they hire you to shoot something in advance, which is a different business.


With stock footage, there’s just so much you can control. This is why we’ve developed a sustainable system that puts you, the videographer, in charge. You have to think of it as a numbers game. The best thing you can do is:

  • Shoot something you enjoy

  • Shoot it well (following simple best practices for stock)

  • Cover it different ways, shooting enough to tell the story

  • Edit, tag, and format it to each stock site’s specifications

If this sounds familiar, I’m describing The Clippn Way: Quantity, Quality, and Variety.

It’s the same principle as “the harder you work, the luckier you get.” If you’ve done the work and your clips are on the sites, chances are that when there’s an editor looking to fall in love, your clip just might be in the right place at the right time.


Stock footage…that’s right: it’s all about love.

“Shoot what you love. We do all the rest.” Clippn edits, tags, and distributes your footage to the world’s top stock footage sites.

Download this eBook today!

Learn how the Clippn way can help you spend more time doing what you love
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