Stock video, like stock music, is often seen as a dirty word, and tends to evoke a negative reaction from people.
“Ugh. Gross. Just go shoot something yourself!” my mom would always say to me.
Stock video causes your mind to rifle through generic landscape shots, racially ambiguous talent, and time lapsed cityscapes. Basically, a whole lot of things happening but nothing actually happening. One of the companies were going to highlight below went so far as to create a now-famous video that skewers all of the stock video stereotypes we all know and love/loathe.
However, just as video has become more about storytelling, there a few new stock video providers focusing more on curating footage that lends itself to these narratives.
Even the most stubborn filmmakers will go to great lengths to shoot all the footage themselves, but sometimes we still need that perfect, elusive shot that you just can’t capture alone.
We’re based in Chicago and it’d be near impossible to get footage of anything close to resembling a beach in February. Or if the storyboard calls for a shot of the world, good luck getting in touch with NASA to make that happen.
There are countless instances where stock is going to be absolutely needed and we’ve highlighted some of them in the past. But times have changes, so we’ve scoured the web to bring you some of the best new stock video websites in the game.
Pros: low price, clear usage options, deep portfolio
Cons: broad search categories, some clips still too generic
Pricing: Royalty Free – starting at $50, Rights Managed – starting at $200
Remember when I said that stock video sites are more focused on storytelling now? Well, Dissolve goes so far to state that focus on their homepage with the tagline “Better footage, better stories”.
Their homepage also displays some of the diverse and modern footage they have available. It’s evident their footage is shot with an array of devices (GoPro, Fisheye lens, etc.) with hip looking subjects, a welcomed reprieve from the tripod and slow panning footage we’ve grown accustomed to with stock video.
People are often concerned that the stock footage they’re finding isn’t modern looking enough and that’s usually by design. By having neutral fashions and bland settings it makes the traditional stock footage more evergreen. Dissolve throws that caution to the wind and delivers timely and relevant footage.
PS – these are the people behind that viral ‘This is a Generic Brand’ video.
Story and Heart
Pros: Unique search capabilities, very unique looking footage
Cons: Crowded layout, expensive
Pricing: Standard License starting at $125
Remember how I talked about how Dissolve mentions storytelling in their tagline? Well this provider decided it was so important, that they put it in their name!
Story and Heart footage contains modern people and new age methods of searching through their footage (i.e. Mood, Color, and Energy). They want their users to focus on the emotion they want to evoke and not hyper specific clip content.
To me, their biggest differentiating factors is that a lot of their footage plays with focus and lighting. If you spend a few minutes exploring their content, you’ll see how their contributors often use with these elements to give the clips more of, for lack of a better term, an artistic feel. This definitely isn’t your grandma’s stock video site.
Pros: great for building out scenes with multiple angles and perspectives
Cons: tougher to find montage footage
Pricing: single clips starting at $49; three clip packages at $99
Rating: N/A (not launched)
Remember how…nevermind. Film Supply is yet to fully launch but they focus more on packaged scenes rather than individual clips. If you want your video to have two guys shaking hands followed by a woman walking on the beach and then a dog running in a park, then Film Supply may not be for you. However, if you want to see two guys shaking hands, then one of them walking down the street, and then arriving at his home – not a montage, a narrative – you’re in the right place.
Brought to you by the forward thinking people of Music Bed, they focus on providing bundles of scenes to it’s users. In their pricing section they actually only highlight the three and five scene packages, with the single scene pricing in small print at the bottom.
I’m looking forward to seeing their collection and launch – it seems to be a place where you could create a 1 minute video that could be impossible to tell whether it was made with their stock footage or your own.
Here are just a few examples of business videos that utilize stock video without detracting from the overall quality of the project.
This Is New
You’ll always have your pick of the litter when it comes to stock footage options, but these three sites are changing the way people think about and use that footage. So, remember these sites next time you’re in the market, so your video doesn’t end up the butt of a joke.
What are some of your favorite stock video sites to share? Have you used any of these sites for your project? Share them below in the comments!
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