How to use stock footage in films
For the uninitiated, stock footage is the video footage made by others to be purchased and used in videos. When used correctly, stock footage can elevate the quality of your projects to a significant level. However one can face several hurdles while finding the correct stock footage or using them in their films. So here are a few tips on when and how to use them.
Resources: Stock footage is really helpful when you’re constrained by means and money. If your film has an aerial shot over the city or a drone shot of a famous location, it will be practical to find a stock clip of the same rather than travelling to those places and purchasing or hiring a drone. This is just one of the examples of how stock footage might be used. In other instances, you might not be able to get access to that location altogether due to various reasons.
Limitations: You also need to remember that you are unlikely to find the exact footage that you want. The visual and audio details in a stock clip might not match with the rest of your film, at all. But there are ways to get around these limitations, except of course you decide to film the clip yourself.
Match the look and quality of the visuals and color grade all of your shots together to make the stock footage feel native to your piece.
Matching the look: While matching the look of your stock footage with the rest of your film, consider the quality of the clips. Stock footage might be 4K, HD, or low quality, have different frame rates, coloration, filming quality, which will make jarring differences if not matched. Match the look and quality of the visuals and color grade all of your shots together to make the stock footage feel native to your piece.
Details: Make stock footage work for you by using them sparingly and carefully. Use successive shots with two or more complementary shots, to make your video seem more congruent. Also, a useful trick to integrate stock footage in your project while editing is to bond them with music, sound design, or narration.
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