With a pandemic-stricken world, reduced budgets, limited travel, filming restrictions and time being of the essence to get your brand’s message out there, it seems like using stock footage is the only solution. Sometimes it can be creatively limiting and terrible quality, it’s not necessarily a cheap solution and hours of your life can be lost just trying to finding one piece of material that works with your project.

But it doesn’t have to be this way…

Any piece of video content begins with a clear brief and creative idea. And this is particularly important if stock footage is the route you’re attempting to take. Before diving head-first into your creative treatment it’s worth considering the limitations that come with stock as well as its strengths, to avoid forcing a square peg into a round hole when it comes to the execution of your idea.

Let’s imagine you’re creating a brand film with all the key elements: voice over, music track and of course stock video. Finding the ingredients for your edit can be an overwhelming and lengthy process, so what you want is freedom and flexibility when scrolling through those stock libraries.

Remember that creativity is King.

Nailing that script is key – too specific or prescriptive and you’ll be trying to find a needle in a haystack. And being overly functional will inevitably lead you to predictable, drab content to work with.

Picture by Markus Winkler from Pexels

A more abstract and emotive approach to scriptwriting will broaden your options for the edit and ultimately makes for a more interesting and impactful film. So embolden your creative with metaphors and the unexpected, and indulge in stock’s variety of offerings to set the tone and deliver real feeling.

And lastly, consider making your film no longer than 60 seconds. You don’t want to be needing scores of clips to fill your timeline, which will suck up more of your time and budget.

From our blog “Long v.s. Short Video”

Some creativity will be required to ensure that your short video content is both engaging and valuable. It is relatively simple to throw together a video with a runtime of under 60 seconds, but it’s challenging to deliver powerful experiences that your audience will remember.

Other considerations

Watch out: be aware of the rights associated with a clip, that it aligns with your budget and content usage. You don’t want to get attached to a clip and then find its usage terms make it ineligible for your project.