Stock Footage Report Aug 2015 – what sells and what you can learn
There still is a lack of information for Stock footage artists to draw on. Stock footage marketplaces provide a platform for artists and businesses to exchange video content. However; because current agencies do not contract specific requests to artists there is a lot of guesswork involved to figure out what will sell. Well I hope to give you some valuable information to try to fill the gap I occasionally analyze my past sales to see what trends we can find to help give you more creative ideas to become more successful stock footage artists
I was helping a friend do a photo shoot in a Taipei gym. I decided to shoot some handheld shots of a girl on a treadmill in between. I was surprised that a shot of her feet sold. I’ve sold clips of myself working out in the gym. Perhaps you can film footage of your favorite sport or something fitness related.
Nightlife lifestyle sells
One night my friends and I went out to a Taipei club hotspot and I decided to bring my Canon 6d with a 50mm F 1.4. It’s a really good setup for darker environments and you can cool bokeh. It’s not a stabilized lens so you have to consciously try to keep it as stable as you can as there is little chance you would be allowed in with a tripod; nor would there be enough room. I think these clips sell as I think there are not enough videographers doing nightlife for whatever reason. I enjoy nightlife and capturing it on video. Yes, it is a little more risky being surrounded with lot of people drinking alcohol so be careful. However, if you are prepared to capture some nightlife in a cool nightclub, lounge, or bar I’m sure they have a good chance of selling.
Cultural events at night
Taiwan has many annual festivals. I believe this was the lantern festival where I took the effort to bring out my tripod and dolly to film this shot of the fortune god at night. The fact that I used the dolly and shot it at night for an annual event makes this a rare shot. Perhaps you can look at your local city’s local event calendar and plan to shoot it in an interesting way. Perhaps this means a different angle, at night, an aerial, or use of a dolly to differentiate your shot. Take a look at existing footage of the event on stock footage search engines to get an idea of what already is out there.
Ski compilation at golden hour
People come up to the mountain mainly to ski not to take professional video. It’s also a bit harder to get up to the top if you don’t have a car and know the area. I was a Vancouver local with a car at the time and took advantage of this. If you have an advantage whether it’s where you live or perhaps your relative owns a boat that offers that best view of the fireworks then you have to use that advantage. My current advantage living in Chiang Mai Thailand is I can do 4k aerial shots, developing local knowledge, have access to professional gear, my skillset, and I have a scooter. Identify your advantage as a first step. I also filmed this clip around golden hour for awesome lighting and sold it as a compilation clips, which provides additional value to the customer at no extra cost to you.
I took a day trip out to Jiu-fen in Taiwan. I did a pan at night-time. I was inspired by the beautiful coastal mountain views and the night lights. Getting this shot is tricky because I typically carry the 24-105mm F4 Canon lens. I find there is a fine balance between cranking up the ISO and not getting noise in your picture. I generally won’t go past ISO 1000 with my Canon 6d. If you have a wide lens with an F 2.8 or F1.4 this would great for night-time landscape shots.
My best selling clip – Dolly shot at the bar
Here are two more examples of nightlife clips that are selling for me. The top clip in particular has become one of my best selling clips. It was a scene from a promotional video so I had access to set up my tripod and dolly right at the bar. Not everyone has this opportunity especially in Taipei so I can see why it does well. It also captures the bartender mixing a drink with the crowd blurred out in the background. This clip could be in many different locations in the world adding to its appeal as a stock footage clip.
Tokyo midtown – film those hunches you get
Sometimes I’m on my way somewhere with my camera and I just get a hunch or a urge to film something. Sometimes I don’t have time or I’m too lazy to set up my full gear to get one of these shots so I’ll just handshoot it. I found the architecture and colors of this Tokyo walkway interesting so I shot it while walking forward by hand. I stabilized it in post production. I also sold another clip in Tokyo on a hunch and many others in the past so perhaps you should shoot next time you have a hunch.
Bring your camera to dinner – Film food
I was on the way to meet a friend in Tokyo and stopped into a ramen shop near Roppongi. After I took my camera out an american couple started chatting me up. I managed to get a macro handheld shot simulating a dolly shot while I was talking. I’ve sold many video clips of food from ramen to dumplings. Usually I don’t go on a specific mission just to film food. It’s usually after a day of touring and or I’m meeting a friend and bring the camera in case we go somewhere interesting. Consider filming close macro’s of your food and bring your camera with you next time you go out at night.
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