No Footage? No Problem!

Updated: May 5

Sometimes you need a video right now, but you don't have any footage. What should you do? Well, you could scramble to shoot something and quickly cobble it together in iMovie...OR you can let us help you create compelling content utilizing our stock footage libraries. And yes, stock footage projects can actually be effective, engaging, and good!


This is a video Lunarvue Media made for a client using nothing but footage from stock content libraries.


So what is Stock Footage?


Stock footage the term for professional video or photo content that was created by a professional, stored in a on-line library and is available for anyone to download to use in their project. It's not free though, you do have to procure the rights to use this content. Some stock libraries will allow you to pay for individual clips and others offer subscriptions to access all of what they have to offer. How and where you'll use it, and the type of the content you need will often determine the cost of the footage. If you are purchasing individual licensed clips it can be as much as $50 for a single 10 second shot! You can imagine, this will drive the cost of a stock footage project up considerably if you need a lot of footage. But there's another alternative.....hire a production company that has paid to obtain the necessary licenses from stock libraries and let them create your video for you! Not only will they have more footage options, it'll likely end up costing you less to have a pro tackle the project.

Here are a few questions we are often asked about using stock footage:

  1. If I hire a production company, can I just pay them to download the stock content and then give it to me to use? Unfortunately no. The production company pays for the licensing rights to use this content for their productions. The production company agrees to terms with the library that the footage downloaded can only be used in videos that they create.

  2. If I pay for a single clip from a stock footage library, can I use it in more than one video? Not likely. The terms of using the content can vary depending on the library, but typically each use requires paying for a new license to use it in a new production.

  3. What is a blanket license and should I have one? This is the industry slang for having access to everything that a stock image library has and being able to use it in any capacity, for any duration, whether for broadcast, internet, or for published works. If you need one is really dependent on how often you think you'd need to access stock content for your individual use.

  4. Does my stock footage clip expire? Usually once you pay for the license, you can use it within that project in perpetuity, but not always, so make sure you are aware of any individual conditions for each library.

  5. Where does stock footage come from and is it any good? Production companies or freelancers sell their media to footage libraries. Often times, it's made specifically for this use so that means there might be several clips that are related with different angles, or maybe even different people as the subject. The quality really depends on the library. I've found that the adage, "you get what you pay or" typically applies here.

Now that you know a little more about how stock footage works,

let's talk about YOUR project.


If you find yourself needing to create a video but you don't have the assets you need, this is where Lunarvue Media can help. Our clients can even peruse our online libraries and choose the clips for their projects. Then we download those assets and start putting it all together. The two main ways we use stock footage is:

A.) To enhance a project we shot for you (let's say you need a shot of the Pyramids of Giza in your video but don't want to send us to Egypt) or...

B.) We can start a project from scratch using mostly or even ONLY our stock footage.

Our stock footage library project was ready to go in time for our client's large convention presentation


Recently we did B. for a favorite client, the large financial services company, PSCU. They required a pretty extensive video to be created and launched in time for their large corporate convention in Las Vegas. They provided the script, we procured the voice over talent, and then we leveraged our stock libraries to create a 7 minute video about Cryptocurrency and how it relates to Credit Unions. Oh, and we had a little over a week to get it all done! It worked out great, the client was thrilled, and it was uploaded to their micro-site in time for the audience to access. It's far more cost effective to hire the services of a production company that already has the resources, as opposed to paying individually for resources for yourself or your marketing team. Plus a video pro will know best how to find and implement the stock footage. Our client was surprised how we could take a more conceptual subject like Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency and produce a video from scratch with nothing but stock video.


You can see it fully integrated on their website here: https://www.pscu



You don't have tackle projects like this on your own!


Lastly and most importantly, ask the video production company you want to work with if they have access to a blanket license for their stock footage library and if they are going to charge anything extra if they need to use it in your project. At Lunarvue Media our stock content is included within our editing rates. We pay yearly for access for blanket subscriptions for video, photo, graphic content, music, and sound effect libraries so you don't have to! And our licensed stock content never expires. So you can use your edited video on any platform and forever.


If you have questions about this topic or any other topic, leave a comment below, reach out to us through email, or through our contact link here on the website.

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