How Much Should You Pay for Stock Footage?

Stock footage is one of the most convenient ways to create video footage without spending too much on the entire production. Nowadays, you can find several film production companies, film makers and independent production companies selling different types of stock footage. If you are looking for some stock footage to complete your footage, it is important that you know the basics on how much you should pay for a stock footage. There are several factors that dictate the amount of a stock footage.

Categories of Stock Footage

Stock footage is probably one of the cheapest ways to make a video since you are already provided with stock shot or library shot that can complete your shot. If you are looking to purchase some stock footage, it is important to know that there are generally 2 categories of stock footage - royalty free and rights managed stock footage.

Royalty free stock footages are stock footages that are free of any royalty fees or restrictions. With this type of stock footage, you can use the footage as often as you want to without paying any royalties to the owner. You can find quite a few of this type of stock footage. The market value for a royalty-free photo is from $1 to $50. However, it is important to remember that the quality of these file footages can vary, so make sure you carefully check the film before you actually purchase it.

The purchase of rights managed stock footage, on the other hand, requires several guidelines and restrictions. The owner of the stock footage has all the rights to the footage. They can sell licenses of the footage to be use on an individual basis. However, the permission and the price given are generally based on the content and the use of the stock footage. Rights managed can be more expensive than royalty free stock footages, but you can expect to get high quality footages. A rights managed stock photo can set you back for up to $100, so it is best to double check the photo prior to purchase.

File Format

You should also consider the type of file format of your stock footage to use in your film. The price for a DV or HD stock footage does not have much difference, the way you will use it may make the difference. It is advisable that you use a DV footage if you will show the video or film in DV, or stock footage in HD if you will be showing the film in HD. This is to prevent the extra cost of transferring a film from DV to HD or vice versa. A high resolution stock footage will cost a lot more than a medium or low resolution ones. You can pay $10 more for a high resolution image, but a low resolution one will only add about $2 to the total.

Rare or Unique Stock Footage

Another factor that you should consider when determining how much you should pay for stock footage is if the film is worth it. One of the main reasons why film makers use stock footage is it is cheaper to get it then actually spend time, effort and money to shoot the scene you want. For example, if you need a shot from a skydiver's point of view or an explosion, then it is so much cheaper to get stock footage of these shots than actually filming it yourself. You might to pay a little bit more for these types of photos whether it is royalty-free or rights managed. Expect to pay at least $50 for those rarely captured images.