How to Use Stock Footage for Commercials

Small time film directors on a budget like to use stock footage for commercials for many reasons. They are cheap, require no production costs, and they can be used immediately. Using stock footage also leaves less carbon footprints. It is really a great money saver plus, there is tons of stock footage to choose from on many sites. However, because there is so much stock footage to choose from, it is important the filmmaker takes time to decide which one is the most suitable and the cheapest way possible. Most sites will allow a preview clip, so choose carefully to save money. Here is how to choose stock footage for commercials.

Step 1: Sign Up for a Stock Footage Site

There are numerous sites out there that sell high quality stock footage in high definition at affordable prices. Most allow a person to sign up for free, then later give customers the option to buy credits. These credits act like the currency of the site. To really save money, sign up for reputable ones that allow you to sign up for free. Then, search their database for the type of stock footage that you want. Expand your options and select several stock footages. You should only buy credits after you have selected your stock footage.

Step 2: Select Footage that Is Unique

There should be a few criteria that film directors should adhere to when selecting stock footage, such as selecting footage that is unique and can capture the audiences' attention. Select some that are humorous because people will always remember something that gives them a good laugh.

Step 3: Observe the Motion

Observe carefully the motion of the stock footage. The most important factor for good motion is the cooperation of the camera movement and the object movement. Good motion movement means the camera is moving in a similar fashion with the object. Good motion will employ good camera movement techniques like jib arm, tripod or the aid of other equipment devices. Select footage that gives a clear distinction about the movement.

Step 4: Good Performances

Just like any good movie, footage must have performance that seems real, so make sure that the object has talent in acting. Make sure that the acting seems believable--not too cheesy or out of line. Don't select those that appear staged rather than real. You won't believe the sheer amount of bad acting in stock footage.

Step 5: Lighting

The lighting plays an important role in displaying a performance in a clear and crisp manner. How do you tell whether the footage has good lightning? Excellent lighting requires the perfect blend of ratio and look within a particular shot. You may need to fork out a bit more to buy stock footage from veteran directors that have mastered the perfect technique of lighting. They have an arsenal of camera tricks and equipment that make full use of the lighting.

Step 6: Location of the Stock Footage

Observe the background and observe the location where the footage was filmed. Is it relevant to the message you want to send to the audience?