The Key to Making Stock Video? Think Like an Editor

The Key to Making Stock Video? Think Like an Editor

Those familiar with the stock imagery industry know how hard photographers work to take beautiful and useable shots. The more practical-minded photos are often the more popular ones. All photos should be attractive and compelling, however photographers shouldn't lose sight of their target audience. While staging a shoot, keep in mind the needs of photo editors planning spreads, advertisements, brochures, and more.

The same is true for those who take stock footage. While quality is of the utmost importance, relevance is a close second. Some contributors have begun to consider the different ways that film editors and filmmakers might use their clips inside of a larger production. Figuring out what to shoot is a common worry for novice video creators, but it doesn't have to be such a crapshoot. Here are three examples of kinds of clips worth setting out to capture and showcase:

Setting the scene

Warehouses at night may not seem at first glance to be the most dynamic location to cover, but they can be very effective in setting up for criminal activity. We've all seen movies that utilize clips like the one above to create the illusion of wrongdoing. In these examples, warehouses carry weight beyond just as a setting for action. Inside of a larger story arc, clips like these help conjure up emotions in the viewer that can alter the perception of a scene or of a character. As filmmakers look to create drama and suspense at opportune moments, half the work is already done for them based on our preconceived notions of what a particular location means. The darkness of the scene brings with it an inevitable darkness to the story.

Establishing shots

Does this clip look familiar? It's probably because TV shows like "Seinfeld" and "The Cosby Show" and other New York City-centric shows use establishing shots of building exteriors to move the story from one location to the next. It only takes a couple of seconds, but it helps reorient the viewer to where the next scene will occur. For popular shows, the repetitive nature of the same location will telegraph that building as either a home or a popular place that the main characters congregate. You will see similar establishing shots for office buildings or places of leisure, such as bars. These types of clips might come and go quickly, but they're crucial in breaking up one scene from another. Film editors rely on them, and stock video creators who live in cities can produce them rather easily just by walking outside and aiming upward.

Fast movement

Every day people are finding new and creative ways to put their GoPro cameras to good use. Some crafty motorists have begun to attach their cameras to the tops and sides of their cars as they drive to give off a real-time impression of a speeding vehicle. This effect proves most valuable when the camera is secured to the back and illustrates other cars trailing it. For filmmakers looking to illustrate a high-speed chase, these clips can do wonders. From this point of view, the intensity rises as the clip wears on. It's also relatively easy for a stock video contributor to produce since it requires little more than weaving through traffic. The beauty of this brand of shoot is that you can slice up an hour of driving into a series of clips of different lengths and varieties, serving even more suspense-thirsty filmmakers.

Photo credit

[Driving clip]

[Apartment clip]

[Warehouse clip]


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About Our Contributing Author - Danny Groner
Danny Groner is the manager of blogger partnerships and outreach for Shutterstock.



Please Note: Opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributing author and not necessarily that of

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