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Stock Footage

At one time or another, every producer turns to footage professionals to fill holes or find that perfect shot. You know what you need, but the question is: Where do you go to get it?...
July 1, 2000

At one time or another, every producer turns to footage professionals to fill holes or find that perfect shot. You know what you need, but the question is: Where do you go to get it?

Last issue, RealScreen briefly considered the aesthetics of finding stock footage in the digital age. There’s much more to the story.

Traditionally, there were two ways to find footage – go from library to library yourself, or hire someone to do it for you. Given the advances we’ve made in communications technology, things haven’t changed all that much. The Internet brings most libraries to your desktop with a remarkable immediacy, but sometimes there’s no replacement for an experienced professional.

In this issue, we look to the mechanics of finding stock footage. We start by also looking into what it costs – in both time and money – to bring a researcher onto a project. To consider the other side of the story, we also visit almost 100 footage websites to discover the state of the online market.

To wrap things up, we tackle a couple of case studies to find out how it all works (or doesn’t…) in the real world.

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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