Finding New Sources For Unique Video Footage
It’s whole new world with pandemics running amuck. Traveling to shoot footage for your project or hiring others to do so now comes with all sorts of complications and even liabilities. Many video producers, editors and post production teams have turned to stock footage to both fill the gap and acquire new footage to use in their video editing to keep ad agency clients happy.
Use Google Search Not Just Big Stock Agencies
Utilizing search engines like Google to find specific footage actually opens you up to a whole world of sellers. Many Stock Footage creators sell on several of the big stock agencies like Shutterstock, Pond5 and Adobestock, but they may also sell on their own sites and what’s better is sometimes the footage is only availableat their specific site. That means that the post production team choosing to spend a little extra time searching Google and go through some extra site browsing can actually net you some very specific footage, and even though you may not purchase a single use license of that footage, because it is a little harder to find, your footage will look unique to the client.
One example of this is a Google search for the search term “Stock Footage Detroit”. This search reveals a small site which is a niche site that offers stock footage of Detroit, Michigan and holds some unique gems that are not available on any other sites.
In this example clip, a daring firefighter opens the roof to ventilate the interior of the building so that the firefighters who enter to do search and rescue, can both see more clearly and work in less heat. This clip is only available on Detroit Stock Footage and would be very hard and costly to replicate.
Of course there are other sites offering similar footage for sale in your search niche. I would be willing to bet that as we see the trend of big stock sites taking more profits from their creators and slowly squeezing the seller, more and more creators will move to hosting their own stock footage sites in these various niches.
Search YouTube For Stock Footage
One great method for searching for these niche areas is to do a YouTube search. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and is owned by Google (Alphabet). YouTube searches come up often in a normal Google search, but you can dive into more minutia if you do the search directly on YouTube. My experience is that these niche stock sites offer their samples up on YouTube. This allows you to search more content quickly and preview the stock footage clip.
In staying with our example site, Detroit Stock Footage, doing a quick YouTube search of the term “Stock Footage Detroit” or “Detroit Stock Footage” offers up dozens of clips that could meet your projects needs. That same search also reveals different compilation edits where you can see various clips in the same genre quickly and easily as seen in the example below:
Reach Out To Stock Footage Creators
Often these niche sites have hard drives full of stock footage that they or their colleagues have shot, but have not had time to upload those clips – or are in the process of doing so, albeit slowly. By simply reaching out and asking if they have a specific clip or angle, you will likely be surprised by the results. If you like the style of the stock footage shooter, and tell them so, they may even be willing to go grab a clip for you of that specific thing at a very reasonable rate as they will then list that same clip for sale and continue to make money on it for years to come.