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Stock footage, and similarly, archive footage, library pictures, and file footage is film or video footage that can be used again in other films. Stock footage is beneficial to filmmakers as it saves shooting new material. A single piece of stock footage is called a "stock shot" or a "library shot".Stock footage may have appeared in previous productions but may also be outtakes or footage shot for previous productions and not used. Examples of stock footage that might be utilized are moving images of cities and landmarks, wildlife in their natural environments, and historical footage. Suppliers of stock footage may be either rights managed or royalty-free. Many websites offer direct downloads of clips in various formats.
Stock footage companies began to emerge in the mid-1980s, offering clips mastered on Betacam SP, VHS, and film formats. Many of the smaller libraries that specialized in niche topics such as extreme sports, technological or cultural collections were bought out by larger concerns such as Corbis or Getty Images over the next couple of decades.
Stock footage can be used to integrate news footage or notable figures into a film. For instance, the Academy Award-winning film Forrest Gump used stock footage extensively, modified with computer-generated imagery to portray the lead character meeting such historic figures such as John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and John Lennon.
News programs use film footage from their libraries when more recent images are not available. Such usage is often labeled on-screen with an indication that the footage being shown is file footage.
Television and movies series also often recycle footage taken from previous installments. For instance, the Star Trek franchise kept a large collection of starships, planets, backgrounds, and explosions, which would appear on a regular basis throughout Star Trek's five series and ten films, being used with minimal alteration. That kept production costs down as models, mattes, and explosions were expensive to create. The advances in computer graphics in the late 1990s and early 2000s helped to significantly reduce the cost of Star Trek's production, and allowed for a much wider variety of shots than previous model and painting based visuals. Other films that re-used film footage from previous productions include Transformers: Dark of the Moon , Blade Runner , Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones , Hitman , Jaws: The Revenge , Halloween II , Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix , and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure .
Some series, particularly those made for children, such as Power Rangers or Teletubbies , reuse footage that is shown in many episodes.[ citation needed ] Meant for a young audience, the approach increases viewers' familiarity between shows. This introduces problems such as the requirement to, for example, wear the same clothing and inconsistency can sometimes become a problem. When cleverly filmed it is possible to avoid many of these problems.
Many broadcast shows use stock-footage clips as establishing shots of a particular city, which imply that the show is shot on location when in fact, it may be shot in a backlot studio. One or two establishing shots of an exotic location such as the Great Wall of China, Easter Island, or French Polynesia will save production companies the major costs of transporting crew and equipment to those actual locations.
Stock footage is often used in commercials when there is not enough money or time for production. More often than not these commercials are political or issue-oriented in nature.Sometimes it can be used to composite moving images that create the illusion of having on-camera performers appear to be on location. The term B-roll may refer to stock footage or newly shot scenes.
Stock footage that appears on television screens or monitors shown in movies or television shows is referred to as "playback". In Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy , which was written by and starring Will Ferrell as a San Diego news anchor, the studio purchased archival 1970s clips from San Diego stock footage firm New & Unique Videos. The playback footage of a hurricane featured in Disney's Smart House came from the vaults of the same San Diego firm.
One of the most common uses of stock footage is in documentaries. Use of stock footage allows the filmmaker to tell the story of historical events such as World War II Why We Fight series, to document modern underwater archaeology activities, or to supplement content in natural history documentaries. Budgets may not be sufficient to keep a production crew on site for long term projects, and stock footage allows the producer to pick the moments in time that are most important to the story or to give context to historical events.
Several films that would otherwise be completely lost have surviving footage due to the film being used as a stock footage. For example, The Cat Creeps has some scenes preserved in the movie Boo, and scenes from Queen of the Night Clubs are preserved as stock footage in Winner Take All. If not for the use of stock footage, these films would be lost entirely.
Stock Footage are also used in live reality TV shows such as I'm a Celebrity . Most of the stock footage used in that show is footage that is related to jungle creatures and insects. There is one stock video in particular that lasts for four seconds and excites people: a short video of a spider catching a fly and spinning it in a web. The makers of the stock footage added some cartoon sounds to the video to entertain people.
In recent months, stock footage of studio audience applause and reactions have been used in TV shows in place of a live studio audience due to the current COVID-19 crisis.
Companies throughout the world use stock footage in their video productions for in-house meetings, annual conventions, seminars, and other events. It has become popular to videotape interviews of CEOs and other VIPs using a green screen backdrop. When the green is keyed out during post-production, stock footage or stock shots are inserted, to impart a particular message.
One of the largest producers of public domain stock footage is the United States government. All videos produced by the United States military, NASA, and other agencies are available for use as stock footage. There are a number of companies that own the copyrights to large libraries of stock footage and charge filmmakers a fee for using it, but they rarely demand royalties. Stock footage comes from a myriad of sources including the public domain, other movies and television programs, news outlets, and purpose-shot stock footage.
With each introduction of new standard, it requires reshooting, rerendering, or rescanning the popular footage as well as new images to show the capabilities of the next standard. Betacam SP, VHS, and early digital footage was shot in Standard Definition (SD), in 4:3 aspect ratio. Next came a higher resolution format, High Definition (HD), with a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is closer to cinema widescreen formats. Many stock-footage companies and producers were concerned that their libraries would become irrelevant.Most stock footage companies & distributors now require HD 1080p footage at a minimum with many requesting 2K resolution and 4K resolution raw footage. Many companies are also including Virtual Reality (VR) and 360-degree video footage.
Popular digital container formats include MOV (QuickTime File Format) AVI, FLV, MP4, and MXF, which are commonly used in non-linear editing system applications such as Avid, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Premiere Pro.
Notable stock footage libraries and archives include:
16 mm film is a historically popular and economical gauge of film. 16 mm refers to the width of the film; other common film gauges include 8 and 35 mm. It is generally used for non-theatrical film-making, or for low-budget motion pictures. It also existed as a popular amateur or home movie-making format for several decades, alongside 8 mm film and later Super 8 film. Eastman Kodak released the first 16 mm "outfit" in 1923, consisting of a camera, projector, tripod, screen and splicer, for $335. RCA-Victor introduced a 16 mm sound movie projector in 1932, and developed an optical sound-on-film 16 mm camera, released in 1935.
Super 8mm film is a motion picture film format released in 1965 by Eastman Kodak as an improvement over the older "Double" or "Regular" 8 mm home movie format.
Videotape is magnetic tape used for storing video and usually sound in addition. Information stored can be in the form of either an analog signal or digital signal. Videotape is used in both video tape recorders (VTRs) or, more commonly, videocassette recorders (VCRs) and camcorders. Videotapes are also used for storing scientific or medical data, such as the data produced by an electrocardiogram.
Cinematography is the art of motion-picture photography and filming either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as film stock.
In film and television production, B-roll, B roll, B-reel or B reel is supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot. The term A-roll referring to the main footage has fallen out of use.
Getty Images, Inc., is a British-American visual media company with headquarters in Seattle, Washington. It is a supplier of stock images, editorial photography, video and music for business and consumers, with an archive of over 200 million assets. It targets three markets—creative professionals, the media, and corporate.
Branded Entertainment Network (BEN) is a Los Angeles-based product placement, influencer marketing and licensing company. The company offers product placement, rights clearance, and personality rights management services for the entertainment industry.
Stock photography is the supply of photographs which are often licensed for specific uses. The stock photo industry, which began to gain hold in the 1920s, has established models including traditional macrostock photography, midstock photography, and microstock photography. Conventional stock agencies charge from several hundred to several thousand United States dollars per image, while microstock photography may sell for around USD 25 cents. Professional stock photographers traditionally place their images with one or more stock agencies on a contractual basis, while stock agencies may accept the high-quality photos of amateur photographers through online submission.
Film colorization is any process that adds color to black-and-white, sepia, or other monochrome moving-picture images. It may be done as a special effect, to "modernize" black-and-white films, or to restore color films. The first examples date from the early 20th century, but colorization has become common with the advent of digital image processing.
Film-out is the process in the computer graphics, video production and filmmaking disciplines of transferring images or animation from videotape or digital files to a traditional film print. "Film-out" is a broad term that encompasses the conversion of frame rates, color correction, as well as the actual printing, also called scanning or recording.
In filmmaking and video production, footage is raw, unedited material as originally filmed by a movie camera or recorded by a video camera, which typically must be edited to create a motion picture, video clip, television show or similar completed work.
In filmmaking, dailies are the raw, unedited footage shot during the making of a motion picture. They are thus referred to because usually at the end of each day, its footage is developed, synced to sound, and printed on film in a batch for viewing the next day by the director, for selected actors and film crew members. Dailies serve as an indication of how the filming and the actors' performances are progressing.
Digital cinematography is the process of capturing (recording) a motion picture using digital image sensors rather than through film stock. As digital technology has improved in recent years, this practice has become dominant. Since the mid-2010s, most movies across the world are captured as well as distributed digitally.
Previsualization is the visualizing of complex scenes in a movie before filming. It is also a concept in still photography. Previsualization is used to describe techniques such as storyboarding, either in the form of charcoal sketches or in digital technology, in the planning and conceptualization of movie scenes.
A home movie is a short amateur film or video typically made just to preserve a visual record of family activities, a vacation, or a special event, and intended for viewing at home by family and friends. Originally, home movies were made on photographic film in formats that usually limited the movie-maker to about three minutes per roll of costly camera film. The vast majority of amateur film formats lacked audio, shooting silent film.
Film, also called movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a visual art-form used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving images. These images are generally accompanied by sound, and more rarely, other sensory stimulations. The word "cinema", short for cinematography, is often used to refer to filmmaking and the film industry, and to the art form that is the result of it.
FootageBank is a stock footage company based in Los Angeles, California founded by Paula Lumbard. FootageBank is dedicated to shooting and aggregating collections of video clips to serve the demand for high definition and large format content in the film and television marketplace.
FOCAL International is the trade association representing stock footage companies, post-production facilities and individuals involved in the use of footage, still images and audio in all forms of media production. It represents more than 300 companies and individuals involved in media production, asset management, preservation of historical archives, film restoration and post-production.
Pond5 is a New York–based online marketplace for royalty-free media. The company licenses stock footage, stock music, stock photography sound effects, after effects, images and 3-D models. Pond5 is reported to have the world's largest collection of stock footage, hosting more than 23.2 million clips as of August 2020.
Visual China Group (VCG) is a Chinese photo and media agency. Established in 2000, it is a supplier of stock multimedia content to the commercial media industry. VCG is currently the largest stock image and media footage provider in China and third largest in the world.