Stock Footage? What Is It?

stock footage time lapse snowfall

When I tell people I know or even people I don’t know that I have a video stock footage website, their first reaction is almost always the same.

“What’s stock footage?” they ask, bored in advance.

“Well, you see it on movies and TV shows all the time,” I reply, trying to fire up the intensity gap through the sheer force of my bubbly personality. My voice gets louder and my sparkly smile gets sparklier.

“Huh?” they mumble, their initial faint interest fading fast.

“Like weather,” I say, continuing my explanation, even as my listener’s eyes and mouth begin to droop and goo up. I tell them that TV shows, movies, independent videos, and even blogs often use stock footage when a shot is needed to realify (not a real word) the scene. For example, if the script calls for snowy weather the producers cannot very well conjure up a snow storm and then run out and shoot that snow storm right? No. In fact, it might be impossible. They might be editing their piece at a location where it never snows or in a place that does snow but the word August stares them in the face from their desk calendar so it’s a snow no-go … or a snow-go as we say in the biz.

But I Persist

What is typically done instead, I tell them, is to purchase or download free a snowy stock footage clip from a stock footage website. Like say, It saves time, it saves money, and it is great quality. In those type of situations it is almost always easier and more cost effective to go with the stock footage.

It is usually at this point, while caught up in what seems to me a scintillating description of the purpose of my website, that I hear a little snoring. And then, almost simultaneously, I see my listener catch him or herself from crashing to the ground at the sudden realization that they have fallen asleep standing up.

Yup, that’s how it usually goes with my stock footage conversations. I guess it’s a little technical for the non-video person. I understand. People used to react similarly back in the day when I told them I was an accountant. That subject is sometimes considered dry as well. But seriously, if they only knew … like when you’re actually making the actual journal entry to accrue three months of prepaid insurance for the first time … OMG! You can not beat that for fun!