Stock Footage: We Got That B-Roll!

This video was introduced to me at SXSW this year. It’s not a viral ad by a stock media company (which would have been uber-clever), but rather a sketch by a sketch-comedy troupe. I thought it was hilarious — pretty much sums up the stock footage marketplace.

I should note however, that most of the footage, just because it is stock footage, isn’t just cheap B-Roll. Productiontrax (and several other sites as well) has a large library of incredibly usefull, high-quality, thoughtful, and well produced footage. The video clips range from high-tech animations that would fit into any sci-fi film to useful charts and graphs, to yes, B-roll footage of sad guy leaning against a wall.

I think stock media serves a useful purpose in media production. All joking aside, stock footage increases our productivity and frees us up to be even more creative, if you can follow that — the footage by itself is overused and mundane, but it keeps getting used in new, and innovative ways. Don’t let the B-roll label throw you, or keep you from being innovative in how you use stock footage — just remember it’s a tool in your editor’s bag of tricks to help you get your job done, and tell the story in new and interesting ways.

Oh, here’s the video (the owners didn’t want it embedded) — http://youtu.be/SItFvB0Upb8

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