3 Tips for Finding Story-Driven, High Quality, Authentic Stock Footage

Many filmmakers find themselves in need of stock footage. Sometimes, it’s looking for a cool establishing shot, like a city aerial. They may want footage that fits a specific theme in their film, like shots inside a hospital for a medical documentary. Other times they can’t afford to film what they want from scratch, or they find themselves in post-production looking at an unusable clip. That’s when directors and editors start searching the stock footage databases for that perfect shot that fits their vision.

The process of finding the right shots can take some time, but below are three tips to help you get high quality, authentic, and story driven stock video.

1. Go for story-driven footage

Rather than settling for searching on multiple sites for stand alone stock video shots that “kind of” look similar to one another, look for story driven footage. Story-driven shots are ones that show the same subject in action and also provide multiple shot types of similar action.

If you’re a filmmaker or a video creator, you may have already heard of Artlist, a leading provider of royalty free music that prides itself on being founded by filmmakers for filmmakers. Now, Artlist has decided to venture into the world of stock footage, launching a brand new product called Artgrid with an aim to make it easy and affordable for filmmakers to find unlimited story driven stock footage that looks authentic.

In Artgrid’s collection, you can search by video theme, shot type, people, and the filmmaker. And you can easily download multiple, high quality, shots of the same action to build a story.

For example, you can build a high quality commercial with these shots of part of a collection called “Basketball at Sunset.

This “Basketball at Sunset” collection by Filmmaker, Ami Bornstein, tells a story in the same scene by using a variety of angles and shots.

This “Basketball at Sunset” collection by Filmmaker, Ami Bornstein, tells a story in the same scene by using a variety of angles and shots.

2. Use high quality, Raw or Log Footage

When searching for stock footage, look for clips that enable high resolution downloads. One benefit of Artgrid is that all the footage they provide looks fresh and is shot with today’s state-of-the-art cameras, like Arri, Red or Phantom. You won’t have to sift through a library full of less-than-stellar quality or overused footage to find what you’re looking for.

Also, all the clips are also downloadable RAW and Log file format. Log is a type of high-dynamic range footage that allows you to restore data from the highlights and shadows, meaning a filmmaker can manipulate a clip’s grading until it perfectly matches the look and feel of their film.

You can, of course, still download compressed MP4 versions of the video. But having the flexibility to download the full resolution will make it much easier for you to manipulate stock to make it feel more authentic to your film. So that way it won’t feel like stock.

You can download compressed and high res versions: HD .mp4, 4K .mp4, 4K HQ .mov, and the LOG .mov.

You can download compressed and high res versions: HD .mp4, 4K .mp4, 4K HQ .mov, and the LOG .mov.

3. Don’t pay $50+ Per Clip! Go Unlimited

Your film’s budget can easily go through the roof if you pay per clip. This is why we recommend using footage sites that use single umbrella licensing and unlimited subscription models.

One thing we love about Artgrid is that subscribers get unlimited use of their high quality footage and can use it for any purpose, even commercial. That’s convenient if you want to use or reuse a clip you downloaded at a later date for a different project without worrying about additional fees or license expiration.

If you want to subscribe to Artgrid, you have 3 different annual plans listed here.

To recap, there are three things you should think about when choosing a stock footage platform: (1) Go for story-driven footage, (2) Download high-res and/or RAW/log footage, and (3) Go unlimited.

Stock footage sites, like Artgrid, have democratized high quality footage with the aim to become the starting point in the creative workflow, where filmmakers find inspiration for stories and complete their vision using their own shots. Give it a try and let us know how it goes with your next video production!