Why finding stock footage is a pain
Finding stock video or audio is one of the biggest challenges I have to face on a weekly basis due to my job as an editor. Some of my clients prefer to use stock footage in their videos as they sometimes don’t have enough budget allocated to filming, hiring the talent or sorting out a location to shoot. Because of this, I have to use a combination of free stock footage websites and paid stock websites such as Adobe or Shutterstock as the main providers of high resolution stock video. Since every project is different, the chance of reusing the same clip in another project is minimal, and this is why I am aiming at buying the best footage available out there, without breaking the bank.
Unfortunately none of these providers (Adobe, Shutterstock, Pond5, Videoblocks) offer a way to download the original raw/ungraded footage for the clip you are trying to purchase.
The story has 2 sides:
The stock company
They are aiming at selling the best content by filtering all uploads and rejecting anything that does not adhere to their policy. A good example would be the fact that any photo/video can’t include any logos or trademarks, however, nobody is stopping you from applying colour grading to your footage, and here is the problem lies. We all know that colour grading is very subjective and some might like what others don’t, but allowing the customer to pick and choose the graded/ungraded version is something that no company is considering at the moment. The system is already in place as almost every website allows you to download various resolutions – 4K/1080p/720p, so surely just adding another option to download the raw footage would be a breeze.
The content creator
Faced with the impossibility of providing both graded and ungraded footage, one has to resort to uploading the best possible graded footage in the hope that people will buy it. But here comes the catch: some people are terrible at colour grading and no matter how much effort has been put into capturing the scenery/actors/action, everything is going to be ruined by a poor colour grade. This only leaves me searching though an endless archive of clips to find the best possible clip to use.
Shutterstock are you listening? Okay. Please just add an option for your content creators to upload multiple versions of the same clip under the same page. By giving them the option to upload the ungraded footage, not only you increase your chance of selling stock but you will also help us save a lot of time.
Here is a mock-up on how easy this could look:
Do you find searching for stock a very painful process? Let me know your thoughts and maybe we can push these companies to reconsider their practices.