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I am currently involved in another series of weekly videos that I write, direct, act in, and produce for our church.  This is the 3rd series I have done (only 3 videos in this series) and is by far the hardest since I am doing a lot of chromakey work in it (think evil and good conscience on the shoulders).  I finished the 2nd video at 5:00 am on Saturday...well...technically I guess that would be Sunday, but I started working on it at 3:00 pm on Saturday so it felt...oh, you know what I mean.

Now to the subject.  I wanted it to open showing a freeway with a lot of traffic.  I was just going to go shoot on the overpass of I-5 one day, but totally forgot about it.  No problem I thought, there has to be a small 10 second video like that on the Internet.  Well, no such luck.  However, there were plenty of videos that I could by, something known as stock video footage.  Well, I do all of this as a ministry and I don't charge the church for any out of pocket expenses (tapes, DVD's, lighting, fabrics, software, etc...) but the price of short clips of stock video is outrageous.  I saw small videos going upwards of $500.  This is just for small 30 second clips.  The cheapest I found was $19.95.  Still, $20 for a small video?  I wonder how much money these people actually make?  If it's a lot, maybe I'm in the wrong business :-)  Here are some examples at how ridiculous these things are:

1) Seen in a close-up, a female hand grasps a computer mouse resting on a gray surface. The pointer finger of the hand double-clicks the left button, pauses, and then clicks it a third time. Runs for 5:18.  Price: $149 .

2) A plate of sushi fills the screen.  You see a man use a pair of chopsticks and grap a piece.  The clip runs for 5 seconds and the price to have it shipped on a CD is $149 (for 5 seconds of video).  But wait! You can download it and only pay $99! Can you say “bargain”!

3) An 11 second clip of someone filming the St. Louis Arch for $9.95.  Ok, I know what you're thinking.  However, that's for the medium resolution version.  The high resolution version is $19.95.  Ok, still not so bad (meaning it won't bankrupt you).  It gets better.  The clip is on the site whose site title, domain name, and main graphic proclaim “Free Stock Footage!”.

Posted on Monday, June 14, 2004 7:37 AM Rants , Misc | Back to top


Comments on this post: An Arm and a Leg for Stock Video Footage

# re: An Arm and a Leg for Stock Video Footage
Requesting Gravatar...
I am in the same situation, though I think I have an idea that perhaps might just work.

DV Footage Exchange Club

Member supported website that puts videographers in touch, the catch, they supply copies of the footage for media and postage.

We could rate the response of members's dutifuly honoring their commitment to the club to keep the video going.

We just need a web host, forum, space for thumbs and a DB in the back to monitor them.
Left by Jay Long on Jun 21, 2004 6:28 PM

# cheap Video Footage
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I am in the same boat as the both of you - I'd like to do some video work for our church for use during sunday services, but there are just some clips that I can't get with my own camera, and to pay that much (even the 9.95 a clip) for a ministry that has a shoestring budget isn't going to happen.
Left by Chris Lyons on Mar 08, 2005 11:02 AM

# jason... way off...
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I don't think you know much about stock houses. Most of them are paying interns or students minimum wage to go out and shoot this footage, capture it and post it to the web. It takes only a couple of minutes to brand them and export them at two different sizes. All in all once they post the video to the web, they just have to sit back and watch the money role in!
Left by Jon on Aug 17, 2005 4:13 AM

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