Level Two Studios

Achieving a Balance: Stock Video Versus Original Content

You’re looking to shoot a video that captures your specific vision. Well, we have good news: producing high-quality video is now simpler and less expensive than it’s ever been, and the medium can be used to accomplish a variety of goals from entertainment and education to branding and sales.

No matter the message you want to communicate, video is a compelling way to tell your story. While shooting your own video is generally ideal, sometimes it’s necessary to incorporate stock footage into your project—which, contrary to popular belief, can be a good thing. In this blog, we discuss stock video versus original content and how to achieve the perfect balance.

Creating Original Content

Whether you’re filming a 15-second social media clip, a long-form corporate video or anything in between, you want it to represent your product or brand just right. One of the worst mistakes you can make is to lean too heavily on generic stock clips that are devoid of personality. Unless you have a solid concept that specifically warrants their selective use, a string of stock visuals can detract from project quality and send the wrong message.

Conversely, original video gives you complete control over what you are putting on screen. It can mean featuring actual people, settings or activities relevant to your message, while allowing you to develop your voice and personality—all critical if you’re trying to market a business or a brand. The challenge is that original content typically requires more time, effort, coordination and expense than sourcing stock does, which can make it a prohibitive option in some cases.

Incorporating Stock Video

That’s where stock video comes in—providing a convenient and often valuable alternative. While somewhat limiting and less “authentic” than original footage, stock can fill in the gaps, helping you to achieve a seamless flow with your visual content. If you’re planning to incorporate stock video into your project, you should follow a few general rules:

  • Match styles. Not only should the video you choose fit thematically with your project, but it also needs to carry a similar tone and aesthetic to your original content. Make sure the colors, brightness and video quality don’t clash.
  • Keep it fresh. To use stock footage successfully, you need to diversify. For example, you can use varying shot types, such as overheads and close-ups, but not too many of the same type.
  • Hold it to a minimum. Stock video certainly has a time and place, but don’t consider it a replacement. Prioritize your original footage to maintain an authentic feel to your project.

That said, it’s important to note that stock footage is more abundant, diverse and professional than ever before, and leveraging it can be a cost-effective creative strategy. Would a skydiver sailing over a mountain range at sunset be the perfect supporting image for your message? Unless your resources are limitless, count on a well-chosen, high-quality stock clip to fulfill your vision.

Elevate Your Video Production

Need assistance? Our fully equipped studio offers the technology, functionality and versatility you need to bring your artistic plan to life:

  • A 25’ x 11’ green or white corner cyc wall, blackout walls and new lighting
  • Flexible, customizable sets with different backgrounds, furniture and accessories
  • A state-of-the-art edit suite and recording room
  • An on-site production and technology manager to assist with any questions

In addition to the use of our studio, we can provide expert assistance in creating the perfect original content for your video. This includes full or partial production services—such as concept development, copywriting, shooting, editing and project coordination—through our agency partner. Ready to learn more? Contact us to get started today!

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