Gear Necessary to Film and Sell Stock Video
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- So, you want to sell stock video? The stock video industry right now is similar to how the stock photo industry was ten years ago - fresh, taking off, and not so saturated. There are millions of photos—some good, some terrible—floating around the various stock websites these days, making it difficult to get noticed. However, video is far less saturated and easier to break into. This is a list of gear you will need to break into the industry.
- A Camera
- You will need a camera. It doesn’t need to be anything crazy, just something that records HD video.
- You may be surprised to learn, for at least half of the stock video I shoot I use my cell phone. Crazy, right? Every one of us has a device in our pocket that could have been making us money all this time.
- Below are some tools I use to improve the quality of my video, including cell phone video, but I want to be clear: all you really need is your phone. You can open up the native camera app, record video, and post it to Story Blocks today. You don’t need anything fancy. If you can’t afford the upgrades yet, start shooting and selling stock on your phone now, then invest the proceeds into these next tools.
- Filmic Pro
- Filmic Pro is the first tool I started using on my phone to record good quality video.
- When I went to edit the footage from my phone’s native video app, I noticed the frame rate was wonky compared to what I wanted to export it at. It was all over the place.
- After looking up my options to fix the frame rate, I landed on Filmic Pro, which can do all kinds of pro video things in addition to the selectable frame rate. It can set white balance, focus, exposure, shutter speed, ISO, aperture, etc. Everything you need to shoot high quality video.
- DJI Osmo Mobile 3
- The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 just came out and it is my latest addition to my stock film kit (Update Oct 16, 2020: The DJI OM 4 is now out.). This neat little gimbal allows me to get super-smooth footage with a compact device.
- I’ve shot video on my Canon 6D Mark II on a Zhiyun Crane gimbal, and the Osmo Mobile is one-hundred times easier.
- With the Zhiyun, I could never be bothered to set the whole thing up and take it with me. Putting it in my backpack meant I had to rebalance it when I wanted to use it again. When I saw something I thought might sell on stock, I had to decide whether or not it was worth getting out the gimbal and setting it up.
- With the Osmo Mobile, there is almost no balancing (there are two points of balance, which can be done on the fly once you memorize where your phone fits best). It turns on and off quickly, and is as easy to start as pressing connect on the DJI Mimo app.
- Many of my handheld videos have been declined by stock agencies for shakiness. This tool eliminates that and makes all of my footage professional and smooth.
- DaVinci Resolve
- DaVinci Resolve is professional video editings software, used on Hollywood films, available for free. It's incredible and I highly recommend it because whether you are just starting out or need pro features, it is free .
- A DSLR
- Since I do a lot of wildlife cinematography, I also use my Canon 6D Mark II quite often to record video that I upload as stock.
- This way I can put a big lens on the camera and get great shots of wildlife without disturbing them.
- It also allows me to get some great timelapses.
- A good tip: Even though my camera can’t do 4K, I still shoot 4K timelapses with it.
- To do this, just shoot a ton of photos over the course of an hour or two on location.
- Make sure your camera doesn't move at all during this time.
- 100 photos will give you about 4 seconds of video.
- You can turn those photos into a timelapse video using Lightroom and Premiere Pro, and since photo resolution is far higher than the camera’s capability for video resolution, you can turn it into 4K timelapses and sell them for a higher price than 1080p video.