If there is one thing that I have used as a crutch when editing its Royalty Free Footage. I use it for most projects honestly. I’m pretty surprised that there isn’t a stigma attached to using stock footy because its not exactly yours but nonetheless, even if there was, I would still use it.
There are just some times when your client wants a shot and its not physically possible to get it. Usually for me, its someone asking for a drone shot of the strip. Its just illegal to shoot the strip and its dangerous. I dont want to risk my drone up there and 9 times out of 10, the stock footage looks better. There are a couple situations when I use stock footage because I never want to use some footage that isn’t mine to dictate the entire video.
I use stock footage 90% of the time for establishing shots, whether its of Vegas or I’m out somewhere and dont bring my drone, I can usually find some footage of that city or a city that may look similar, ie: shooting on a beach and finding footy of any beach. The beauty of stock footage is that there is a lot of drone shots on most stock sites because its usually the most wanted. I never want to build a full video off of stock footage because it could get a little squirrely. I dont want the main focus on my videos to be of something that I didn’t shoot, royalty free or not, I think it should be used more as a glue to add in between my stuff. Sometimes it just isn’t possible for me to get some shots and if its readily available then it helps.
All in all, its about how to tell the best story and adding a shot here and there to make it better is worth it when it comes to stock footy. Now as for sites, for FREE stock footy I use Pexels Video. Its honestly that big of a selection, for photo they do great for a free stock site but the video is limited. It still has some gems in there though so its always worth a look. The best site I’ve used for stock footy is Videoblocks. Its not crazy expensive and they honestly have a huge selection. Not to mention they have royalty free templates for After Effects. Ive used a couple of them and as far as lower thirds and titles they’re not bad.
Stock footage isn’t always necessary but I know as an editor, sometimes a film feels so one-dimensional or flat. Finding a really nice drone shot or time-lapse can add a lot of life to a video.