The term footage has its origins in the designation for the length measure foot (feet) and refers to film material. It goes back to the fact that 35 millimeter films were used in the past, the length of which was measured in feet. A foot contains 16 individual images and was exactly one second in the days of silent films. Stock footage is archive material that was not produced for the respective film project.

Footage explained by Wylder Motion Design

What is footage used for?

The film excerpts are sequences that are reused. It doesn’t matter whether they have already been used in a previous production. The sequences can be excerpts from other projects or archives. Recently, more and more producers are making recordings for the purpose of selling the rights to other creators who use the material in other productions. The advantage of stock footage productions lies in the manageable production costs. Almost no filming has to take place, which is interesting for buyers if, for example, group scenes with numerous people are to be created. The quality of the clips is getting better and better, which is why many high-quality 4K footage and images can be purchased at reasonable prices.

What is the material used for?

Film archive material has meanwhile developed into a separate product group. TV stations trade with their own collections, explanatory videos or commercials. In addition, there are video productions in the form of news made available by institutions such as Reuters, CNN, BBC and Associated Press Television News (APTN). Historical film material is also integrated into productions and television programs that reflect historical events. Other interested parties in archive material are producers of advertising films, who are increasingly using existing film material for new, creative productions.

Photographs with artistic value and high originality of the motifs are popular. We are still looking for recordings that require a great deal of effort. These include historical recordings, aerial recordings or films from remote areas of the world.

What does the market for the material look like?

Providers for this division are, for example, Getty Images, Corbis Motion or the BBC Motion Gallery. However, global sales in this segment are difficult to determine. HDTV cameras and digital post-production ensure that film production is becoming increasingly digital. As a result, the demand for archived footage is increasing. Agencies and archives offer their film holdings over the Internet, with a distinction being made between material subject to a license and material that is not subject to a licence. Providers have clips in their program for which the amount of the license fee depends on the scope and type of use. Other film material providers charge a one-time license. This means that the film recordings can be used indefinitely in terms of location and time.

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