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How Popular Movies Use Stock Footage Creatively



Stock footage is a collection of video clips licensed to be used in other videos. These clips can be anything from cityscapes to nature scenes or even animals. The licensing costs vary depending on the clip you want to use, but they are often much cheaper than hiring a videographer to shoot something custom for your project. Stock footage can also be an alternative for your video to look more professional without spending extra money on props, lighting, and equipment rentals.

Film directors often use stock footage to save time and money. They also use stock footage to create the illusion that their scenes are real.

Advantages of Using Stock Footage in Films

Stock Footage

Provides High-Definition Quality

Stock video footage typically has a minimum resolution of 1920×1080. This means that you can access high-quality video footage rather than compromise on quality to use the video you want. Additionally, adding production value to your work can be achieved reasonably, making this a viable option. Moreover, it is often used creatively in popular movies and television shows to help convey mood, emotion, and story. 


Can be Used as Background Setting

Special effects can be added to stock footage by creating a background on which the clips can be layered. This strategy won’t work for production teams that aren’t knowledgeable about video editing. However, those who know what they’re doing can use stock footage in this way to achieve great results.

Easily Modified to Reflect Modern Trends

Archived video footage can be used to capture the past and present, and it can also help remold your content in the future. Using stock footage, it is possible to alter conjoining clips to conform to current trends. This could mean updating outdated segments or inserting new video content that reflects an event’s relevance.

Popular films utilizing stock footage

Stock footage is frequently used in Hollywood films. To reduce their costs as much as possible, film producers often insert little snippets into various sequences. To serve as examples, see the following.

The Shootist

The Shootist, John Wayne’s last movie, was produced while the actor had cancer. Though Wayne had been interested in portraying a cowboy on screen for years, he was particularly suited to this role because of the similarities between his personality and the character: the legendary cowboy with cancer. Sadly, after completing this film, Wayne passed away.


Ron Howard provided the narration for the opening scene, which described the story of the western hero. However, you can see several photos in the backdrop that complement the story perfectly. Most of these images were taken by the director from other movies and stock footage. Even though the movie was made in 1976, it used brief snippets. Carson City served as the location for the film’s original sequences.

Blade Runner

In the movie’s final scene, where Deckard and Rachael escape from the mountains, stock footage from The Shining is used. Since it was cloudy in Los Angeles at the time of filming, shots taken inside and outside of cars did not match up. The film crew took a shot from The Shining’s opening credits sequence and used it in Blade Runner.

Jump Street

Even in the contemporary film business, we can identify countless moments lifted from various films or stock footage websites. Take the New Orleans-shot movie 21 Jump Street as an illustration. The crew of 21 Jump Street did not record the footage of the watermelon that exploded in the drug montage sequence. In actuality, the production crew added the scenes during editing. If utilized properly, these little snippets may enhance situations by adding engagement, intrigue, and even humor. The photo could have been captured with a high-speed watermelon, but the producers decided to save time and money by utilizing stock instead.


Stock footage is a great way to liven up your video production, but it’s not something that you can just drop at any time. The footage needs to match the tone of your project, and it should be used sparingly. Clips are short, and a little goes a long way, so don’t feel you need to use stock footage for every shot just because you have access to it.


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