The Pros and Cons of Stock Footage

When filming B-roll the goal is to capture the main topics discussed in the interviews. There is never a thing as too much B-roll. However, there are times when the original videographer must obtain footage outside of his own stock in order to better promote a video.

Stock Footage in the video production world is often portrayed as negative. Every producer and videographer wants their video to be original; and thus, by using stock footage the video loses its originality. Such footage is available to other video production companies in the Boston area. Nonetheless there are advantages to using stock footage, and recently SVG found such benefits while editing the Kenny & Sams testimonial video.


Boston Video Production While filming the Kenny & Sams marketing video, our videographer captured a lot of great B-roll shots of the employees working in the office. However, even with all that great B-roll there was still something missing. In order to really capture the message of the video, which was providing business litigation to the people of Boston, we needed aerial shots of the city. Our editor was able to pull some great stock footage of areas in Boston that the company had worked for, as well as construction sites which related directly to the Kenny & Sams clients. Having stock footage such as this not only saves time, but a lot of money. If SVG were to take aerial shots of Boston it would require permits as well as a helicopter and other equipment that weren’t within the video’s budget.

In this case, using stock footage was necessary. When the footage isn’t easily obtainable or would cost more money to shoot than the budget allows, stock footage is needed.


We don’t make it a habit at SVG to use stock footage for we take pride in our ability to create high quality and unique videos. Although there are some advantages to using such footage, there are some cons. When putting together interviews with B-roll it is not only crucial that the B-roll matches what the interviewee is discussing, but it’s just as important that the B-roll images match each other and are similar in color tone. There are cases where stock footage might have a lighter or darker color tone than the B-roll you are using. In such instances the editor must pay very careful attention to the b-roll and stock footage to make sure both match in tone and flow with one another. The last thing the client wants to see is b-roll and stock footage not matching up and looking completely different from one another. The stock footage should feel just as organic as the b-roll and no one should be able to tell the difference between either.

Another downfall about stock footage is that it isn’t original and other competitors in the area might also be using the same footage for their video.

When can I use Stock Footage?

It is very important to keep in mind that stock footage should only be used if the footage is otherwise unobtainable or would be too costly to capture. A client doesn’t want to have the same footage as competitors; and thus, it is crucial as a Boston video production company to capture unique and original b-roll.

Skillman Videography Group LLC specializes in Boston Video Production. Call us anytime at 1-800-784-0140.