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Re: Need REAL Stock Footage Resource

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Ned Miller
Re: Need REAL Stock Footage Resource
on Mar 21, 2014 at 1:41:34 am
Last Edited By Ned Miller on Mar 21, 2014 at 1:51:27 am

Hey Matt, that was great! Haven't seen it in awhile.

As to Shutterstock, same story: Search Office Workers, etc., and it's all models pantomiming. Blue collar not much better.

Hi Bill: I think everything is derivative. I've been doing this for so long I've seen many styles and trends come and go. One thing Apple started was a Scandinavian Design clean look, white background, simplicity. Ala Crate & Barrel, who were my longest running client until the Germans bought them, but I digress... I shoot and sometimes produce training videos and Apple is the standard, including the screen grab software and also the age range of the voice. It's mimicry, jumping on the band wagon but there's the old expression: You Can't Argue With Success".

When I first saw Bill's rant (at a red light) I thought it was someone flaming me, reacting to my Craigslist ad from a few days ago asking for a VO talent who is an Actor, not a Voice of God, but then I saw it was from Creative Cow and not CL (phew!) and then the light turned green. I have a stable of VO Peeps, perhaps a dozen males and five or so females that I ask the clients to choose from. They actually enjoy that task. I tell them to give me their 1st, 2nd & 3rd choice. Naturally only the ones in their price range are sent. Since all my peeps are Voices of God with Velvet Pipes, because I specialize in straight corporate and my documentaries tend to be of the fund raising genre where I need the Voice of Dripping Sincerity, I knew the players on my bench would not satisfy my client who sent me Richard Dreyfus to emulate. Also, they have only $400 for the narrator of their one minute video.

As you can imagine, 90%, even though my CL ad says I do NOT want a traditional narrator, that I need someone who sounds like he is a "real" character actor, perhaps from a working class background meaning: a Regular Joe, the raspy voice of a former Plant Superintendent, a Fellow Fireman, Someone With Gravitas, A Lower Register, etc., even though the ad states what I need, naturally pros feel they can reach for that and I get a tsunami of inappropriate responses and the samples that sound like the Voice of God trying to be a Regular Joe.

But! Then one VO guy from California, and if you PM me I will give you his contact info, this guy sounds like a Peter Coyote type, that was exactly what I had in mind but have a problem finding here. He was kind enough to lay down two paragraphs, which was about half the script. So I put some perfect music under it and I downloaded watermarked placeholders from the various stock places. I cut together a very nice sequence and sent it as a teaser to the client. I was extremely frustrated by my inability to find a couple of shots that weren't phoney looking model types and that's when I posted.'s been 24 hours and I haven't heard if I got the gig but...I think I found a new niche market. If I do get this gig for a 1 minute, home page, 100% stock footage, Apple imitator, poetic image piece, I think I can shop it around and do this for lots of companies. It's not meant to sell a client's services or products per se, rather it's to establish a vibe as to who they are and hopefully the visitor will click through, drill down and request a contact. The reason I am loving this idea is you can create these videos without leaving the house! Without shaving! Stay in your sweats all day! With a narrator and 20 stock shots averaging $100 each, you can stay under the budget pain point of medium size companies. You can appeal to the ego of the owner/founder/CEO. They appreciate this genre even if we know it's derivative. After all, it's new to them!

BTW, I got this inquiry from sending my brochure to the president of this company. Then the Director of Marketing emailed me saying the prez gave my brochure to him saying they want to do something like the Apple spot they sent me, which they probably saw watching the Super Bowl. I responded that if I live to 100 I will never achieve that level of greatness and they replied: Relax, we will do it with stock.

I may be onto something. Stay tuned.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer

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