HD Footage On The Rise

With the requests for HD footage on the rise, stock footage houses are looking hard and fast at how to meet the needs of producers looking for those special shots to make their programs complete. HD is the format of choice for some producers, and for good reason.

Producers want a higher quality image to begin with, and down the road it gives them a tremendous advantage when looking at repurposing original content. “We shoot a lot of our productions in HD because of the look and feel of the footage,” said Dan Cronin of Boston Productions, in Norwood, MA. “Our clients want the best-looking footage to go to post. But that also means we make sure that if we do have to go out and get some stock footage, we get the best HD we can find. Fortunately for us there are getting to be more choices in HD footage all the time, which is good for everyone.”

Who else is looking for HD footage? “We have seen a tremendous surge over the last six months in the demand for HD footage” said Doug Kahn of America By Air, in Tallahassee, FL. “We have traditional networks, movies of the week, cable channels, and independent producers who are all looking for HD shots. We always thought that HD would catch on but at a much more deliberate pace. Of course, the demand for SD footage is still there and going strong, but HD definitely is on the rise.”

Video Tape Library (VTL) also notes the rise in HD requests to the point where they looked for ways to get into the HD business by partnering with Sony. Sony Video Library has been shooting in this format for over a decade and the footage encompasses nature, cities, time-lapse, and people. Melody St. John, co-founder of VTL said, “So many of our clients were interested in securing HD footage for their programming that we felt this was the time to partner with a company such as Sony to meet the changing demands of the industry.”

Time Is Of The Essence

Regardless of format, producers still must get the shots they need as quickly as possible in order to complete productions on time. This is where a good rapport with the stock house still works wonders.
John Ryan is a producer for Creative Domain, an award-winning production facility based in Hollywood.

Getting the right material as well as customer support is important for this busy producer. “We work with some of Hollywood’s top entertainment companies and have used Artbeats footage for a variety of projects, including trailers and TV spots for feature films, as well as TV spots and presentations for various corporate clients,” he said. “Artbeats footage is extremely high-quality, and the company’s customer service is exceptional. On a recent movie trailer, Artbeats was able to supply several high-resolution images in two days, which helped us meet a pretty tight deadline. The Artbeats website is also a great resource because it allows us to see exactly what is available and preview each image before purchasing.”

It’s also important to know that more and more stock houses are helping their customers get what they need. Look at HD innovators 12 Inch Design. With an eye on quality and speed, the company has reinvented “motion stock” graphics. Its HD elements are available as “ProductionBlox,” a royalty-free library of motion graphics. End users can now incorporate HD motion graphics into their programs, thereby staying in HD.

Where To Go From Here?

Paula Lumbard, founder of FootageBank, is an enthusiastic supporter of HD. “We anticipated growth in the HD realm as broadcasters and corporate producers continue to shoot in HD. The marketplace is definitely coming up to speed and is growing month by month. I would say that it is important that we continue to educate our customers about what is out there and to help them understand the differences and the language of HD.”

Kahn said, “We are looking at strong growth in the HD space...I anticipate that the demand for HD will keep moving up for quite a while. It just seems as though every other call is a request for HD. I am happy that the industry is moving ahead with production.” As producers and directors continue to make strides in HD production, stock houses will continue to grow their businesses as well.