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selling stock footage -- need advice


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#1 chris otwell

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 04:24 AM

Hello all --

I am currently making efforts to sell some HD doc footage of Vietnam, India, and Mexico. The company I am currently in talks with (The Film and Music Company -- http://thefmco.com/) is offering 50% of the gross from each sale. It's a non-exclusive agreement, except that I cannot sell the footage to any other stock houses. Can anyone tell me if this is typical, and if it is a good deal?

Also, are there any opinions as to whether it is better to sell stock to a small hungry company, or a big fat well-known company?

Can anyone relate their experiences with other stock houses?

Thanks very much.

>>CO
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#2 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 04:53 AM

I am assuming its royalty free, thus a one time payment per each sale of the clip?

50% is a very good cut, at least in my experience. I have some stuff with Elhanan with Getty Images that pays out a lot less than that (I don't think I can say what our percentage is contractually). Our agreement is also exclusive with them for five years.

To answer the other question, I don't really know if its better to get a big cut from a small place or a smaller cut from a big place. I tend to lean towards working with the larger companies simply because of the reach they have. Getty is an international massive company, and thus they reach a huge client base. Our sales reflect that.

All this said, I am new to the stock footage game. So far I am very happy with it, but I am sure others can really tell you more (like Richard here).

Kevin Zanit
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#3 Richard Boddington

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 10:10 AM

Getty pays 25% of the sale, which is good if you have shots that command the $2500.00-$4000.00 per shot price tag. This is usually high end 35mm sourced footage.

I would have to say you'd make more with the big well established footage houses though, the ones that have huge searchable data bases and get a lot of traffic. The small start ups don't do a whole lot of business they just don't have the traffic or the marketing budget.

The market has really shifted toward the giant sites that rep a lot of big collections, people can search a lot of footage on one site and they like that a lot.

These sites will pay you less per sale, 25-30%, but you'll make more sales.

R,
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#4 chris otwell

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 01:53 PM

Thanks for the advice, guys.

Is it more difficult to establish a relationship with the large houses like Getty? For instance, my understanding of the photography stock business is that the big companies only like to buy from well-established photographers (this is based on hearsay). Does the same apply to film/video shooters?

I am clearly new to the stock game.

Thanks,

>>CO
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#5 Richard Boddington

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 08:08 PM

Getty has pretty strict submission requirements, you'll need a large inventory of high quality shots to start work with them. Plus you'll have to keyword all of the footage your self using their template. Getting started is never easy in stock footage. But after 10 years most DOPs are glad they started down the road.

No matter what happens to you work wise there will always be a stock footage check to fill in the holes, no a**hole producer can ever take that away from you.

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#6 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 09:55 PM

I second what Richard says, thats the beauty of stock footage.

Getty has been really good for us so far; you do need to have some pretty solid stuff to get going with them, but they are also real good about telling us the types of things they need which helps us meet their needs better.

So far so good.
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#7 chris otwell

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 12:02 AM

This has been very instructive and encouraging -- thank you all.

>>CO
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#8 Patrick Sculley

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 06:13 PM

Hello Chris,

This is true that Getty Images posts footage for higher prices, but in the end, I think that a lot of that is just going to pay for the Getty name.

More and more, producers are turning to smaller microstock houses, which in many cases have HD footage for a fraction of the price. Wouldn't you rather get a larger cut of the deal than pay to just be another shot in the Getty database?

You also have to consider what higher costs do on a supply and demand scale. How many more licenses would you sell at a more affordable price?

I would like to recommend to you to check out Pixelflow. We offer premium royalties (80%) and allow you to adjust your price at any time. We also do quite an aggressive job marketing your work, are non-exclusive, and offer other great services for videographers like you.

Please feel free to message me if you would like any additional information. We would love to have you as a member of our community.
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