How to film for stock video sites

How to Film for Stock Video Sites

In this blog post, we’re going to look at what to do with your drone footage to get it ready for a stock site. This will cover how to film for stock video sites, including how to download, cut and organise shots in a streamline process, ready to be uploaded.

Step 1: Downloading Your Footage

First thing, you’ll need to take your footage from the micro SD across to your computer or external hard-drive. Currently, we’re using a Lacie rugged, this is a great hard-drive for drone pilots that are often on the move or travelling as it’s exceptionally robust and small enough to fit in your drone case.

If like us, you’re flying a DJI drone, you won’t have been provided with a micro SD adapter. Therefore, we highly recommend you buy one as it’s much faster and less hassle to download the footage directly from the card than by connecting your drone to your computer.

For those of you without a micro-SD adapter, you can use the cable that arrived with your drone to connect directly to your computer. You’ll need to power on the drone to connect it to your computer, just make sure to have removed the gimbal support first.

Step 2: Cutting up Your Footage

I start this process by creating a unique folder for each batch of footage and then I copy the raw files into this folder. 

Next, I like to have a quick look through the files to remind myself of what I filmed, and to see if what I filmed was good. If the footage looks decent, I start trimming the footage into stock clips. 

Using Quicktime, I set my in-point by pressing cmd+T to bring up the trimming tool and then let the video play. When I get to a point where there’s a large change in direction, i.e. a pan or some unsteady filming, I set the the out-point immediately before and trim it. I then save the clips under a new filename in my project folder on my hard drive. 

When I re-open the original raw video file, I immediately set the in-point to the time code of the out-point of the previous clip, this speeds things up. I then play the video until there’s again a significant change in direction, movement or unsteady point. I then trim the out-point and save the clip with a unique filename into the same folder. 

I repeat this process until the raw files have been cut up into as many clips as possible.

Step 3: Organising Your Footage

Finally, it’s time to organise the footage. The first thing to do is to create a spreadsheet. 

Input the column headers: Filename, Location, Keywords, Notes. 

Now copy & paste in all of the filenames of the clips you’ve just trimmed. In the location column, add all the information you have on the location, i.e. town, city, country, coordinates etc. In the Keywords column insert keywords that describe what is happening in the video, remember they should be suitable for a stock video site. A Keyword example might look like this: “Beach Sand Umbrella Sunbed Travellers Vacation Summer Coral Bay Hotels Resort Sea Paphos Cyprus Ocean Sun”

The better you describe the scene the more you will make the video discoverable in searches. Once you’ve completed the data for all the videos, it’s time to upload them to a stock site. 

Of course we’re uploading to So we log in, open the video uploader, click “browse files” and select our first video. Whilst this is uploading you can copy your video title, ready to input to the title field. Paste this in, and click “Publish”. Now the video has been submitted and has gone off to be moderated. Once the video has been moderated by an admin, it will then be available on the VReel platform for users to download and purchase. 

This is our simple step-by-step guide on how to film for stock video sites!

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Read about how to recover and repair a crashed drone that has water damage

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