Stock footage doesn't just come in handy when you need that quintessential timelapse of a flower blooming. It really can help you hone the skills necessary to become a better filmmaker. Here are 5 ways stock footage can do this for you.  

Save money on your projects

Part of being a good filmmaker means being a good businessperson, and that means staying on budget. Sometimes your script calls for shots that are difficult or spendy to capture, like aerials.

However, you don't need to travel or get clearance to shoot in expensive locales. Many times you can substitute these shots with inexpensive stock footage. Dissolve demonstrates how you can do this with a music video made entirely of stock footage.

Let stock save your hide and fill in the gaps

Good filmmakers mess up -- all the time. Constantly. But it's how you address the issues that fall in your lap that matter. Did you forget to shoot that establishing shot of the ocean at sunset? Did the file of your cityscape timelapse get corrupted? Or do you just need a shot to fill in a gap? If it's completely out of the question to reshoot them, using stock footage could save your project -- and your job.

Use it to practice editing

Are you a no-budget filmmaker? Well, that usually means you have to be a no-budget editor, too. If you don’t have gear readily available, shooting your own footage can get expensive. Try honing your skills on free clips from Dissolve. Right now, you can get 10 free clips specially selected for No Film School readers (see offer at end). And every month, Dissolve offers 3 free clips. They’re the full, unwatermarked deal. You can always grab any watermarked comp and work with that too. If you do have your own footage, try editing clips from that. It’s a good way to develop an eye for usable shots and the “story” in even a short clip, all while you learn how to navigate your favorite NLE. Plus, you may have some stock footage of your own to license at the end.

Work with cinema-quality stock

Stock video is probably something you wouldn’t normally think about using for your own work, right? But stock can deliver surprisingly cinematic footage that would look right at home in custom-shot film and video projects. For a truly blockbuster collection, check out FootageBank. This Dissolve exclusive features the work of award-winning producers and DPs and includes footage from 70mm film shoots and big-budget television productions. And if you’re working on the commercial side of things with 4K, Dissolve has broadcast-quality 4K files too.

Practice shooting by shooting stock (& earn money, too)

Plenty of filmmakers shoot stock footage, whether exclusively or on the side. And, yes, they make money doing it. It’s a great way to develop your own style, master your equipment — and supplement your income. For instance, Polina Rabtseva was already a successful photographer when she began exploring video as another way to tell stories. She has a uniquely personal handheld style that she’s been able to explore in her exclusive collection at Dissolve.

If you're interested in getting your feet wet in shooting stock, Dissolve offers an optional service to exclusive contributors called Liftoff. Under this program, Dissolve’s production team processes, edits, color corrects, and creates metadata for qualifying footage for free. (It’s also great for filmmakers who already have terabytes of B-roll kicking around.)

Dissolve has so much to offer filmmakers — whether you’re looking for footage to add to your film project or are interested in contributing your own stock footage to the world. To find out more and browse the collection, visit their website.

Special offer: Download 10 free clips specially chosen for No Film School readers. To get them, click here. Offer expires October 31, 2015.

Source: Dissolve