How to Easily Film Stock Footage to Earn Passive Income

Gigs are nice, but being able to collect a check while just sitting at home or while on vacation or while you are working on something else is incredibly helpful.

That’s the benefit of passive income and one way many filmmakers start generating it is through stock footage. If you want to be successful at producing stock footage there are some things to be aware of before you start shooting and uploading to your chosen library.

Videographer Matt WhoisMatt Johnson has a quick guide to stock footage that will help you get started with advice on how to set your camera, where to upload, and how to manage your stock footage collection.

Camera Settings

Before you start shooting you’ll need to get your camera just right. The settings you use here are important to success in the stock video world. People are looking for the highest resolutions and quality.

You should always have your camera set to the best resolution your camera can record. This means at least 4K resolution today. But if you have 6K or 8K that is even better. The higher resolution clips may even demand a premium cost.

Frame rate can be relevant, but it isn’t the most critical setting. However, if you can shoot in higher frame rates then it gives people more options on how to make use of the footage.

Being able to do some simple slow motion or ramping on a stock clip can be very appealing to people shopping for footage. If you can go for 60p on your normal footage that can help.

The last question is your picture profile. Log is usually the way to go for capturing the best image quality. It would make sense to shoot in log for stock footage then.

One thing to know is that stock footage sites will ask you to upload graded clips so that is some more work you’ll have to do. You are going to be fine if you choose to shoot in a Rec.709 profile instead.

Another thing may be the website you are choosing for uploading your footage. Some will want the log footage as well, in which case having the log versions can help maximize your return.

Some sites may even want raw video if you have it.

Clip Length

When you are shooting you’ll likely end up with some sizeable clips. You’ll need to select the best parts to upload. Most sites will ask for a minimum of 3-5 seconds, though you should probably aim for closer to 10 seconds as a bare minimum.

As for maximums you’ll likely be sticking with 60 seconds with some exceptions of 90 seconds. Be safe and stick to 60 seconds.

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Filming Technique

When you are shooting for stock then you should be looking for maximum coverage. If you go out shooting a quick scene you should get as many different angles and versions of the action as you possibly can.

On top of that you should be getting shots of the environment. Go crazy here as it can be very helpful for people looking for footage.

Having a bunch of clip options can often result in the sale of multiple clips and more money for you.


Sound is completely unnecessary for stock footage. Most sites don’t care about the audio so you might as well just strip it out of all your clips.

There are rare instances where the audio may be important, but those are few and far between.


Among the most important parts of stock footage is making sure you have releases for any models or property that need it. You can’t sell footage safely without them.

If you are working with a single website, the easiest way to go is simply to download their releases and use them. Upload with your clips and you are done.

If you plan to upload to multiple sites, you will need to be more careful as releases aren’t always interchangeable. In these cases you might want a more generic release form, such as the one from Getty Images.

This is a good primer to get started with stock footage. Just remember to bring your creativity to your stock footage shoots as well.

[source: Matt WhoisMatt Johnson]

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