Occasionally Filmsupply’s blog features articles from guest contributors. Today’s article comes from our CEO Daniel McCarthy.

It’s no secret that, for decades, using stock footage has been synonymous with choosing to settle. When we started Filmsupply, the quality of footage that was out there more or less reinforced that negative stigma. It was only natural that creatives with any pride for their work avoided stock at all costs. And that made total sense to us—after all, why would they choose to opt for something that’d make the work look corny, or worse, lazy?

We’ve seen this for years in the ad industry. But in that trend, we saw an opportunity. A challenge to change the narrative surrounding stock, and differentiating ourselves from its stigma. To equip creatives with authentic, cinematic footage, shot by some of the most incredible filmmakers in the business.

In taking on that challenge, we’ve provided a platform for filmmakers to share more of their work and provide them a new revenue stream to continue funding their projects and doing what they love. But ultimately, the vision behind Filmsupply was to empower creatives to produce their best work— allowing them to license footage with pride, rather than reluctance.

Elevating Industry Expectations

Looking back on where the industry was 10 years ago, it’s apparent a lot has changed. Filmsupply has elevated what used to be known as ‘stock footage’ into the stratosphere—taking it from an industry joke to award-winning heights, including placement in Super Bowl spots, music videos for Hall of Fame rock legends, and much more.

This all further proves our belief that our filmmakers truly shoot some of the most spectacular, cinematic footage out there. Having footage of that caliber took what used to be a compromise and made it an easy choice.

The award-winning films and filmmakers on our roster are there for a reason—for one, they’re immensely talented. Moreover, they’re dedicated and passionate about their craft. It can’t be overstated how much of a difference that makes when you license footage from real films that mean something. Films that have weeks, months, even years worth of dedication and love poured into them. With our filmmakers, the meticulous care and attention to detail that’s woven into every frame is readily apparent. That’s something you just can’t fake.

That’s where Filmsupply Films comes into play. It’s our platform to premiere the most powerful short films from our filmmakers—and the footage is available to license. When you think of stock footage, it probably conjures up some generic clips that don’t paint an authentic or full picture. But when you license clips from an actual film, you get continuity and a level of emotion that isn’t found in one-dimensional stock footage.

While our amazing roster of filmmakers make it look easy (and damn good!), it does take time and effort to change an industry. Especially when it’s known by a term—stock footage—that has made countless creatives shudder. And so we continually improve; our plans don’t include complacency. From free footage research to maintaining one-to-one relationships with every client that comes to us, we genuinely put a premium on service over transaction.

From Limitation to Unlimited Possibility

Stock footage used to be something that constricted creativity. Now, it affords you a level of quality on par with a full shoot. Our vast array of cinematic footage allows creatives to leverage what clients really pay them for: their creativity. And with COVID changing the entire media landscape, the need for production-quality footage without travel, budget, or logistical restraint is greater than ever.

“Stock footage has become an increasingly effective tool for storytelling; especially with companies like Filmsupply that offer remarkably cinematic footage that raises the bar for what we can expect. Having access to high-quality footage has played a large role in our success, and I hope this momentum encourages creatives to continue to license footage in 2021.”

Savannah Cannistraro, Associate Producer at Cutters Studio

Case in point: last year we had the opportunity to partner with Grammarly and Stink Studios to create three :60 spots comprised entirely of Filmsupply footage—and soundtracked by our sister company, Musicbed. They were able to nail the brief without compromising. And this was just one of many instances I’ve seen over the past few years.

Another was Evolve Studios coming to us for footage to create an experimental music video with Pearl Jam. The resulting video was so loved by frontman Eddie Vedder that it expanded into a three-video project.

While it’s rewarding to see how much progress has been made with Filmsupply, we’re not here to rest on our laurels. In terms of redefining the association between footage licensing and sacrificing quality, there’s still work to be done. But like I said, we’ll never stop looking for opportunities to help creatives be creative. That’s always been the vision.

For more from Daniel, read his perspective on the future of the commercial industry.

Daniel McCarthy

About Daniel McCarthy

Daniel is the CEO of Filmsupply. With a background in filmmaking and advertising, his mission is to empower creatives to make their best work. With Filmsupply, he set out to revolutionize the stock footage industry by offering premium content from the world’s top filmmakers.