Here is the rundown of my journey to getting my stock video library on Getty Images. If you’d just like to see my clips, here they are: http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?contractUrl=2&language=en-US&assetType=film&p=Shawn+Nelson
Ever since upgrading to a professional camera in 2007 (My trusty Red #27), I’d considered the idea of entering the stock footage realm. Several of my friends such as Andrew Walker, Ryan E. Walters and Tom Lowe have all had success in selling their videos and timelapse photography online. Encouraged by Ryan’s helpful posts on stock footage (http://www.ryanewalters.com/Blog/blog.php) I decided that when I upgraded to my Red Epic that I’d take the plunge.
For numerous reasons, namely the challenge of it, I wanted to go straight to what I considered to be the premium stock footage location – Getty Images. After getting my Epic I did numerous trips to all the cool areas one can drive to around Oregon: the Gorge, the mountains, Eastern Oregon Desert and more. Sometimes I’d pack along a nearly full cinema setup, other times I figured out how to get my Epic down to a single backpack with Canon glass.
Everything I need minus the tripod!
After shooting for about nine months or so, I figured my library was good enough. I edited together a demo reel and submitted it. Getty has a more intensive selection process then others. I had someone assigned to review me and, after viewing my reel, informed me that it was good, but they didn’t like all of my footage and wanted to see more. I went out and quickly shot a bunch more footage (thankfully it was sumer in Oregon) and created a second reel. She liked it, but wanted to do a phone interview. After 45 minutes of critiquing my footage (very helpful) and wanting to know all about me, my camera setup, my goals and more, I was finally approved to join as a Getty approved shooter.
After that process, I realized I needed to adjust my style. I then spent another year doing additional shoots more to the style I was told. I changed my strategy in interesting ways. I shot a music video and paid the actress (the lovely Lavenda Memory http://lavendamemory.blogspot.com/ ) to sign the Getty release (and explained what I’d be doing) so I could also sell all of the shots from the video. I detailed that shoot here: (http://cinetechure.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/a-run-n-gun-music-video/).
I also did a fun Cinephotography shoot with the lovely Monica Renee Watson (http://monicareneewatson.com/), wherein the result was a fun experimental vignette on running https://vimeo.com/51801389, still photos for hers and mine portfolio, as well as a nice batch of footage I could submit to Getty. Getting the footage was challenging. I knew I’d want to cover at least a mile of the downtown waterfront park during the post dawn magic hour, while only having a single crew member (the every awesome Jerry Turner, esq). I also wanted shots pacing behind Monica as she jogged, and I don’t have a steadicam. I found my solution in tracking down a specialty bicycle that could hold 500lbs of cargo. We used it both to transport all our gear, and to allow me to ride in the front basket for all the jogging shots. It was a fun shoot!
Portable standalone reflectors are awesome
It held everything!
I finally submitted my entire library in August, 197 clips. I could have submitted more, but I was very picky about only sending on over what I felt was worth selling. Surprisingly, Getty is not interested in the Raw R3Ds, and wants processed 1920×1080 ProRes 422 HQ files that have been graded. It took a long time to go through terabytes of footage, selecting only the pertinent moments, grading, chopping and exporting as desired. After mailing off the harddrive it took 2 months to see what they had selected.
To my big surprise, Getty approved 189 of my 197 clips, a nearly 96% approval rating. My collection can be seen here http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?contractUrl=2&language=en-US&assetType=film&p=Shawn+Nelson
This gave me a bunch of motivation to spend the month of October getting out and shooting a bunch more, thanks to the unseasonably good Autumn weather we had here in Oregon. This time I chose to go out by myself, with help on only two occurrences (thanks again to Jerry for the help in Hood River and the bridge shoot, and to Isaac Marchionna for also helping on the bridge shoot and letting my use his Tokina). For the shoots I was alone, using my recently acquired camera cart was a huge lifesaver in hauling all my kit around and giving me a mobile platform to work form. I also tried to make my footage more dynamic, thanks to increased use of my EasyRig and Dana Dolly setups.
Getting the shot as the sun sinks – photo by Isaac Marchionna
So nice to not lug your kit by hand!
Camera movement ftw
I then got 103 clips submitted at the beginning of November. Depending on what they accept, I’ll do a follow on blog post where I give my thoughts on this go around.
Now I get to see what clips actually sell. In the future I might go non-exclusive, but for now I’m glad to have gone with Getty and am really looking forward to adjusting what I shoot as I see customer choices.
I’m going to try to blog more often so thanks for reading, and if there’s any part of my gear/process/technique you’d like to see me touch on, comment below or shoot me a message. Thanks!