Say you’re an indie director who needs some footage of fireworks.You probably don’t have the time and money to go out and film that yourself. That’s where stock footage companies come in. They exist to make the moviemaking process easier for the director who can’t hop on a plane to the beach and film some waves crashing against the shore. But, as with all areas of moviemaking, you’re going to want more bang for your buck. Footage Firm is here to help. For years they’ve provided a variety of high-quality stock footage at prices that indie directors can afford. Now through January 31st they’re giving away copies of their ultra slow motion stock footage, complete with a royalty-free license so directors can use the footage however they wish.

Footage Firm founder Joel Holland took the time to answer MovieMaker‘s questions on why they’re offering this deal (the 11-DVD set usually costs upwards of $2,700; the shipping and handling you’ll pay to receive the DVDs isn’t nearly that much) and what sets Footage Firm apart from other stock footage companies.

Visit to see information all their stock footage, or request copies of the free ultra slow motion stock footage at

Rebecca Pahle (MM): What sets Footage Firm apart from other companies that provide stock footage?

Joel Holland (JH): Before Footage Firm was founded in 2001, stock footage was cost prohibitive for all but the most well-funded production companies. At the time, I was producing a small PBS television show, and found it frustrating that there were no affordable stock footage resources available for independent and budget-conscious editors and filmmakers. So I founded Footage Firm to change the media landscape by providing high-quality footage that customers like NBC would be proud to use, but at a price point that an underfunded mom and pop production company could afford.

We’ve stuck with this high quality/low cost model for over 10 years, serving over 30,000 customers around the world, from all major networks and cable outlets to our core customer base of indie filmmakers.

MM: What sort of feedback have you gotten from moviemakers who have used your footage in their projects?

JH: We have had tremendously positive feedback over the years, from everyone from network producers to indie filmmakers. People have responded to the quality of our product as well as the variety and affordability of the footage we provide. You can check our some quotes from satisfied customers on our website.

MM: What prompted Footage Firm to offer their slow-motion footage for free?

JH: It took months of planning, preparing and shooting—all with a $150,000 high-speed camera that we were unfamiliar with—to complete our archive of super slow motion content. Upon completion, we were so proud of what we had created, that we wanted to show it to the entire industry. While it cost us a small fortune to create the footage, we decided to take a leap of faith and give it away initially in order to create buzz throughout the industry in hopes of creating more awareness for Footage Firm and our affordable archive of footage from around the world. When we acquire new customers—even through a giveaway like this—they tend to be pleased with our quality and pricing, and they stick with us for years. So this giveaway comes at a high cost to us up front, but will pay off dividends in the future.

MM: Once you’ve decided what to shoot, what’s the process for creating the slow-motion footage? What sort of equipment do you use?

JH: For this particular collection we used Vision Research’s Phantom HD Gold camera, which allowed us to shoot 1920x1080p at rates up to 1052fps. Shooting at extremely high frame rates requires a lot more light than standard shooting, so we used an array of Arri 5000w (5k) Tungsten lights in different configurations. And because the files created are so large, a digital data workflow had to be planned out beforehand. We used Convergent Design’s nanoFlash recorder to capture each shot from the camera’s buffer (280mbps 4:2:2), which eliminated the need for a Cinemag or tethering the camera to a laptop.

The intermediary codec used to wrap the source files was XDCam. These files were then trimmed in Final Cut Pro, and exported for final delivery as Photo JPEG QuickTime files in HD and SD format, creating the most universally compatible format while maintaining the highest possible quality.

As for lenses, we used Nikon’s 60mm micro and Nikon 85mm micro PC (tilt shift).

MM: How often do you add new footage to the site? How many clips do you have there now?

JH: We are constantly adding new footage and production elements. In addition to providing footage of over 150 countries, all major U.S. cities and specialty topics from nature/wildlife to actors, we also provide looping backgrounds, special effects, sound effects and production music. In total, we have an archive that contains hundreds of thousands of clips, broken into neatly-organized topical collections. At the end of the day, Footage Firm aims to be a one-stop shop for all types of production elements, with our unifying goal remaining to focus on high volume, low margin sales so that we can make high quality video production.