Microstock video producer mini manual and guide

The Clipcanvas Microstock Video Producer’s Mini Manual

This short article is intended as a QuickGuide you may use to improve your success upon offering your microstock footage for sale through Clipcanvas. In most cases, it is intended as general advice, while in some cases, like editing for upload or when exporting formats, you are required to follow the specifications listed, in order to be successful in submitting your footage to Clipcanvas.com.

We hope you find it helpful and that you get the most out of your time with us!

Editing specifications for content submitted to Clipcanvas

  • Individual pieces of footage should be at least 5 seconds
  • The datafile must be .mov and not exceed 750MB
  • H.264 is not a production codec (it is heavily compressed and is often not approved)
  • All footage must be shot and delivered in 16:9 aspect ratio
  • We do not accept SD quality any more, only HD. All SD quality clips will be deleted unless you have a written confirmation from Clipcanvas allowing you to upload it. This will only be considered for highly unique content.
  • Try to think pre and post roll when editing (allows for more flexibility when cutting)
  • Avoid colour correcting your footage before submitting
  • Submit the footage in its camera native format whenever possible
  • Exceptions apply in some cases, especially for effects shots

Accepted formats for upload – quick guide
We generally accept the following formats (if your format is not on the list, contact us):

  • DVCpro 25/50/100
  • HDV1
  • HDV2
  • Xdcam
  • Xdcam, HD
  • ProResHQ, 10bit
  • ProRes, 8bit
  • AVC intra (must be delivered in ProResHQ)
  • Cineform, 12bit (must be delivered in ProResHQ)
  • Dnx, DnxHD
  • Photo.jpg/.mjp 75/100%
  • Digibeta (export to ProRes or photo.jpg before upload)

General advice
When shooting stock footage try to think in generic terms or in terms of uniqueness. For instance, if shooting a street scene in a major city, try to include landmark buildings or monuments in the shot. Opposite, if the documentation of the specific city is not main purpose of the clip, try to avoid objects that could pinpoint the location of the shoot, as it would allow for more widespread use and greater applicability.

Shooting in public
In most cases, people in public spaces may not reserve themselves from being filmed. However, it is important to respect each individual’s rights to privacy. As a general rule, footage including people figuring in public spaces may be used editorially, like for relevant documentary purposes or for other newsworthy purposes, but may not be offered or used commercially – like in an advert. Such footage would be limited to editorial use only.

Another general rule is that one should take into consideration the impact the filmed material could have on the individuals appearing in the shot. One may have a great shot including a man sleeping on a bench in a park (after a late night out, perhaps), but used in the wrong setting this may have an obvious negative impact for the person in question, and in many cases it would be difficult to use.

When you work in public spaces and wish to get the most out of it in terms of offering stock footage for sale, you could try to anonymise the people appearing in the shot, by defocusing the framed content, blurring the image, and so on.

Copyrighted logos, trademarks, designs and brands
These guidelines also apply to footage featuring copyrighted logos trademarks, designs and brands. Given the simplicity of recognizing most featured logos, one should avoid having such logos/brands as the main focus or purpose of a clip, as it would infringe on the possible uses of the clip in question and make it hard or impossible for you to be able to offer for sale. This also applies to particular designs and artworks.

Sound and audio
You should also take care to use a good microphone when working to produce your footage. Keep in mind that copyrighted music follows the same logic as for brands and logos, and may not be included, so if you are working in a studio and the radio is on, turn if off for the duration of your session or strip the sound before you submit your content. Also, keep in mind that any comments “from behind the scenes” are also potential parts of the resulting soundtrack.

Release forms (Adults, Minors, Property)
As opposed to footage of people figuring in public space, models or actors may be used to create footage of a more unique character. In such cases, a Release Form is invaluable. Making sure that you secure a model or property release for the footage you create would greatly increase the usability and value of the particular work in question. These Release Forms ensure that a third party (the potential buyer of the clip) can use the footage for commercial purposes, and so would be willing to pay a higher price for your content. Therefore, you should always bring these forms with you as a standard inventory to your shooting sessions. If you do not already have one, you may download the required forms here (Release Forms).

Planning for shooting in major cities or specific locations
Almost every capital or major city have administrative offices or specialised clerks that aid the photographer in securing the required permissions for filming on that particular location. Without the proper permissions and signatures one could easily find oneself spending more time than anticipated discussing how to get your equipment back, rather than getting the footage you were after. You should contact the national or local professional film photographer associations in order to get advice on how to retrieve the required permits.

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