Still photographers have the tools to become footage shooters, making their own movie clips. Are the technology providers fully prepared?
Here’s how this evolved: stock photography, typified by all those photos of families having fun and business people interacting moved from the work of the world’s top photographers to the efforts of many, as high resolution digital cameras became affordable. The “micro stock” industry was born.
Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras with high resolution movie making features became the norm of professional still shooters. A growing number of stock still pros migrated to stock footage with great success.
Ten years ago, a very accomplished group of them made their case to us for new workflows. We had some discussion about that with some of our friends at Adobe. That was around the time Adobe Prelude was being released. Prelude is something of an Adobe Bridge or Adobe Lightroom for footage: you can do some fast rough cutting, even if you are not an accomplished film editor.
In the world of postproduction, getting raw footage from camera to computer is known as “ingestion.” (Yes. You are feeding footage to your baby, the computer.)
Postproduction for a feature film, or television journalism is a very different process than stock footage.
Some stock film clip makers just ingest the footage, chop off the unwanted frames which lead up to and follow the core clip, and export it to the finished format and they’re done. Sometimes they tweak some exposure or color, but the accomplished pros shoot for spot-on results.
We have noticed that the needs of pro footage photographers have some similarities to consumers shooting fun footage of their family, friends, and travel adventures.
For most of this decade, the typical postproduction filmmaking journey has been something like Adobe Prelude (ingest and rough cut) > Premiere Pro (craft editing and colorization) > Audition (audio finishing) > Media Encoder (exporting to many formats) with maybe some After Effects animation, along the way.
Is most of that path not needed by footage shooters and consumers having fun? Can they go from camera to Adobe Media Encoder, rough cut their footage there, and MP4 and YouTube versions are ready in minutes?
I'm intrigued by the number of young people (including preteens) who quickly knock-out little video projects and post them online. Some of them carry some serious dSLR cameras around their necks.