Mitch Martinez might be one of the most generous guys in the film community I’ve had the pleasure of recently chatting with. In case you didn’t know, Mitch, a Philadelphia based DP, is giving away beautifully shot 4K stock footage clips on his site – for FREE.
I finally got a chance to chat to him and find out why (and how) he’s doing it. Mitch is offering up a fantastic resource and one we should all be aware of!
Mitch has been working as a DP and filming since 2003. He’s shot everything over the years (including 50+ music videos, feature films, short films, commercials, documentaries).
He also specialize in “bullet time” camera array filming – check it out, some very cool stuff with fire breathers that he put up recently: www.mitchmartinez.com/bullettime.
Here’s the basics of his stock operation – the downloads section over at mitchmartinez.com (the area he hosts the free 4K resource) provides more than 1,500 stock footage clips in more than 35 categories and has had more than 300,000 clip downloads to date. Mitch explained the clips can be used for film and commercial applications of any size (still free, with a release form: (http://mitchmartinez.com/stock_license_request/)
Mitch’s clips have been used by some of the biggest companies around the world and included in major Hollywood features including the recent Sin City 2, and in major movie trailers (http://mitchmartinez.com/stock-usage/) but he really enjoys being able to offer stock clips to those who otherwise simply wouldn’t be able to afford them for their (often no/low budget) projects.
The majority of the users of my free stock footage tend to be students, non-profits, small businesses, independent bands, and people that are not working with large budgets. Most people in this situation have to search for free content to supplement their videos or simply do without additional stock footage; paying for that content isn’t necessarily an option. Most people are very appreciative and it’s always nice to receive e-mails thanking me or sharing what they’ve created with my content.
Mitch has a very giving nature to what he is offering, noting to me that profit motive was never really the end result here. He explained that other film makers out there also have the option to do what he is doing:
Some make a donation as a gesture of thanks; others don’t – it’s kind of like a museum approach that way. I don’t want a lack of money to be a deciding factor for people to be able to utilize my content. The donations honestly haven’t covered much more than website hosting – not really enough to fund new filming but I add what I can when I have the time. Realistically, if I was solely in it for the money, then there are better ways to make money than a free stock footage resource.
Anyone wanting to provide content of their own to the film community has plenty of outlets to do so without setting up their own resource. There are tons of free content website that would welcome their contributions.
Mitch has a full 4K library with easy to use download options (one click, sectionalized, and category download). He also offers ProRes and RED files for purchase, and licensing at extremely low pricing compared to other stock footage sites. Whether he sells stock footage or not, it seems to be about giving back that spurs him on to offer the service in the first place:
Overall, I’m very happy that I’m able to contribute to film community and the arts in this way. My footage has been used in museum exhibits, orchestral concert video projections, PSAs, and for educational purposes. These sorts of usage are very rewarding.
I was curious to find out how Mitch had found setting up his own stock supply service, and where he saw the world of high quality stock content going:
I’m continuously learning new things about the world of stock content and don’t profess to know everything… I personally look at stock footage like I do with camera equipment. I see many things in corresponding price brackets and there’s no real concern of stealing market share from a different category. No company that’s selling clips for $1,500 each has to worry about losing sales from a company selling clips for $150 each because they’re not selling the same product. Arri Alexa isn’t losing sales to the GoPro camera line because someone that was only willing to spend $500 on a camera was never going to buy a $40,000 camera for the same filming purposes anyhow; those things just don’t correlate.
I also know that there are new stock companies and boutiques opening all the time. Only a few weeks ago, I read that FilmSupply.com is “revolutionizing the stock footage industry”. At the end of the day, I think there’s probably a place for almost every stock clip out there – from the entry level clips at low prices to the premium, exclusive, strictly curated, rights-managed clips that sell for thousands.
Stock footage has never been my ambition or passion; it just kind of happened organically and I’m taking it more seriously than I have in the past but my primary passion remains creative filming for music videos, features and similar projects.
Special thanks to Mitch Martinez (mitchmartinez.com).
Check out his free clips at http://mitchmartinez.com/stock-usage/ and consider donating something if you do use them – the community can use more resources like these and it’s down to all of us to support them however we can.
Find out more about Mitch and follow his work here:
Cinematography Reel: http://vimeo.com/134765983