March 28, 2008

Cool Tools: Thought Equity

Stock footage is a great thing. It’s like having a professional, timely, and available tool that provides you with the missing elements to your project.

Thought Equity is the world's largest supplier of online motion content. The site takes the hassle out of trying to obtain video footage which would normally require a great deal of effort or cost. If you’re filming a documentary about beluga whales for example, you have two choices: you can log on to Thought Equity, do a search, and purchase the clips you’re looking for, or you can hire a ship, a crew, and head into the ocean for weeks hoping to obtain some usable footage. Unless you have aspirations to be Steve Zissou, I think the choice is obvious.

On-site registration is free and once you are a registered member you can check out all the footage available for purchase. A search function returns several diverse "sets" of clips from which to choose. When searching for “chimps” I got several sets including my personal favorite, a chimp getting a haircut.

Customers can instantly purchase and download footage in a variety of formats including motion jpeg and 10-bit uncompressed masters. In addition to traditional tape and DVD delivery, users can also convert master files to anything from streaming video to RSS feeds. This means footage can go anywhere, from your blog to your mp3 player.

Whether you’re looking for high definition or standard definition, for release or personal use, Thought Equity is a very useful site for completing your video project. It may not be as interesting as filming chimps and whales first hand but it is a lot more convenient for your project.