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10 Tips for Submitting Footage to Shutterstock

Footage is hot, and many of our contributors are working hard on clips for Shutterstock Footage. Make sure you’re creating work that will get noticed in our collection and won’t get rejected. Based on recent trends we’re seeing in footage submissions, here’s a quick list of tips that will help you improve your acceptance rate and sales.

  1. DO search the collection first to see what we already have in the library. Don’t submit clips that are very similar to clips we already have.
  2. DO use plenty of accurate keywords, and vary them with each clip you upload. If you submit two clips with identical keywords, there’s a good chance we’ll reject one of those clips for being too similar. Also note that unlike the Shutterstock Images site, the Shutterstock Footage search engine uses only your keywords (not your titles) to return search results at this time.
  3. DO submit HD files, which are vastly preferred by footage customers today. At this point you should only submit standard definition material if it has archival significance, such as historical and retro footage.
  4. DO know your equipment and its capabilities. Shoot the largest video files your camera can capture, and submit them to us in the best quality possible. Do not upsize. Do not compress.
  5. DO NOT submit the same clip at 2 different aspect ratios, frame rates, or sets of dimensions. Just submit it once in the best quality you can. Our software will convert it to the proper sizes and formats for customers to download.
  6. DO use correct exposure when shooting footage, including white balance. Do not try to overcompensate for poor lighting later with post-production filters.
  7. DO NOT submit montages of quick, live action clips cut together—cuts of 3-seconds or less.
  8. DO NOT send in a huge batch of computer-generated, abstract animations. Our customers like background loops, but we are seeing far too many fractal patterns and abstract swirls to approve most of them.
  9. DO NOT send in rotations, zooms and pans of still images. Focus on clips that show something in motion. You should upload your stills to Shutterstock Images, not Shutterstock Footage.
  10. DO NOT send in footage with sound produced by anyone other than yourself, such as recorded music. If your clip contains audio you didn’t create, you must get a property release from the audio creator.

If you’re just getting started, remember footage requires a different set of knowledge than stills. We recommend consulting the Footage section of our Submitter Guidelines and browsing the Footage articles on Shutterbuzz to get started!

Image: © elpezvolador/Shutterstock

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