Footage Rejection Reasons

Have you ever received this rejection reason after submitting video clips?

Unstable footage/camera movement. Please use a tripod for all footage.

While there are many differences between stock photography and stock video, one similarity holds true: the purpose of stock is to sell or promote a product, concept or idea. Submitters often question the validity of their content rejections, arguing that the image or footage clip is well shot. That very well may be true, but it is important to understand that not all footage is suitable to sell as stock.

“Unstable footage,” in this case, can refer to single jerk in the equipment, or an intentional shaking of the equipment to achieve a desired effect. The “shaky-cam” method has experienced some popularity in recent films and music videos, and while it is not without its merits, it is simply not appropriate for stock.

The good news is that the “Unstable Footage” is an entirely avoidable rejection reason. Here are some tips you can follow to increase the approval chances of your submissions:

• All footage should be shot on a stable tripod. This will help to avoid camera shake.

• Camera tilts and pans should be slow and smooth — nothing jarring to the viewer. Panning too fast can cause “strobing,” which emphasizes the jerky motion.

• Camera zooms should be smooth. Zooming is also one of the most frequently overused camera effects. Use camera zooms sparingly.

From a technical standpoint, these tips are simple enough. Aside from your skills and savvy as a videographer, you should also be aware of what sells. To assist you with this, we provide the Top 25 Video Search terms that subscribers use on our site ““ this should give you an idea of what buyers are looking for.

Remember, when you plan your shoot, here’s the easiest tip of all: Always bring your tripod and “Unstable Footage” will be a rejection reason of the past.