The Ultimate Guide To Getting Your Start In Stock Video Part 7 – Maximizing Your Post Workflow

Creating and simplifying your post workflow is the name of the game for stock footage. You do not win any points by adding complexity or time to the process- in fact, it is the opposite. The more complex, and the more time you spend on a clip, the less profitable that clip becomes.

That is why streamlining everything is important to staying profitable in the stock footage market. Here are four tips that I use to maximize my post workflow.

Tip 1: Work With The Native Files

Regardless of what editor you use, you should be working with the native files that were recorded by the camera. Editing programs are becoming more robust these days, so this is less of an issue, but any time you have to do a transcode into another format, you are wasting time. The longer the post process, the less money you make, and the less time you have to create other content.

Tip 2: Stay In One App

While I personally prefer to grade in programs like Davinci’s Resolve, it adds extra time and hassle to the process. So, if at all possible, stay within one application for your edit and grading of your stock footage. This is where keeping it consistent in camera will really pay off. If you have consistent footage to work with, then using and applying setting from clip to clip will be a breeze. Plug-ins like Colorista and Magic Bullet Looks are a great way to quickly and easily grade your footage while remaining in your editing program of choice.

Now there are still times where I have to go out to other programs to create an effect, fix a problem, or create a specific grade that I can’t do within my editor. These instances, however, are very few and far between.


Still from Ryan’s Library


Tip 3: Create Presets

The more presets you can create and add to your library, the quicker your post process will become. It is a lot easier to modify a preset than it is to build a look from scratch every time you need it. That is why I have developed presets over the years for my grades, as well as for my compression settings. Then I cannot only grade my footage faster, but I can automate the compression of my clips as I generate the final deliverables.

HINT: My compression presets include settings for ProRes4444 (my master copy at full resolution), and then for PhotoJPEG at 1080p, 720p, and web sizes (these are the deliverables I upload). My ProRes masters allow me to regenerate clips at a future date if I need them in a different flavor.

Tip 4: Keep Everything Organized

The last thing I want to be doing is to be hunting for a much needed file. So, from project to project, I keep my naming convention the same, as well as my folder structure. Develop a system that works for you and then stick to it religiously. I use a paired down version of Chris Fenwick’s System. While his system is great for large projects, the only folders I find useful for stock footage are:

  • Compressions
    Where I keep all of the final deliverables. (PhotoJPEG)
  • Docs
    Where I keep all model releases, shot lists, creative briefs, and any other document relevant to the project.
  • Edit
    My project file for the edited clips.
  • Media
    All of the original, unedited media generated by the camera.
  • Xport
    The final edited master copies of each clip, in full resolution ProRes4444.

By following these four tips in your own post workflow, you should be well on your way to streamlining the time you spend in post. Always remember to be looking for more ways to simplify your post workflow and get rid of any time stuck in the process.

DISCLAIMER: I am sharing with you directly from my own experience, and what has worked for me. I cannot promise or guarantee any results. Use my advice at your own risk.

Until Next Time, Get Out There And Shoot…

The Ultimate Guide To Getting Your Start In Stock Video
Part 1 Misconceptions
Part 2 Exclusive or Non-Exclusive
Part 3 Who Should You Sell To?
Part 4 How To Drive Sales of Your Footage
Part 5 What Content Should I Be Shooting
Part 6 5 Crucial Steps For A Successful Stock Shoot
Part 7 Maximizing Your Post Workflow
Part 8 How To Effectively Deliver Your Stock Footage

Ryan E. Walters, Cinematographer


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One Response to “The Ultimate Guide To Getting Your Start In Stock Video Part 7 – Maximizing Your Post Workflow”

  1. Raymond Pettit on July 28th, 2014 1:50 am

    Good stuff! The kind of message we need to send us out and about with a passion. Thank you.

About the Author

Born in 1980 in Seattle, Washington, Ryan has had a love and passion for the visual arts since a young child when his grandmother, an avid photographer, took him along on photo expeditions. As he grew up, his parents furthered that passion by enrolling him in various art programs and lessons. While he enjoyed painting and drawing, something was always missing - the ability to capture motion. Once introduced to the art of cinematography in high school he never looked back.Ryan E. Walters, Cinematographer Since that time, Ryan has developed this passion and turned it into his career. As an award-winning cinematographer his work has allowed him the opportunity to travel worldwide in the pursuit of telling stories that are visually compelling. Ryan's distinct experience includes feature films, documentaries, commercials, and shooting for Comcast, TLC, Oxygen, and the Discovery Channel. Not only does Ryan seek to deliver cinematic images for his clients, but his commitment, organization, and professionalism means he constantly goes the extra mile to ensure that the results he delivers exceed his clients expectations.


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