We caught up with George Georgeadis of Dissolve stock photography and footage to find out more about the company, the latest trends and what they look for in a footage contributor.
1. What do you look for in a new contributor at Dissolve?
We work with a couple kinds of contributors. First, Dissolve welcomes experienced stock producers who have been working on their stock collections for years and have a good understanding of the stock industry in general. These contributors usually work with us on a non-exclusive basis.
We also work with footage and photography contributors on an exclusive basis — we’re the only place you’ll find their work. Here, we are working with some incredibly talented filmmakers, directors, and creatives who don’t necessarily shoot with stock in mind. Often, they’re handing over footage they’ve shot on past projects, like commercial spots, narrative films, documentaries, travelogues, and experimental cinematography. We get some really cool stuff that way, footage you wouldn’t necessarily think of as “stock.”
Regardless the type of contributor, we’re looking for the same thing: Extraordinary footage and photos that are useful, shot with great technique, have good production values, look and feel fresh, tell a story on their own or can help complete a story, and generally leave an impression. Contributors should be both creative and stock-smart — we encourage creativity along with an awareness of subject matters that are popular, sought-after, or timely.
We also love working with contributors who dot their i’s and cross their t’s. Shooters who ensure their footage or photography can be sold as stock, has all the proper releases, and is free of any branding, logos, etc. We of course can help with those things for anyone starting out, providing them with feedback and advice.
2. Do you have a most popular category or style of shot that you think sells best?
Trends in stock footage and video often change, but some things remain popular. Generally, lifestyle and business content is perennially popular, but the way these categories are portrayed is changing. For instance, whereas a typical business search might have been “businesspeople in an office around a boardroom table,” now it’s more likely “young hip entrepreneurs in a cool office environment.”
Timelapse footage has evolved to a few different forms, such as hyperlapse, but still remains popular. And aerial footage is more popular than ever, which you’d expect given how easy drones have made it to capture breathtaking footage.
Uplift showcases some of Dissolve’s aerial and drone footage.
3. Do you ever commission filmmakers to capture specific footage for your clients or library?
We are hands-on with our contributors and believe in having one-on-one relationships, so we’re familiar with each of their styles, locations, etc. This isn’t something we advertise, but if a client makes a custom request and we feel it’s something we can pass on to a contributor, we can make those connections. Our clients appreciate it and so do our contributors. With over 1,200 contributors, more than 900,000 video clips, and close to half a million photos, we tend to have most content areas covered, but if an unusual request comes up, it’s nice to offer that as an option.
4. What sets Dissolve apart from other video stock libraries?
Honestly, it is the passion we have for the footage and photography, our clients, and our contributors. They’re all connected! We’re working with amazing filmmakers and photographers, which allows us to offer our customers an extraordinary collection of clips and photos they can actually use.
As far as our customers are concerned, we get a lot of feedback from them on our amazing customer service. We have a wicked customer service team that will bend over backwards for our customers. They also provide free research. When customers need help finding the right footage or photography, they can submit a script, storyboard, vague concept, whatever, and our research team will find the perfect clips or photos. Customers love it. If customers use a lot of stock, there’s Dissolve Priority™, where they can get unwatermarked comps, among other benefits.
Contributors also love our “human” approach (they actually comment on that). We promise that they can always talk to a real person, whether it’s about an administrative issue or they are looking for feedback on a recent submission. Exclusive contributors can take advantage of Dissolve Liftoff™, a free program where they submit raw footage and our production team takes care of all editing, color work, and keywording. This lets them focus on what they love — getting out there and shooting. We also have an equipment program that lends gear such as our RED camera to contributors working in the area. That’s been popular and, for some, it’s the first time they’ve shot with a RED. We are just really excited to build a community of creative people that have the same love for the art of shooting video and photos.
Generally, we’re focused on providing an amazing experience for everybody who works with us. We’re building a tightly curated, high-quality collection of footage and photography that’s shot by pros, in the process ensuring that we’re providing elements our customers want.
Polina Rabtseva has a unique handheld style that’s popular right now. She’s an exclusive contributor who takes advantage of the Liftoff program.
5. Are you seeing an increase in the requests for 4K footage at present. Do you think it’s important for filmmakers to shoot in 4K now?
Yes, it is becoming more and more popular, so filmmakers should most definitely consider shooting in 4K and higher. This also ensures they are future-proofing their collections. And with equipment becoming better and more affordable, it’s a great time to consider 4K anyway.
6. There is a lot of buzz about HDR video at the moment. Is this something you will be supporting at Dissolve?
We keep a close eye on all new trends through personal interest or by attending shows like NAB (which we’ve attended before but this year we’re really excited about it because we’ll have a booth in Central Hall booth #C7046 … come see us!). HDR video is fascinating and it’ll be interesting to see where that technology goes. If our customers and contributors start to show more interest, we’ll definitely pay attention.
7. What percentage do you pay your contributors?
Contributors that work with Dissolve on a non-exclusive basis receive 30% royalty and exclusive contributors receive 35% royalty. In addition to the higher royalty, exclusive contributors enjoy other perks, like the free Liftoff service, which makes it oh so worthwhile!
The Ensemblers is Dissolve’s newest video. Featuring over 100 stock footage “superheroes,” it’s the kind of marketing Dissolve creates to show off its footage. The reels regularly get picked up across the Internet, on sites such as Digg, Devour, DesignTaxi, and Buzzfeed. Four of its reels have earned Vimeo Staff Picks.
If you’re interested in becoming a Dissolve contributor, visit its Contributors site at http://contributors.dissolve.com/. You can browse its collection at http://www.dissolve.com. And if you have a project you need footage for, try out their free research service at http://www.dissolve.com/research.