Now here’s an interesting concept: Since you can’t shoot like you want to these days, how about holding a film festival where all the films were made entirely with shots from a stock footage library?
The Adobe Stock Film Fest, live streamed beginning July 15, makes great sense in today’s stressed out production scene. I was intrigued, though I wasn’t sure what to expect. After all, lots of films rely on stock footage to help tell their stories. With the right script, editing and effects, why couldn’t someone make a compelling film only with stock? Then again, shouldn’t you include at least some original footage in your film?
Adobe Has a Stock Library?
For those who might not know, Adobe Stock is the company’s online comprehensive source of stock photos illustrations, vectors, audio, motion graphics templates, and, of course, video footage. The filmmakers who participated in the festival were given unlimited access to Adobe Stock to create their projects, along with the expectation that they would use Adobe Premiere Pro to edit.
In our time of a global pandemic, where much of the world is still hunkered down, it’s not so easy to go out and shoot a film. That’s why Adobe pointed up the positive – creativity is still possible, even if you have to spend your time in a library.
An Adobe Evangelist and a Creative Agency…
The Adobe Stock Film Fest was hosted by Jason Levine, Adobe’s principal worldwide product evangelist. Jason is a familiar face that you might have seen before at trade shows or other Adobe events — a man with an ebullient personality and seriously long hair. He also happens to be a talented musician (I looked up his music the other day and it very much rocked).
Adobe teamed up with 72andsunny, a creative agency in Los Angeles, to challenge the 13 filmmakers to each create a film for the festival in only five production days. Here are the films (in order of appearance):
1. “Classified” by Jasmine McCullough
2. “Muya” by Graydon Sheppard
3. “Wilding” by Anthony Gaddis
4. “The Portal” by Vivek Vadoliya
5. “Possibilities” by Daniel Koren
6. “My Little Duck” by Zae Jordan
7. “We Fight But You’re Fabulous” by Daina O. Pusic
8. “Home” by Pablo Fusco
9. “Across the Triangle of Thought” by Thomas MacVicar
10. “The Bubble” by Taylan Yilmaz
11. “Wonderful Lives” by Yukihiro Shoda
12. “Sweet Escape” by Kelsey Rath
13. “How to be Creative” by Monica O’Hara and James Hurley
Stock Footage, Found Sound and a Good Eye
Watching the series, it didn’t surprise me that a compelling short film could be made entirely with stock footage. Those images – when combined with a savvy eye, good edits, a story and excellent audio – can evoke an array of emotions and concepts.
While you might not want to sell all of your camera gear just yet, it is a great benefit to be reminded that you always have ready access to professional looking shots, as well as audio, from Adobe Stock without having to go out and shoot it yourself.
In Wilding, by Anthony Gaddis, many different video and green screen elements are combined to form a kaleidoscopic tunnel, one that feels like a voyage through a wild tropical jungle on the trail of a bird. Occasionally a panther or other creature jumps out or frolics around during this flight of fancy.
Possibilities by Daniel Koren, is a humorous and lighthearted reflection on the meaning of life and proves that with a well-written script and strong concept, a story can be conveyed with the tasteful selection of stock footage and clever editing.
In Little Duck, Zae Jordan creates a humorous exchange between two animated characters about a man who has a symbolic duck as a pet. Along with stock footage, the film also integrates characters animated by Jordan.
Taylan Yilmaz’s film The Bubble juxtaposes two different stock footage clips on the screen at the same time. One forms the background image and the other sits in a bubble at the center of the screen. While that might sound simple enough, the choice of the clips seen in context to each other ends up being unexpectedly thought-provoking.
Yukihiro Shoda’s film, Wonderful Lives is an enchanting little story that was inspired by the classic American movie It’s a Wonderful Life by Frank Capra. It’s a well-written and conceived film with a metaphysical element and a Twilight Zone-ish feel. This film is a lot of fun to watch. Seek it out.
How To Be Creative, by Monica O’Hara and James Hurley, is a humorous lesson on, well, how to be creative. Witty and funny, it is a good example of effective storytelling.
Those are only a few of the films in the Festival. But that’s just my selection. Why not head over to the festival website and watch them all yourself here?
We are on a road to recovery, but don’t know how long that will take nor what our world will look like in the end. I think it’s wise to keep Adobe’s Stock Film Fest saying in mind: “creativity never stops, regardless of circumstance.”