In the film world, stock footage has a reputation for being cringe-worthy. Shots of businessmen giving nonsensical presentations, couples having the best day of their lives, golden retrievers bounding down perfectly sandy beaches — you know what I’m talking about.

But not all stock is created equal. Vimeo Stock was our biggest launch so far this year because we know that stock is a filmmaker’s secret weapon when budgets are low or time is short. You just need a worthwhile collection of footage. And with Vimeo Stock, you have it and then some.

Here are some of the ways you can use stock to your advantage.

Time is money

Filmmakers often turn to stock footage when dealing with time or budget restrictions. For instance, let’s say you’re working on a low-budget project set in Colorado, but you’re based in New York City. No problem! Access those beautiful Rocky Mountains with a simple search and find the perfect establishing shot. Can’t afford a drone and operator? Never fear, stock aerial shots are aplenty.

From a production standpoint, sometimes you just want to avoid model releases. Stock is great for that because the content is already cleared for commercial use. In our collection, we’ve got hundreds of thousands of people and places that are already cleared for use. If that isn’t music to your ears, you clearly haven’t been in production long enough.

Stock to the rescue

You get home from a long day of shooting and, while you’re dumping footage, you realize several of your files are corrupt. Or maybe your AC accidentally formatted over a card a bit too soon. Before you tear out your hair or scramble to get everyone together for another day on set, take a breath (maybe a couple) and peruse our stock library. It could very well prevent you from blowing your budget on these unavoidable mishaps.

Instead of losing precious post-production hours on damage control, you can use stock to craft a seamless and truly inspired video without any of the aforementioned cringe factors.

Mix it up

Even if all production disasters have been avoided, and you have all of the shots you intended to get, stock footage can provide variety. Inserts, transitions, or full-on artsy stock can add complexity to your footage. Say you get to your edit and decide you want to create a motif:  any time a particular character is about to grace the scene, birds appear. But you only managed to get one usable bird shot while filming. With stock, you’ll find many more feathery friends just waiting for you.

Get inspired

Here’s one you might not have thought of: stock footage as reference. You’ve begun a new project, maybe for a client you’ve never worked with before, and you need a bit of inspiration. Scroll through our stock collection and see what’s possible. Or you’re working with a team of marketers who don’t quite grasp your vision without seeing an actual video. Add inspiring stock clips to your storyboard, or build a gorgeous pitch video, and get that budget. Our exclusive creator Raphael Rogers made “Scavenger,” an incredible short film using Vimeo Stock. Now he’s shopping it for feature-length representation. Watch Raphael’s sci-fi film below and you’ll see that the possibilities are endless.

Work that flows

With Vimeo Stock, we wanted to help keep your workflow streamlined. Your purchased clips seamlessly integrate with the rest of our workflow tools, so you benefit from easily hosting, organizing, reviewing, and distributing footage — rough cuts and finished works — all in one place.

Ready to start tackling your next big project? You can browse our entire stock collection here.