In its simplest form, a library shot is footage that has previously been shot and set aside for one reason or another. In some cases, it is simply stock footage that can be purchased from a variety of sources.

It’s already been shot and edited, and it’s now available to you for use in your production.

The main differences between a library shot and footage you might shoot yourself are in the licensing and clearance.

In order for stock footage companies to sell their material, they need to have all necessary clearances already in place. Therefore, you as the purchaser are also clear of liability.


What Is a library shot

What Is a library shot?

A library shot is stock footage that may be used to fill in shots that need to be visually interesting but don’t have specific elements that need to be filmed.

These shots are not usually scripted, but are created to be used as visual elements in films or television shows.

Library footage can include lots of different types of shots, including cityscapes, nature scenes, and aerial views.

Library shots are used frequently in films and TV shows. For example, if someone is flying into New York City for a meeting, the producers will likely use stock footage of the city instead of filming an entire scene in front of a green screen.



Where Can I Find Library Shots?

The most common source of library shots is a stock footage company or archive. You can contact these companies directly, but there are also online platforms where they post their material for easier browsing by all parties involved.

Some popular ones include:

  • Storyblocks,
  • Dissolve,
  • Shutterstock Video,
  • Pond5,
  • and other similar platforms.

Of course, you can always do a quick search on YouTube or Vimeo as well.

Just make sure that you check if the video has any restrictions on how it can be used or modified.


By using library footage, filmmakers can avoid having to spend money on locations and actors.

They can also cut down on production time by filming only one section of the scene instead of having to recreate an entire background from scratch.

In addition to saving time and money, using library footage helps create more consistent visual aesthetics throughout.

Are Library Shots Stock Footage Shots?

Are all library footages stock footage shots? You might think so but there are some footages that are clearly distinguishable from the ones that you can find in stock footage sites.

There are a lot of people who think that all those shots you see on TV and in the movies are ‘stock footage’.

However, there is a particular kind of stock footage known as ‘library shot’ or simply library footages which are imaginary or staged films, meant for commercial purposes.

Are Shot Library Footage shots?I am going to be honest with you.

When I took my first footage class, I, WELL, let me just say all I could think was “What did I get myself into?”

At the beginning of the course we were told that some of us would fall in love with video and others would eventually realize it was not for them so they would quit.

As time went on, the people who loved it stayed for the long run and those who didn’t have fallen out by now.

❝Library Shots?❞ I see this question pop up all the time on video maker and editor forums. Many people take it as a diluting term for stock footage, like calling all women ❝women,❞ or all men ❝men.❞

While there is some truth to that line of thinking, it doesn’t help anyone who is looking for stock footage to know what they’re looking for.

Use Library Shots with a Video Template to quickly assemble video that you need for training apps, documentaries, multimedia project presentations and to show clients an idea of how a video might appear, minus the hassle of having to produce all of the shots.

This can help you save time, money and resources since it is quicker and easier than shooting an entire video.

What Is A Library Shot Used For In Film?

A library shot, also known as a tracking shot, is used in film to aid in editing. It is a continuous recording of a fixed subject which can be edited together with surrounding footage to form a scene.

A Library Shot is a type of shot used in film to help the viewer understand where the protagonists are located in relation to other people and objects, whether they be friends or foes.

A library shot is a stock video shot that has been filmed from almost every angle (obviously not from the inside) in order to depict any time and place.

They are often used to save time and money when filming something, as it is quicker and easier to use a library shot rather than being said location and filming it separately.A library shot is an establishing shot for a scene.

It’s used to show viewers the location of the main action in that scene or it’s location in relation to other places.For instance, if the main action of a scene takes place in a house and the action of that scene is all interior shots, then it would be an inside library shot.

However, if the main action takes place outside, such as a fight or chase, then it being outside would make it an exterior library shot.

Integrating Library Shots Into Your Film Or Video

We’ll discuss how to take stock footage and transform it into something completely original for your project, including: Adobe Premiere Pro, Audition, Trapcode 3D Stroke, Warp Stabilizer and Keylight.

The purpose of this course is to help you learn how to find, license and incorporate library video clips into your productions.


By the time you finish this tutorial, you will have a solid understanding of licensing terms; how to acquire digital files and download footage; proper editing practices for each individual type of library footage; building a quality production using clips from libraries; and more. Libraries provide a rich source for every filmmaker.

Filmmakers can locate perfectly shot material which they can appreciate, even if it’s not of their own production.

A wide variety of shots and clips are available to use at no cost.  The filmmaker may license the material depending on the usage in his or her film.

You can find the libraries online and choose a clip that fits your production.

Can Stock Footage Save Your Film Production?

Cinematography can cost a lot of money. And with so many films being produced, many directors are forced to shoot films with a small budget which can lead to an expensive and unprofessional looking film.

Can Stock Footage be used for any type of film or production? Absolutely!

Whether you’re filming a family event or business, using a camera phone or professional video equipment, or if you’re creating a short film or major motion picture, stock footage can save the day.

Law and Order use it.The Tonight Show with Jay Leno also uses it.So can YOU!

You know when you need a certain shot for your film, but you can’t find someone to get it for you? That’s what stock footage is for.

But, how does it all work? Where do you find footage? Are there any cons associated with stock footage? Are there any limitations associated with stock footage? 

The answer to this question is yes! Stock footage can be a key element of saving you money and time on set. It is critical for you to realize the importance of stock footage in the life of a filmmaker, whether indie or professional.