Do famous filmmakers really have signature shots? Or can you get the same cinematic effect with stock footage? Trademarks like Quentin Tarantino’s trunk shots and Wes Anderson’s symmetry might make their films recognizable, but such movies also include thousands of frames obtained from second units and stock b-roll. Discerning between original shots and stock can be more challenging than you might think, as this video quiz illustrates:

Watch this video on YouTube and see the original stock files here!
How many stock clips did you guess correctly?
The fact that it’s difficult to distinguish between “Drive” (2011)—which was lauded for its visual aesthetics—and footage from our library proves that the “big budget” look can, indeed, be achieved without the backing of major studios.
Sure, many filmmakers use color grading and other techniques on their footage to achieve a certain effect, which can sometimes make it easier to tell the difference between the super-polished stock and grittier film shots, but it’s not hard to replicate these treatments in video editing software.
In the alleged words of Jean-Luc Godard, “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.” All you need need are the basic tools and a creative mindset.
Explore more film-worthy footage from VideoBlocks.

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