A rant

I’ve got to address this.

I hear way too dang many people mis-using the term “Footage” when talking about video.

The term “Footage” when applied to digital stock video is wrong.

“Footage” as it is properly used, applies to film, usually 16mm or 35mm, and is expressed in lengths, eg. 10 feet, 50 feet, one reel or two reels, etc. A reel of film is 1000 feet, or 11 minutes. Older movies, made from the beginning to the 50s, were timed in reels. If a movie was released at 10 reels, it was about 110 minutes long.

I know this because I not only worked in film during the 80s, I also have a degree in film making.

Video, either analog or digital, is expressed in units of time. Such as Hours:minutes:seconds:frames

(Hence the term, SMTP Time Code for video editing)

Film is expressed as footage, in the following units, reel:feet:frames

For example, a film clip in 35mm, running 33 seconds at 24 frames per second, is 50 feet.

A video clip of 30 seconds is just that, 30 seconds.

When I took a video class in college, we were fined each time we used the term “footage” when we referred to tape. When shooting film, the camera operator advises the director he has 120 feet left, this means the director can only shoot up to a minute and 20 seconds of the next scene. If they’re shooting HDTV, the camera operator can report “only a minute left on the tape”.

I just had to address this….

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