Case Study: Toronto Real Estate Board

Case Study: Toronto Real Estate Board

Key West Video was recently asked to make a short promotional video for the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). The client requested a very fast turnaround, so we suggested using stock footage. In this post, we take a look at how we created a targetted video completely in-house.

Case Study: Toronto Real Estate Board

Step One: Scripting

Starting with a script gave us the framework for our video. Our in-house scripter wanted to connect with the viewer emotionally by evoking the idea that a house is very personal. The script begins with the notion that every house is structurally similar and then segues into how a home is something more. Once the warm feelings of home ownership are established, the pitch has been set up and we can promote the client’s services. As always, we end the script with a Call to Action.

Stock Footage Versatility

Case Study: Toronto Real Estate Board
Stock footage made our tight turnaround possible

The amount and diversity of stock footage makes it possible to find shots of almost anything. Using this tool gives us the ability to fill holes or produce entire videos without a single shoot day. Because the TREB video is only thirty-four seconds long, and more than half of that is graphics and animation, there wasn’t a lot of time for live action shots. In fact, the pacing meant only three shots were needed. The client liked the idea of showing young couples since they’re selling the idea of a home being a “long-term investment”. It was easy to find a selection of happy couples and excited young families to use in this video.

Quick Draw

Case Study: Toronto Real Estate Board
Animation adds to the story

After the client saw the first version of their video, they asked to include a brief animation intro. They sent an example of a house being drawn. To mimic the effect, our animator used whiteboard animation to trace the outline of the building. This approach helped reinforce the idea of a standard home being constructed and then becoming a family home with the transition to live footage.

Home Decorating

Once our home video was built, we needed to do a little decorating to really bring it to life. That meant adding music that’s light and cheerful, even hopeful. We also added some panel transitions for visual interest. Finally, we  included the client’s contact information as part of the CTA. The video ends with the TREB logo and some legalese.

Making Something Out of Nothing

At Key West Video, we can create a winning video even with tight deadlines and no original footage. There are always options to make a piece that reaches your target audience on time and on budget. Call us today for a free quote.

Archival Materials in Corporate Video

Archival materials

Archives are used to preserve history. They act as collective memories enshrining events, people and places for future generations. Archival footage is frequently used in corporate video to draw a line from the past to the present and on into the future.

Video Only?

Archival Materials in Corporate Video
Photos are great for archival use in video

Although video is an excellent source of archival material, it’s not the only source. Anything that can be shot or scanned for inclusion in a video is fair game. Photos are a treasure trove of archive material and can really enhance a production. Whether it’s a childhood shot of a CEO on the phone or a business when it was founded in 1976, photos can lend an air of gravity to a project.

Is it Free?

Let’s address this question by first talking about two types of archival footage: royalty-free and payable stock footage. Royalty-free footage means you won’t need to pay a fee every time the footage is shown. Either this footage was always intended to be royalty-free, or perhaps it’s considered public domain.

Purchased stock footage is referred to as payable.  When we buy stock footage for a Key West Video production, it means we own it for the life and use of that video. Films and television productions also buy and use this kind of footage.

Another thing to consider when it comes to archival footage is rights and clearances. The materials may be restricted by use—is it for commercial or non-commercial purposes? You may also be limited by time constraints or internet conditions.


Some archival footage is publicly available and easy to source. The Government of Canada has archived materials for public use.  The National Film Board also has searchable archives.  NASA provides a wealth of stellar images, animation and video that can be downloaded and used by anyone.

Archival Materials in Corporate Video
International Space Station astronaut image from NASA’s Image of the Day archives

Clients are a rich source of archival material. At Key West Video, we often use old photos, video and anything else a client can provide. If we’re creating a branding piece, this is a great resource. Same goes for a retirement video or an anniversary.

Archival Materials in Corporate Video
Most television stations have archived news stories you can purchase for use

Television stations are the place to go for news footage. They’re not the only source, but most will have a vast collection of archives sold for use in videos. The advantage here is the in-house librarians who can search for what you need.

There are a number of stock footage options when it comes to video assets. Most have an associated price, but are still a cost-effective way to procure visuals. Finding the shot or shots you need is as easy as going online and conducting a search. It’s kind of amazing the range of visuals you can find using stock footage.

Does my Video Need Archival Footage?

If you’re looking to create a branding piece that talks about the history of your company or you’re referencing a historical event, archival footage is a good choice. At Key West Video, we know when to use archival footage and where to source it. Call us today for a free quote.

Why Using Stock Footage Makes Sense

Why Using Stock Footage Makes Sense

Stock footage, images used in a production but not shot specifically for that production, is an integral part of corporate video. Let’s have a look at some of the many applications.

How is Stock Footage Used?

Stock footage is used to fill gaps. Even though visuals may have been shot for a specific product or business, there are still sometimes holes when it comes to editing. For example, a video for an environmentally safe antifreeze has the following line in the script: Safe to use around pets and children. You have many shots of the product and people using the product, but you didn’t shoot with kids or animals. So you find stock footage of kids playing near a car and a happy dog to fill the empty spaces.

Why Using Stock Footage Makes Sense
Use stock footage for difficult or expensive shots

Difficult or expensive set-ups demand the use of stock footage. Getting an underwater dive shot in a tropical location when you’re creating a tourism video for a travel company based in Ottawa is a tall order. Traveling to the Caribbean for a single and possibly complex shot doesn’t make any financial sense. Spending a fraction the money to buy that shot is the better option.

When you need a shot of something famous, stock footage is the way to go. Let’s say you mention the Eiffel Tower in your video and you need to show the iconic structure. In the case of well-known buildings and locations, somebody else has already taken the time and effort to produce the image. Why not take advantage of their work?

What Kinds of Video Use Stock Footage?

Some videos consist entirely of stock footage. Due to time or budget constraints, you may opt to use footage that’s already in the can. A video that can be illustrated or explained using stock can translate to a project that’s quickly completed.

Why Using Stock Footage Makes Sense
A speeding train can illustrate urgency

It can be difficult to communicate emotions or abstract concepts. Sometimes using metaphors in a video is the best approach. If you need to convey the urgency of a situation, a shot of a train barrelling down the tracks may work with your script. Stock footage has that.

Stock Footage Pitfall

There is sometimes a concern that stock footage will look out of place when combined with custom footage. Good producers and editors know how to use stock footage so it meshes seamlessly with the rest of the video. This can be achieved through editing segues, colour correction and by mirroring the overall look of the piece.

Is Stock Footage Expensive?

Stock footage rates vary. Generally, stock footage is a reasonable option for corporate video. Mostly, it’s a matter or how much stock footage you’re using and whether it’s more economical to shoot original footage or use stock. If you’re wondering how much it would cost to use stock in your video, you can always call us for a free quote.