Spice up your video project with now affordable Discovery footage

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From a clip that is among 30,000 that will make up the Discovery Communications library on VideoBlocks.
From a clip that is among 30,000 that will make up the Discovery Communications library on VideoBlocks.
Photo: Discovery Communications/VideoBlocks/ Vimeo

We love the science and nature documentaries on the Discovery Channel. Producers hire some of the world’s best filmmakers, sends them to remote and beautiful places on Earth where, in some cases, they risk their lives to get us the kind of footage that sates our curiosity.

The work – from shots of erupting volcanos and charging hippos to the sun sinking below the curvy horizon of a dessert – is stunning. And a lot of it ends up cut and filed away, never to be seen.

The subscription-based stock video company VideoBlocks announced Tuesday it has struck a deal with Discovery Communications to make available more than 30,000 clips, some of which are high definition and 4K.

Starting early next year, the artful documentarian on a shoe-string budget to the hobbyist who likes to play with editing, will have affordable access to some of Discovery’s footage from its many shows, including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC and others.

“The collection is massive,” VideoBlocks’ CEO and founder Joel Holland told Cult of Mac. “This is 30 years worth of work on 15 TB drives. There are establishing shots of major cities, sweeping shots of the antarctic, sports, migration patterns, tribal gatherings . . . people will be thrilled to have access to this footage.”

Holland started VideoBlocks in 2009 and quickly established it as one of the fastest growing media companies in the United States. The VideoBlocks libraries see about 1 million downloads a month. Since the beginning, VideoBlocks members have downloaded 35 million videos and the company has paid more than $1 million in commissions.

Other stock video companies can charge anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars a couple thousand dollars for clips, depending on the resolution. Some will provide clips under $100 but will keep 70 percent of the royalties.

VideoBlocks subscribers pay $99 for a year’s worth of royalty-free access to the VideoBlocks unlimited library.

There is also a Market Place library that gives subscribers access to its community of contributors. HD clips are $49 and a 4K clip is $199. The contributors get 100 percent of the commissions, Holland said.

Clips from the Discovery Access library will be similarly priced when it officially becomes available next month.

“We wanted to start an affordable solution for stock video,” Holland said. “Film-making is very expensive and it crowds out the everyman. Today we have creators in all shapes and sizes.”

Those creators subscribing to VideoBlocks include professional filmmakers and network news producers to budding hobbyists and the AV expert in charge of creating video programs for the local church.

A promotional video with a sampling of the Discovery clips is below.