Storytape, an online subscription service for users to download unlimited stock footage, relies on Core SWX to power their BMD Ursa Mini Pro cameras.The company is a branch of larger media company Pro Church Tools, founded by Brady Shearer. Him and his team members; Brandon Canning, Tristan Persaud, Alex Mills, and Ryland Frank, have been traveling the globe acquiring footage for their upcoming launch this month. Take a look below to discover more about Storytape.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourselves and starting Storytape.
We started Storytape when we saw a need for quality stock footage that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. There are so many content creators, YouTubers, small businesses, independent filmmakers, etc. who would benefit from quality stock video but don’t have $500 to spend on a single 13-second clip. We want creative people to be able to create even on a small budget. So we just started setting crazy goals for ourselves. We started investing most of our time building up a database of 5000+ 4K ProRes clips. We bought new gimbals, sliders, cameras, and lenses and so we could up the quality of our footage. We traveled all over to world filming aerial footage of diverse landscapes. We built a website from scratch with a top web design firm. We built a social media following by creating over-the-top, produced Instagram Stories. We diverted so much of our energy to this for over a year because we really believe that video is such a powerful tool and we want to make quality video accessible to everyone.
2. What is the process when deciding the best shots to take for the stock footage?
Our primary impetus is creating footage that will be useful for our clients. We try our best to put ourselves in their shoes, as if their creative projects were our own. Part of that is filming as cinematically as possible. There’s a lot of very corporate stock footage out there and we want to get as far away from that as possible. So we use cinema-quality gear and techniques to provide stock footage that doesn’t feel cold and impersonal. But ultimately it comes down to planning and skill. We work hard to scout locations and talent for our shoots to keep them interesting and diverse. And we’re always talking about and studying some new editing or film technique we saw in a movie or from a YouTuber we admire.
3. How many places have you been traveling to for the footage and which was your favorite?
We’ve been doing a lot of traveling for this project. Lots has been local for us around Southern Ontario, but we’ve been filming across the USA as well as in Switzerland, Ireland, and Iceland for a lot of our aerial footage. Each trip has been great but Iceland has to be our favorite so far. It’s such a raw and rugged landscape. Beautiful and stark. We kept joking that you could accidentally turn on your camera in Iceland and the footage would be gorgeous.
4. What Core SWX gear do you use and how is it beneficial to your productions?
We use the Hypercore Slim 7 V-MT and XP battery packs on our Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pros. These batteries hold a great charge even years after purchase. They’re compact and perfect for traveling, and they’re just super easy to use. We’ve got so many variables when shooting that it’s invaluable to not have to worry about battery life or to bother with lugging around bulky battery packs.
5. What else are the professionals behind Storytape up to in their spare time?
Tristan is in a couple bands in Hamilton, Ontario (Math Club and King Park). Brandon and Tristan also host a movie podcast called Cinefails where they watch iconic movies for the very first time. Alex is a wedding photographer which keeps him pretty busy especially in the Summer. And Brady is big into sports and sitcoms.