Having recently passed a 1000+ clip milestone, Co-Founder of S3D stock footage company Stereobank Benjamin Carlu, tells 3D Focus the company would welcome more S3D sports footage from contributors with the London Olympics 2012 fast approaching.
Stereobank is a stereoscopic 3D stock footage website that recently passed a 1000 clip milestone having only being formed in early 2010. The distributor aggregates and indexes natively shot S3D footage from a range of genres such as macro, outdoors, aerial, business plus more recently 4K and time-lapse.
Speaking about the recent addition of time-lapse content, Benjamin's business partner Morgan David de Lossy said, “Our latest enrolled contributor published these amazing 60fps surf shots, showing scenes where he’s in the middle of the action with surfers missing him by an inch or two, and with waves crashing on him”.
3D Focus recently interviewed Benjamin Carlu, Project Manager and Co-Founder of Stereobank…
3D Focus: What is your role and how/why was Stereobank formed?
Benjamin Carlu: I’m passionate about video. I was working on a video platform a few years ago. I went to CES in 2010 and it was crazy to see all the different 3D products coming out so I knew there was a business there. Morgan David de Lossy was an expert in stock footage so we partnered on this venture.
Morgan and I started Stereobank in early 2010. We wanted to gather a sufficient volume of content to build a catalogue so we could distribute 3D content to other stock footage companies. However, we found they were not ready to distribute 3D stock footage so we decided to go a step further and become a distributor too. We are now the largest distributor of 3D stock footage in the world gathering about 50 contributors, archiving tens of hours of footage and over 1000 clips now. I am an engineer and project manager so my role is to sell the 3D content to TV and cinema producers, advertisers or device manufacturers who need some content. Our 3D content is designed to be edited into a whole project, for example an advertisment or perhaps a documentary where people go out and film animals or nature and they realise they are missing a sky or forest.
3D Focus: Is there a demand for 3D stock footage now or are you expecting the demand to follow in the future?
Benjamin Carlu: We are already seeing a demand for our product and it has shifted. The demand began with TV and mobile device manufacturers who wanted 3D content for demos for trade fares. Now it’s slowly shifting to 3D cinema and television production which is the real purpose of stock footage and the biggest market for 3D stock footage. We are seeing more and more 3D documentary productions but we feel the next big step for 3D stock footage will be 3D advertising. In the 2D world, 60% of advertising is made with stock footage so we hope that, as 3D linear channels emerge, there will be a place for 3D advertising requiring affordable, quality and creative stock footage. We also have 3D stock footage being aired on some 3net documentaries very soon.
3D Focus: What types of 3D are looking for to add to the catalogue?
Benjamin Carlu: We have some need for 3D sports content now, especially because of the London Olympics next year. The problem is that most 3D sports footage features teams wearing shirts with sponsors and brand messages on the front. You can’t have that on stock footage so we would really welcome contributors with 3D sports stock footage.
3D Focus: What benefits do you offer 3D stock footage contributors and what are the license fees?
Benjamin Carlu: The contributors bring their footage to Stereobank. We will encode a preview, index it on the site plus generate the sales and market it to the different clients we have. For the consumer side, the clip pricing varies. The same clip can be sold for an average of $250 for a closed corporate demo up to $4000 for an international commercial. The contributor gets 40-50% of the revenue share as an exclusive arrangement.
3D Focus: Are you forming partnerships with glasses free 3D device manufacturers?
Benjamin Carlu: Yes. We are preparing partnerships with some of the major glasses free 3D screen manufacturers so we can offer them the most useful content to display in shops, airports and public areas.
3D Focus: Would you consider adding converted footage?
Benjamin Carlu: We would consider converted material if it could not have been filmed in 3D such as archive footage from the 70’s and 80’s but right now we are focussed on footage acquisition at reasonable prices. If we accepted costly converted footage we might not be able to give a good return on investment for the contributor.
3D Focus: There are several different 3D formats available. What formats do you accept?
Benjamin Carlu: We get 3D content from different sources. The minimum requirement is 1080P resolution per eye and we can go up to 4k for cinema production. When we index the clip, we publish parallax information near it which can assist the producer in choosing the right clip for their project. We don’t reject 3D content because it has too little or too much 3D effect because a clip with a lot of ‘pop’ effect can be very interesting for a mobile device and a low 3D effect would be interesting for cinema.
3D Focus: What are your plans for Stereobank next year?
Benjamin Carlu: We are currently fundraising to assist us to grow the company throughout 2012 and acquire more content. Also, as part of our sales strategy, we are looking strongly towards cinema production and advertising as these are the areas we have not explored too much till now.
Other companies who have entered the 3D stock footage market are NHK 3D Video Bank and Discovery Access. Rather than converting live action footage, Discovery Access is going back into the CGI archives to re-render the sequences into 3D.
Visit Stereobank.com to view the free 3D samples. There is a large range of 3D viewing options on offer such as Colorcode, red/cyan, Trioscopics, row/column interleaved, checkerboard, Holoblade, KMQ prism viewer and anamorphic side-by-side. There is also a 3D slider to instantly adjust the extremeity of the 3D effect.
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