Interview with Bryan Mullennix of CrackerClips
Q: When did you begin shooting? Or how long have you been shooting stock footage?
A: I began shooting still images for stock in the early 90's. I spent the first few years learning the craft and beginning to really understand the type of subject matter that is in demand by buyers in the stock world. I then spent the next several years running a successful still stock photography business, using various agents to market my work worldwide. I started shooting stock footage in 2006. I'd been talking about it for a couple of years but it took a gentle nudge from my wife, Wendy to get me to take the plunge. True to form for me, I didn't just stick my toe in the water. I jumped in with both feet! By 2007 I was shooting footage for stock pretty much exclusively. Wendy and I formed CrackerClips Stock Footage later the same year and have been going strong ever since.
Q: What is your favorite subject to shoot?
A: Do I have to pick just one? If I say nature-travel-destination-concepts can I count that as my one favorite? We really like to be on the road exploring new destinations. Prior to heading out, Wendy will put together one of her famous shoot briefs that details what we think are the best locations and subjects to capture in the area we're headed to. Having said that, the best part of any trip for us (local, national or international) are the surprises we get along the way. With amazing regularity we'll stumble upon the perfect subject or destination (one that wasn't on our shoot list) at just the right time. These discoveries often turn out to be some of the best shots of the trip, and I always walk away thinking that if we planned it, we couldn't have planned it any better than that.
Q: Which camera(s) do you prefer for shooting stock footage?
A: Hands down for me the new HDSLR's (we are currently using the Canon 5D MKII) are the way to go. Although I've used more traditional video cameras in the past, it feels really good to me to get back to the familiarity of a good 'ol SLR. Although the HDSLR's are not always the easiest to use, compared to a dedicated video camera, the quality and format have won me over. I have to say though that I get a lot of strange looks in public places when I put what appears to be a still photography SLR on a jib.
Q: What's your favorite clip that you currently have represented in the Artbeats FootageHub?
A: CC-FH103-35 is an example of a shot that we "found" while road tripping on our way to another destination. We made a stop at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River and learned that they had an underwater viewing area. They were just about to close for the day and gave us two minutes to set up and get the shot. It worked out pretty well! We ended up getting a great shot that we hadn't planned on, from an uncommon point of view.
Q: What advice can you give to shooters who are just getting started in the stock footage industry?
A: Shoot what you love and enjoy. Over the years I've had many stock agency editors try to get me to shoot lifestyle material because obviously that style of material sells very well. However, to shoot lifestyle models successfully, pretty much requires you to be really familiar with styling, fashion and up to date trends, such as current hairstyles. I'm just not that stylish. I'm pretty much a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy and my lifestyle results don't generally inspire me very much. Shoot what excites you and what you feel passionate about while always keeping in mind the end users commercial needs and you won't go wrong.