And the nominees are …

If you use stock footage as a secondary element in post-production, basic, believable shots are often exactly what you want. But if you’re starting from scratch — making a commercial or building a narrative primarily with stock — you need clips with more impact.

In this post, we’ve compiled some of the best of the best. These clips show just how compelling stock footage can be. Actors with scene-stealing performances, magnetic personalities, and convincing body language, and clips with Hollywood-level cinematography and art direction.

Best Actress

Someone’s in trouble. Clip by Silver Lake Studios.

Heart-to-heart. Clip by Hotelfoxtrot.

The honeymoon phase. Clip by Polina Rabtseva.

Bad news. Clip by Veronika.

Best Actor

Strong opinion. Clip by Spotmatik.

First date. Clip by Gazduke.

Heated meeting. Clip by Uberstock.

After the storm. Clip by Stock Footage, Inc.

Best Cinematography

Golden Gate flyover, before drones were banned in airspace. Clip by Hatch 86 Films.

Slack line, rack focus. Clip by GoodSport.Video.

Follow shot of a frolicking girl. Clip by Wundervisuals.

Flying over the falls. Clip by Silver Lake Studios.

Best Clip

Pure joy, with sidewalk chalk. Clip by OatStudio.

Waiting room timelapse. Clip by Hotelfoxtrot.

Running through the fire. Clip by Gorodenkoff.

The foolish firestarter. Clip by DVarchive.

Need your own award-worthy footage? Start by browsing our exclusive collections: Dissolve Auteur, for unique, artistic, impressionistic shots. Dissolve Filmmaker for scenes of stylish people in inspiring settings, living lifestyles that spark desire. And if you want help finding clips, hit up our fast, friendly research team.