Source: Emily Ahern, Studio 123RF

Video tells us millions of words when images tell only a thousand or less.

Erwin de Boer

123RF’s latest content collaboration with ReelDeal sparked our curiosity about the founder and creative director, Erwin de Boer. Discover Erwin’s stock footage portfolio here.

Erwin de Boer

Erwin’s success story in the stock industry started with photography stills, before he began venturing into stock footage.

De Boer describes his transition to the video industry as both a smart career choice as well as a natural progression of his interests:

‘It was always something I’d wanted to do from when I was young, I really enjoyed playing with little cameras trying to film stuff but I also saw an opportunity in the industry, saw the stock photo market decline…. and there was a need for content (in the footage industry) and not many people at the time were supplying it in a high quality, premium way’.

He jokes that at the start he felt like a ‘one-man band’ and explains that in the beginning ‘it was hard, you have to invest a lot of money to create content before you earn… you’re never going to make money from day one’.

In terms of Erwin’s career, his development is influenced by his creative environment as well as his experience in the industry. Erwin is one of many people in the media industry to have taken advantage of the Ravensbourne incubation scheme, a University-based hub which he described as a ‘place where (people) can start their business and grow’. At Ravensbourne, Erwin said there are ‘lots of other companies in the same position.. so there’s a really nice collaboration between people there’. As well as being surrounded by other creative people, Erwin said the pros include ‘high-end facilities and the talent pool from the students has been really great for us’. The University allows students to be employed in projects like Erwin’s, giving them experiences and allowing the professionals in the industry to inspire them.

Video is a more ‘immersive way of seeing things.

Erwin tells us that the growing obsession with video is consequential of the growth in industries which favor motion pictures, such as cinema and advertising. Large corporate companies, be it bank or Hollywood corporation, desire high-quality video footage of non-specific shots, for example, landscapes, famous landmarks or generic business scenes. This saves them the time of shooting, editing and producing material. Erwin explains that their current target audience is big budget corporations who have the complex tech knowledge and facilities necessary to utilise, utilized manipulate video stock footage that he sells.

He described one of the more notable sales of his career, one of his ‘very first shoots, in Nevada’: a video clip of a man in a desert which he was later shocked to see used in the trans-national million-dollar making dystopian movie.

Erwin predicts that the niche nature of the video stock target market will expand exponentially in the future as material becomes more accessible to smaller companies – something he seems to be particularly in favour of. With regards to the software and technology used for video material, he explained that using and editing it is currently ‘something that is quite complicated for a large part of the market… a lot of the clients that are smaller don’t have to budget to do something like that… they can make something out of stock but don’t know how to work with the programmes to make their own commercial’. In the future, Erwin predicts that ‘everything will be online, you click on a few clips, put them together, add the clips and then boom there’s your commercial done’.

For a man so intrinsically involved in the process of development of stock video Erwin’s understanding of the stock media industry is invaluable. When asked what he thinks the future of video stock imaging is, he responded that he predicts the catalyst for the growth of the market will be ‘when it (is) accessible to people online through a simpler platform of technology’. De boer predicts the stock industry to develop over the next 10 years as its introduction into the media has been so newly conceived there is so much room from growth.

As Erwin claims, video is a more ‘immersive way of seeing things’. He explains: ‘video tells us millions of words when images tell only a thousand or less.’