How One Guy's Footage Ended Up In A Hollywood Film! December 18 2014

From Skeet Shooting to Hollywood

Dylan Higginbotham over at (a really killer site for Final Cut Pro video effects) recently told me a wild tale of how a little bit of footage he shot ended with friends up being used in a Hollywood film. It's such a cool (true) story I asked Dylan to share it with you guys here! Enjoy!




Guest Post : How I got my footage in a Hollywood film

I’m not a big time director or even an amazing cameraman; but that didn’t stop me from getting my footage into a feature film. Here’s how it went down.

What I made

In March 2013 I went with a group of friends skeet shooting. We shot flying clay disks with shotguns and it was literally a blast! I brought my camera along to get some cool shots. A word of warning, there’ll be tons of gun puns in this post. ;)

I used a Canon T3i, Canon 24-70 mm lens. I wanted to be light on my feet so I recorded the audio with the built in mic. In the end I had 24 clips of high quality gun stock footage.

I put together a quick demo video and uploaded the gun footage to my site.



I decided to make this stock footage free so that as many people as possible could use it. You don’t have to fill out a form or give up your email address. You can simply download it and make whatever you want with it.

I considered using a Creative Commons license but ultimately decided on a simple “use this how you want” attitude. 

There were a lot of people in my videos, and I made sure to take the time to get permission from all of them before I released the footage.  This step is important. Get consent in writing before you release video of your subjects.

Who found me

Over a year later (May 2014) I got an email from a producer of Prologue films. Prologue has made visual effects and title sequences for films and television shows such as Godzilla, X-Men Days of Future Past, American Horror Story, Twilight Breaking Dawn, Million Dollar Arm and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Prologue wanted to use my gun footage in the end title sequence for The Purge: Anarchy. Whoa! I was so pumped that they wanted to use something I created in a Hollywood feature film.
See the trailer here.

How they found me

As they were building the title sequence, the editors at Prologue stumbled across my footage in Google. If you search for gun stock footage, you’ll see my video listed in the middle of the page.

I wanted a lot of people to find and use my footage so I used a term most people would search when they need some gun footage. I picked “Free Gun Stock Footage” for the title because people love free and that term is one that most people use.

What they wanted

Even though my website says anyone is free to use the footage however they’d like, Prologue wanted to put that in writing.

When you’re dealing with a $9 million film, there’ll be lawyers involved. Lawyers = paperwork.

Prologue wanted to use a clip of my son shooting a gun for the first time. I think the fact that the blast rocked him back grabbed their attention.

They were also shell shocked by the close up shot of a man loading a shotgun.



This was the longest and most tedious part. We sent license agreements and likeness release forms back and forth several times. In the end, I signed a footage release form and an image likeness release form for my son. The man loading the gun also signed an image likeness release form.

A footage release form basically says that I’ll let Prologue use the two clips in The Purge: Anarchy. In addition, Prologue can edit the clip however they want. The form also makes sure I own the footage.

An image likeness release form is used when there are people in the footage. It basically says that Prologue can use the voice and the likeness of the person however they want. 

At first they wanted "the right to use the name, voice and/or physical likeness" but I didn’t want my son’s name used. I asked them to change it to "the right to use the voice and/or physical likeness". They agreed, updated the forms and sent them back faster than a speeding bullet.

Final product

In exchange for using my stock footage they put me in the credits! Look for Dylan Higgenbotham towards the end. They misspelled my name but it’s no big deal.
Once the paperwork was complete all I had to do was wait for the movie to come out. The Purge: Anarchy was released on July 18, 2014 and has made $110,602,999.  

Here’s the end title sequence. You can see my footage at 4 seconds and 35 seconds. My credit is at 5:47.

Warning! Some parts are a bit violent and it has some disturbing imagery.

When I recorded my friends shooting guns I never thought it would end up in a major motion picture. It was fun and interesting learning how films are made regardless of the paperwork!

See, what did I tell ya, pretty cool story hey!
See more of Dylan's work and download this gun footage and other cool editing tools at


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